CEDA's archives cover data held as part of the over 3Pb of online data as well as physical archives. As a result finding relevant data for a new user can be a tricky and confusing task. To help with this CEDA maintain a data catalogue, structured in a way to help users quickly find data related by common themes such as a shared project, instruments or from a specific facility.
CEDA Catalogue Service
The CEDA catalogue service, which launched September 2014, has a number of key concepts which new users are encouraged to first read about to allow them to make greatest user of the catalogue. These are:
- 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 EO higher level processed products. Follow the link to the associated Dataset records to access the relevant data.
Searching for data
The catalogue service has a search function allowing text searches on the titles and abstracts of the selected record type (leave the search box blank to see all the records of that type). The returned search results give the record titles, the first few lines of the abstract, a link to the record itself for further details, relevant links from the record and, for Dataset Collections and Datasets, a link to related records.
Each record type has a broadly similar layout to give familiarity to the user and to make the interface more intuitive, though there are also different fields available on each record type too. Broadly the top left of the record has information such as the status of the record followed by the record's title. The Abstract then gives some further details before links to relevant records (e.g. parent projects, dataset collections etc) and then additional information and links to relevant resources (e.g. documentation) are given.
On the right of the record other relevant information such as a map showing geographical information and a relevant date range (e.g. the temporal range of the data in the archive) precede related lists such as related datasets or related parties (people or organisations that have a particular role with regards what is discussed by the record, e.g. the authors of the dataset, the project PI and COIs).
Finally at the end of the record there may be some additional information that has been maintained from the earlier catalogue - though this is temporary whilst CEDA relocated this information to other parts of the catalogue or linked documentation.
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: