Finding Data: The CEDA Data Catalogue

There are thousands of datasets held in the CEDA archives and it can be difficult to find the data most suited to your needs. To help with this CEDA have produced a Data Catalogue allowing users to easily find data matching their search terms and then to browse via it connections to find other related data.

Searching for data

Whilst the data catalogue contains large numbers of datasets and data collections, plus records covering background information about project, instruments, locations and algorithms used in data production, we've aimed to keep the catalogue as intuitive as possible.

You can access the full catalogue here:

On the front page you'll see a simple search box which will carry out a free-text search across the thousands of datasets to find as best a match as possible.


However, there are other ways you can search the catalogue to explore the additional information that has also been captured using the advanced search options.

Here you have two options  - either to find a list of dataset related to searches on other records types that we have such as Project records, Instrument records, or to search within those records themselves for further background information.

Catalogue structure - what the records mean

Underpinning CEDA's data catalogue are some key concepts that are useful to understand. The catalogue is centred on the following key types of record:

  • Dataset - these records describe and link to the actual data in our archive. They also provide spatial and temporal information, access and usage information and link to background information on why and how the data were collected.
  • Dataset Collection - a collection of Datasets that share some common purpose, theme or association. These collections link to one or more Dataset records.
  • Project - background information about a project, programme or other major activity that provides the purpose for producing the data. Navigate from this record to the related Dataset record(s) (via the relevant Dataset Collection) to access the data.
  • Instrument - describes an instrument that is used to collect data via observations. Follow the link to the associated Dataset records to access the relevant data.
  • Platform- describes a platform (e.g. sites, stations, aircraft) on which instruments were mounted/located during the data collected during a project. Follow the link to the associated Dataset records to access the relevant data.
  • Computation - describes computational stages in producing data - e.g. models, processing algorithms, used to produce data such as NWP and climate model output and Earth Observation higher level processed products. Follow the link to the associated Dataset records to access the relevant data.

What happens when I search?

You can search the CEDA Catalogue in a number of ways. By selecting the  "Find data related to" option your search will always respond with a list of Datasets.

You can also search for information about each of the above records by selecting the  "Find information about" option. When doing so your search will respond with a list of the record types specified.

In either case you can choose to search a variety of record types: Datasets, Projects, Dataset Collections, Instruments, Platforms and Computations. The default search selects Datasets.

All searches will look for matches in the "Title", "Abstract" and "Keywords" fields of the record type you have selected to search by. A summary of matching records will be displayed with links to the full catalogue entry and associated Dataset records (if relevant).

Browsing from one record to another

The various record types held in the catalogue are connected ways that you would expect. For example, a  Dataset Collection may consist of many Datasets and they can both be related to a particular Project. Once you are viewing a particular record a set of related records will be shown on the right hand side of the screen so you can browse the linkages between different records in a logical manner.

Other NERC Data

You can search for data held in any of the NERC data centres through the central NERC Data Catalogue Service:

The NERC DCS covers data from the following NERC data centres:

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