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Data Reference Toolkit: 7. Documentation

Documentation

For extended projects, you will want to keep a research journal. Do a favor for your future self and keep good records of what you find so you can retrace your steps.

 

What to record about a data download in a research journal:

 

  • URL or DOI
  • Date
  • Author, principal investigator, producing agency, etc.
  • Exact name of dataset (not just the web site’s name) and the version if appropriate 
  • What you had to query in order to get the exact download you got
  • Where you are storing local copies data and all relevant documentation
  • Suggested citation information if provided