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What happens to your data when you submit it to NCEI?

  1. Data and metadata (simply termed 'data') are compiled by the submitter.
  2. Data are sent to NCEI by FTP, email, or regular mail.
  3. Data are prepared for the archive:
    • A record of receipt of data is recorded in an NCEI Tracking database.
    • An exact copy of the original files sent to NCEI are copied to archival media.
    • Data that are transferred to NCEI in compressed or zip files are uncompressed or unzipped.
    • Data are scanned for viruses prior to inclusion in the NCEI archive.
    • In most cases, files are converted into ASCII (from MS Excel, MS Access, FoxPro, etc...) so they will be readable years from now.
    • File format information from the metadata is compared to the submitted data to assure that the information is correct and complete.
    • Gaps in the file format information and other metadata are filled in by email or phone conversation with the submitter.
    • Specific metadata may be extracted and placed in the NCEI metadata database.
    • Data may be divided into smaller subsets, usually by cruise or observation type, to facilitate online data transfers. When necessary, NCEI will work with the data submitter to assure that no information is lost during this process.
  4. Data are placed into the digital archive
    • A copy of the original data and metadata files, as well as any relevant additional information about the original data are written to the digital archive.
  5. digital archive is protected and upgraded.
    • Multiple archival backup copies of all new datasets are made as they are entered into the system and are stored in on-site and off-site facilities.
    • copies are periodically refreshed onto new or more current storage media.
  6. The online Ocean Archive System is updated to reflect the new data.
  7. The datasets and metadata in the archive are periodically reviewed for completeness and correctness.
    • Additional metadata is added, if available.
    • When notified of errors or replacement data by the original data submitter, NCEI may make necessary changes to the contents of archived data. In these limited cases, all changes are annotated in the attendant metadata and confirmed with the original submitter.
    • Some data are processed further by NCEI for inclusion in specialized reference datasets (e.g., World Ocean Data Base).

Long version of the NCEI Data Submission Guidelines