Ocean2k paleodata metadatabase development FAQ (2011-2012)


Q: All the metadatabase information is not available on the NCDC or Pangaea database. Where do I find it?

 A: In many cases, you will have to go to the original publication to find some of the required metadata. If it is not there, leave the field blank (e.g. errors).


Q: For criterion 2c(1), Variable, how do I know if the data are proxy versus reconstructed variables?

 A: Proxy data are indirect indicators of climate variation.  Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca for example are proxy variables. The proxy variable must be included in the dataset for its inclusion into the metadatabase.  On the other hand, sea surface temperature (SST) is a direct indicator of climate variation, and therefore not a proxy indicator in the sense we are using the term.


Q:What do I do if a dataset meets all the criteria, and the radiocarbon (or other) chronology is available, but it is not included on the NCDC or PANGAEA webpage? Instead, for example, the age model is in another publication.

A: Put the information about the age model, or how to find the age model, in the comments box. Examples:
- The age model for the last 130 years of PL07-73 BC is based on correlations of its foraminiferal census counts to the faunal data of nearby cores with a previously published well-established varve and 210Pb stratigraphy, while the older parts of the core are constrained by a correlative chronology based on 17 accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates [Black et al., 1999; Goñi et al., 2003; Black et al., 2004].
- The original age model is described in these publications: [Black et al., 1999; Goñi et al., 2003; Black et al., 2004].


Q: The database entry I’ve been assigned has three separate cores. Do I enter this as one entry or three? What do I put for the location field? What do I do for the start/end years?

A: For the start/end years take the maximum range covered by the composite of all cores. Enter all three core names in the core/site name field, but only enter the location of the first listed core. Add explanatory notes in the comments field.


Q: What do I do if I think I made a mistake when entering a dataset? How can I fix my mistake?

A: Log into Ocean2k (in case your session has timed out). Log into Ocean2k. Go to the search page (listed on the right). Search for the record with the mistake. Scroll to the bottom and hit 'edit'. Correct the metadata entry as required. When you’re finished hit 'save'.


Q: Can we add records of which we know and are missing from the assignment listing?

 A: Yes.  Please contribute any data records which are not currently in the WDCA or PANGAEA databases to those publicly-accessible archives, if they aren't already there. Then let us know about them, as you have in your posting, and we can add these in a second phase of metadatabase development, and/or for future Ocean2k work.


Q: What about Ocean2k-relevant records in other PAGES 2K project metadatabases, such as Arctic2K?

A: Yes, we can add these, but currently the Ocean2K metadatabase and the other regional metadatabases still run under separate systems. At some point in the near future (by approx late Jan 2012) it is planned that all databases are transferred to the same system. Then we'll be able to search through all of them and to move entries between the datadabases. However, you can already assign Ocean2k entries to the other regional metadatabases listed at the bottom of the entry form. For the time being, they will not be displayed in the other groups' listings until the system unification is complete.


Q: The deadline for assembling the metadatabase is too soon.  Can you extend it?

A: The rationale for the January 16, 2012 deadline for metadatabase assembly is as follows.  We hope that a first product of this effort will be ready in time to be useful for the IPCC AR5 process, i.e. papers submitted by July 2012.  This means that to have a bare 6 months for synthesis work, we need to complete the metadatabase in January.  We hope that by splitting up the work into manageable pieces, that many hands will make light work. However we certainly understand if the deadline is not manageable.  If you are not able to meet it, or can only partially complete your assignment, please let us know right away, and we can re-assign any remaining records to another volunteer.


Q: What should I do if a candidate record is in fact composed of multiple datasets from very different locations?

A: Treat the different datasets as different metadata entries.  Much of the other metadata will be common to each record, but each location will then be recorded on the map.  For instance, "High Atlantic Native Druffel a"  should be split into 4 records:
"High Atlantic Native Druffel-1", lat = -17.5, lon=-39.3
"High Atlantic Native Druffel-2", lat = -17.5, lon=-30.75
"High Atlantic Native Druffel-3", lat = -8, lon=-35.0
"High Atlantic Native Druffel-4", lat = 17.5, lon=-25