Checking CompletenessThere are several checks that
are easy and quick to do:
- Are there any obvious, unexplained gaps in
the data (missing files in a series, for
- Are there long stretches of unaccounted-for
bytes in the data label(s)?
- Are calibration files included?
- If this was a spacecraft mission, is
pointing information for the spacecraft
- Are there documentation files or references
to published papers describing the observing
program and instruments used?
- Is there a file describing any reduction
process that has been applied?
As a reviewer, you should also be on the lookout for
more subtle problems. Frequently these do not appear
until you actually attempt to perform some scientific
procedure using the data. These are less likely to be
noticed by the PDS representatives on the review
committee but are
far more insidious when it comes to archive quality. For
- Are units of measurement included for the data
- Is there a clear indication of which calibration
fields should be applied to what data?
- Is there a record of external conditions which
might have affected results?
For example, housekeeping and engineering
information for spacecraft, if varying temperature
or power spikes were known to contaminate the data;
temperature and humidity if they affect the
reduction of ground-based data; etc.
- If filters or gratings were used, is a
description of their properties also included?
Reviewers are strongly encouraged to torture-test the
data prior to the review and to ask questions as soon
as the problems are encountered, so that solutions
can also be prepared in advance of the review wherever
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