The Database encourages submissions of EMF measurement data from all sources, including sponsored research projects, public and private organizations, industrial hygienists, independent scientists and engineers, and individuals. You will be enriching the scientific community and contributing to greater scientific enlightenment. The EMF Measurements Database will accept your contributions and help to preserve and share the information that you invested in collecting.
The data and documentation that you provide will be organized into standardized formats and published on the Internet for interested parties to download and use. Data sets will also be available off-line (on magnetic media, CD-ROM, paper hardcopy, etc). Users are asked to accept a license that allows them to use the data in exchange for acknowledging you (the contributors) and the Database in presentations of results based on the data, and accepting a disclaimer and an `as is' warranty.
In order to constitute a complete submission, the Database needs two things: data (Data Products) and documentation (Metadata). Additionally, we encourage contributors or other users of the Database to share results of their analyses of data sets in the form of Reports.
The Database wants the most detailed form of the data available. It is comparatively easy to summarize from detailed data, but it is much more difficult to obtain detailed data from summaries! Summaries, intermediate and other derived forms of the data are also useful to the Database. Supplemental information can often be extracted from the derived forms, reducing the data entry effort and increasing accuracy.
Data should be provided in a format that the Database can understand. The data will usually need to be reformatted for distribution, and it is important that the format to be documented well enough to allow this. In some cases, the Database will already be familiary with particular formats and further documentation will be unnecessary. If not, the contributor should be prepared to supply either detailed documentation for the format or software capable of converting the data into a more accessible format. Contributors should contact the Database to determine what will be needed.
The method of transmitting the data to us is negotiable. The goal is to make the transfer of the data as painless as possible. Depending on the volume of the data and the media available, mutually acceptable media can be selected. We can accept data online (via our FTP server) or on diskettes, CD-ROM, ZIP drive cartridges and several varieties of tape media.
The Database wants quite a bit of information about your data. In fact, at first blush the complexity might seem daunting. However, we would not ask it if it was not crucial to assist newcomers in understanding your data.
The current Metadata Content Specification is available online. It describes in detail the information that we want for your data. We are less concerned with the form in which you provide the metadata, than in the content.
Your metadata will ultimately be maintained within the Database in a special SGML format. SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) is an ISO standard (8879) related to HTML. If you are already familiar with SGML, or ready to invest some time learning about it, you may be able to take advantage of some tools we have compiled (if so, please contact us). We don't ask you to deliver the metadata in our SGML format though, so don't let that put you off.
Much of the information that we need about your data can be provided on the Potential Contributor's Questionnaire. We have an online form that you can use to tell us about your data, even if you haven't decided to contribute for certain. We will also mail you a hardcopy upon request.
You can provide the metadata in the form of existing documentation if you like. It is likely that we will want to discuss your data to clear up any questions that we have as we are preparing it for distribution, so it is important to indicate a knowledgable contact person with whom we can communicate.
Researchers contributing data sets are encouraged to submit one or more reports consisting of text, tabular and graphic information which describe the study producing the data set and the results of analysis of the data. These reports provide an opportunity for the contributing researcher to communicate important information about the data set to users of the Database. Reports may also be submitted by other parties, for example to discuss interesting findings based on subsequent analysis of data available from the Database.
The reports provided by the contributing researcher or others may be submitted for possible modification, publication and distribution by the Database. Reports may be submitted in a variety of formats including ASCII text files, as printed matter, and in a limited selection of computer file formats (produced by word-processing, statistical and graphing software). The specific format of the submittal will be negotiated by the contributor and the Database prior to submission. Reports may be submitted along with or after the metadata submission, permitting the Database access to the metadata during the preparation of reports for distribution.
Each report should contain sufficient explanatory text to stand on its own. Because the role of the Database is to act simply as a clearinghouse, it will not validate the reports which are submitted. The contributors are responsible for the accuracy of the information presented in the reports.
The report materials must be submitted without any copyright restrictions or claims of ownership and the contributor must indicate that the Database is free to use the reports in any manner. The Database currently envisions publication of the reports on the Internet (World Wide Web), in printed versions, in literature describing the Database, and in other forms.
Report text could include a narrative description of the study including an abstract, introduction, synopsis, executive summary, results, recommendations or conclusions. The contributor could submit text drawn from previous publications, unpublished material, and other sources.
Tables could summarize various aspects of the study producing the data including sampling strategies, data collection, data management or analytic processes. They could also report the important results of data analysis.
Figures could present the information from the text and tables in graphic form as well as presenting unique information. Because well-designed graphical presentations can communicate information very effectively, the contributor is urged to provide figures (such as bar graphs, scatter plots, etc.) which present the important aspects of the study and its findings.
All reports may be edited for style, content, and appropriateness for the various distribution media utilized by the Database. For example, a printed text report may be longer than the version published on the Internet, and the latter may contain links to other reports in the Database. To the extent practical the contributor will be given an opportunity to review and comment on substantive changes in the reports which are made by the Database.
The reports distributed by the Database will cite previous publication of reports, where applicable, and attribute the report to authors, study sponsors and other parties as deemed appropriate by the Database.