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Consistent use of standard terminology for categorical data values and metadata descriptors facilitates the understanding, integration, discovery, and use of your data products.

Documentation and metadata associated with a data file should be checked to make sure what is described is actually found in the data file.

Define a data dictionary early in the project to efficiently describe and document your data.

Data files and data descriptions should be well-organized, managed, and documented to ensure that files can be located and their contents are understandable.

A description of how to define parameters.

How to describe the contents of a data file

Document the overall organization of your dataset or collection, including specimens, schema, etc., to facilitate use of the data during the project and in the future.

Data documentation should include a description of the spatial extent of your data and the spatial resolution of your dataset or collection to facilitate discovery of your data by users interested in the locations of your study.

Describe the temporal extent of your dataset or collection to allow interested users to ascertain your data are useful.Describe the temporal resolution of your data set or collection to allow potential users to ascertain the data quality and whether the resolution is adequate for their needs.

Recommendations for the long-term storage of data and how to document the file formats so that others can readily assess the useability of the data and determine its potential for integration with other datasets

Complete taxonomic information for each species should be included in data descriptions

Identify the specific content needed to describe your data for management, preservation, and discovery. Use this content to select the relevant metadata standard.

One should be consistent in the types of data included in columns of spreadsheets or data tables.

Decision about how to manage and archive multimedia (images, video, sound) for access and preservation should be made before data are collected.

Allow the addition of community tagging, annotation, and comments as input for enhanced discovery of datasets and related content.

Provide versions of data products with defined identifiers to enable discovery and use

Items to consider when versioning data products:

Keep descriptions and flags for data separate from values

Understand the geospatial parameters (resolution, reprojection, datum, scale) of spatially-referenced data when integrating geospatial datasets from multiple sources.

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