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Ellison Abstract- 2007 Boose et al

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Boose, E.R., A. M. Ellison, L. J. Osterweil, R. Podorozhny, L. Clarke, A. Wise, J. L. Hadley, and D. R. Foster. 2007. Ensuring reliable datasets for environmental models and forecasts. Ecological Informatics.


At the dawn of the 21st century, environmental scientists are collecting more data more rapidly than at any time in the past. Nowhere is this change more evident than in the advent of sensor networks able to collect and process (in real time) simultaneous measurements over broad areas and at high sampling rates. At the same time there has been great progress in the development of standards, methods, and tools for data analysis and synthesis, including a new standard for descriptive metadata for ecological datasets (Ecological Metadata Language) and new workflow tools that help scientists to assemble datasets and to diagram, record, and execute analyses. However these developments (important as they are) are not yet sufficient to guarantee the reliability of datasets created by a scientific process - the complex activity that scientists carry out in order to create a dataset. We define a dataset to be reliable when the scientific process used to create it is (1) reproducible and (2) analyzable for potential defects.

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