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Best Practice: Describe the units of measurement for each observation

BEST PRACTICE

Best Practices by Data Life Cycle




Describe the units of measurement for each observation

Data Life Cycle stage(s): Describe

The units of reported parameters need to be explicitly stated in the data file and in the documentation. We recommend SI units (The International System of Units) but recognize that each discipline has its own commonly used units of measure. The critical aspect here is that the units be defined so that others understand what is reported.

Do not use abbreviations when describing the units. For example the units for respiration are moles of carbon dioxide per meter squared per year.

Additional Information

National Institute for Standards and Technology guide to SI units: http://physics.nist.gov/Pubs/SP330/sp330.pdf BIPM Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (SI maintenance agency): http://www.bipm.org/en/si/

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Cite this best practice:

DataONE Best Practices Working Group, DataONE  (July 01, 2010) "Best Practice: Describe the units of measurement for each observation". Accessed through the Data Management Skillbuilding Hub at https://dataoneorg.github.io/Education/bestpractices/describe-the-units on May 24, 2019


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