On ongoing debate in biodiversity informatics is whether specific data describes an entire data set (i.e., “metadata”) or is part of individual data records (i.e., true “data”). This will depend on the individual data set, the underlying purpose of the data collection, and/or the viewpoint of the data provider. Edaphobase therefore allows such data to be entered either as metadata valid for the entire data set or as true data (i.e., individual values in a column of a table).
Edaphobase partitions such data into three main metadata categories:
- Dataset metadata, describing the data set itself, such as the dataset title, source, data provider and/or owner, etc.
- Environmental metadata, describing the sites of occurrence, such as site names, habitat types or soil data.
- Methodological metadata, describing the sampling methods, such as collection methods, sampling dates, etc.
A list of the specific metadata fields, as well as their definitions, formats and whether they are mandatory or recommended can be found here
Since such data can also be true data (depending on the individual data set), many of these fields are also listed in the specific Variables (Information attributes)