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Best Practice: Describe measurement techniques


Best Practices by Data Life Cycle

Describe measurement techniques

Data Life Cycle stage(s): Describe

Data measurement descriptions should:

  • Describe data collection methods or protocols(can include diagrams, images, schematics, etc.)
    • How the data were collected
    • Measurement frequency and regularity
  • Describe instrumentation
    • Include manufacturer, model number, dates in use
    • Maintenance/repair history
    • Malfunction history
    • Calibration methods, scale, detection limits, and history
  • Document measurement uncertainty, including accuracy, precision, and reproducibility. Provide values in the context of the measurements, e.g., standard error, standard deviation, confidence limits.

Description Rationale

Describe how data were collected in enough detail for others to reproduce the measurements, assess the appropriateness of the measurements, and/or assess comparability of the data with other datasets.

Additional Information

R.H.G., J., Ter Braak, C. J., & Van Tongeren, O. F. (1995). Data Analysis in Community and Landscape Ecology. Cambridge University Press.



Cite this best practice:

DataONE Best Practices Working Group, DataONE  (July 01, 2010) "Best Practice: Describe measurement techniques". Accessed through the Data Management Skillbuilding Hub at on Aug 22, 2019


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