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New web forms for submitting data set metadata to the GCE IM office are now available for testing

We are pleased to announce the release of new web forms for submitting and revising data set documentation (metadata) and uploading data files to the GCE Information Management office. These forms are intended to replace both the legacy Excel metadata template used by researchers to prepare submissions, and the Access forms used in the GCE IM office. These new web forms were developed to streamline the data submission process and simplify metadata entry and management for GCE participants and information managers alike as we transition into GCE-IV.

The new web forms incorporate the latest JavaScript user interface plug-ins to simplify choosing items from GCE controlled keyword, taxonomic, site and location name vocabularies, and calendar plug-ins to simplify entering study and data release dates. An unlimited number of method steps can be added on the fly to document study methodology and instrumentation used. New lab personnel or collaborators can be added to the GCE personnel database without IM assistance as data set metadata are registered (similarly to the GCE bibliography entry forms), further streamlining the process. Prior data catalog submissions can also be re-opened to revise metadata or used as templates for new submissions to save effort re-entering content for related studies.

We will showcase the new data submission forms and process at the GCE Annual Meeting in January 2019 and provide hands-on training for new GCE participants. However, we would like to get some feedback on functionality and usability prior to December 2018 so everything can be finalized and ready to use before we develop the training materials. Comments, trouble reports and suggestions can be sent via email to gcelter@uga.edu. All submitted content and debugging information will be emailed automatically by the web application, so only user feedback is requested.

Links to these new forms and resources are included on GCE website menus under Data Products > Data Submission. You can begin using these forms to submit pending documentation and files for actual research studies, but you can also submit test content just to try out the forms and provide feedback. If just testing, please indicate your intention in the title to prevent confusion (e.g. "For testing purposes only"). To upload data files for your submission, use the "Upload Data Files" link on the confirmation page after you submit or update the metadata, or the "Add Files" link under "Tasks" on the "View Data Submissions" page (see below). Protocol and supporting files can also be uploaded in addition to data files. A new Excel data submission template is available that only includes worksheets for describing tabular or non-tabular data files. If re-using a legacy Excel data submission template that contains documentation fields, you can leave all worksheets except for "Data Table" empty.

Website links and example web pages are provided below:

Data Set Metadata web form, with fields pre-populated using "Copy as Template" from the GCE Data Catalog
View Submissions web page. Only submissions you added will show up on this page, along with relevant Task links.
Upload data files web form. Note that Title and Abstract are automatically filled in and disabled
to ensure the files are properly matched to the correct data set submission

(Contact Wade Sheldon for additional information)

submitted Oct 17, 2018


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.