ArcticNet is committed to managing the wealth of knowledge generated by its research in order to facilitate and maximize the exchange of information, provide accessibility to data for all stakeholders, including the public, and ensure the long-term legacy of data collected under its multidisciplinary projects since 2004.
The Polar Data Catalogue (PDC) is the public metadata and data repository for ArcticNet and a growing number of Canadian and international research institutions, programs and organizations. The PDC was initially developed as a collaborative effort between ArcticNet, the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network (CCIN), Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Noetix Research Inc. and is managed and hosted by the CCIN at the University of Waterloo. The Polar Data Management Committee (PDMC), composed of representatives from the various partner organisations, meets regularly to establish and update the guidelines for management of the PDC.
ArcticNet’s Network Investigators must ensure that metadata and data collected under their ArcticNet-funded projects are archived according to ArcticNet’s Data Policy. This policy provides details on:
- Data quality (international standards, ISO)
- Data security (advanced backup system for data and metadata)
- Confidentiality of personal information (secure account)
- Data sharing (limited access to data until three years following the end of a project, limited access to sensitive or protected data)
Steps for creating metadata and archiving data in the PDC
Creation of metadata and the archiving of data in the PDC can be completed in several straightforward steps outlined below:
1. Create your user account on the PDC website
2. Create your metadata by using the following guides:
- Instructions for Creating Metadata
- Metadata Input Form (PDF, Word)
- Descriptions of required information in Metadata Input Form
- Completed Metadata Input Form Example
Your metadata will be reviewed by the PDC staff and given a unique identifier (CCIN Reference Number) that will allow for easy searching. Each metadata entry that is accompanied by publicly-accessible data will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and registered with DataCite Canada, providing increased visibility for data and researchers as well as a mechanism for accessing, using and distributing research records according to international standards. You will also be able to indicate if your data is limited access.
3. Prepare your data files for archiving:
- Your data files should be structured in a clear, logical fashion (see examples below)
- The structure and nomenclature used for your files should be briefly explained in a README text file
- Data units and any processing applied to the data (e.g. quality control) should be indicated in the README file
- In addition to the README file, you are encouraged to include any existing documentation that will help with understanding the data
- The PDC requires that non-proprietary data formats (.txt, open source) be used in order to maximize access to data
- The title of your data files (or archive folder if your dataset is large and complex) must contain the type of data, and the version number. The date will be appended to the file name on upload.
- Once complete, your data files can be uploaded to the PDC and linked to the metadata (once approved)
Note: If you cannot archive your data directly on the PDC, you will have to provide a link (in "Links to Data" in your metadata record) to the website where the data can be accessed.
4. Update your metadata or data files as needed and revise/upload to the PDC taking care to change the version number of the archived data files
For further information please see:
- The PDC Help Manual
- The PDC’s Best Practices for Sharing and Archiving Datasets which includes a README file template
- The PDC’s Best Practices for Sharing and Archiving Datasets - Summary
- The PDC Information Guide for ArcticNet Students which includes concise instructions and examples for data archiving