EMF Measurements
        Database, an EMF RAPID Program Engineering Project Last updated: June 24, 1997

Data Sets Components

Much of the work invested in this project to date has been in the development of the database design and the specification of the components of the design. This section briefly describes each of the components.

The EMF Measurements Database is organized as a collection of data sets, where a data set is the work product of a single project or study. Each data set is represented by a one or more Data Products, as one would expect. However, the data products alone are not sufficient for a recipient to make good use of them. The recipient also requires information about what the data are, the manner in which the data were collected, and how the data are represented in the data products. This is the role of the Metadata. Further, it may be useful for the recipient to review previous results obtained from the data set. This is the role of the data set Reports.

Each data set stands within the Database as an independent entity. The degree of commonality of information across data sets is determined by the information that the corresponding studies collected. However, the Database will attempt to reduce variability in the format of data products and documentation, so that the difference or sameness of data sets is not unduly obscured by differences in the format of data products or documentation. Principally, this effort takes the form of standardized formats for distributed material.

Naturally, for each of the data set components, the Database will accept contributions of information in a more diverse range of formats than it will distribute. That is, the Database's input specifications are much less stringent than its output specifications, over which it exercises more control.