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PDS Geosciences Node, Washington University in St. Louis
Geosciences Node Data
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Suggestions for Checking Completeness

There 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 example)?
  • 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 included?
  • 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 example:

  • Are units of measurement included for the data fields?
  • 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 possible.

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Curator: Jennifer Ward
NASA Official: Paul Byrne
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