Locating “Generic” Environmental Dataset for DataUP Usability Testing

Open folder on HDD for DataONE DataUP user experience

-DataONE -> DataUP Usability Study

Question: are there any materials on DataUP from EIMI course?

Likely but not able to find at the present time – the files from EIMI courses are on personal google drive and will look later.

From the DataONE.org Investigator Toolkit:


DataUP is listed

(Incidentally, there is no discernible order for this page, i.e, no alphabetical order or other structure).

DataUP is described thusly:

DataUp is available as either an open source add-in for Microsoft Excel or a web-based application that will assist scientists in creating metadata, checking for best practices, obtaining a unique identifier for their dataset, and depositing their data into a repository. DataUp links to a DataONE member node, ONEShare, where users can directly deposit their tabular data. DataUp is the result of collaboration among California Digital Library, Microsoft Research, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and DataONE.

Clicking on the logo opens a new window, “http://dataup.cdlib.org/”

Interested in obtaining a generic dataset that would be fairly “accessible.”

“Net Primary Productivity” is a fairly generic item.

Mentioned in the tutorial.

Searched for the NPP dataset.

“NPP data entry form” in Google.

First result links to NPP Study from NMSU.

Found USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental.

Not correct.

Searched Google for “sevilleta data” without quotes.

First result titled “Data – Sevilleta LTER”

Clicked, loaded http://sev.lternet.edu/data

Found Dataset page: sec.lternet.edu/data

selected core area: “Primary Production” and any principal investigator.

(Kristin Vanderbilt was EIMI 2013 Instructor but did not have any datasets pertaining to NPP. She is a data manager so it seems likely any dataset she produced would follow best practices. Incidentally there is only one dataset by Vanderbilt: “Ground-Truthing Satellite Imagery with Phenological Observations: Visual Observations from Grasslands at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.”).

Selected title from results (1 – 5 pages) that appeared to have the least variables (and in fact there is a listing of the variables within the dataset here: http://sev.lternet.edu/data/sev-157/4960):

“Net Primary Productivity (NPP) Weight Data at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.”


Interesting study would be to run a bunch of LTER datasets through DataUP and see how well these NSF funded studies fare under DataUP tool’s scrutiny.

Data for this study is available from February 1999 through May 2013.

File structure name is reported: “sev157_nppweight_08082013”

Metadata as .doc file (curious that it’s not a .txt file or .eml file, although an eml file is available, just not from this page).

Data as .txt

Table variables as .csv

set downloads to working folder on HDD

Download .txt file


I don’t have Excel on my personal computer so I’ll attempt to open it with OpenOffice.org that I do have.

Tries to open the .txt file in “OpenOffice Writer” even if I open it from “OpenOffice Calc”

Let’s see if I change the .txt extension to .csv, if OpenOffice Calc can handle that (because it is .csv data even if the file isn’t saved as .csv).

That worked. Kinda weird the data wasn’t already in .csv

I’m saving the .csv as a .xls file.

I’m also opening it up in the excel data viewer (skydive) that comes with my outlook account to see if they look essentially the same.


Wellโ€ฆ skydive and my office seem to be disconnected. So I will work on this more when I am at my Windows workstation.

About Tanner Jessel

I am a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE and pursuing a Masters in Information Sciences with an Interdisciplinary Graduate Minor in Computational Science. I assist scholarly research efforts supporting the Sociocultural, Usability and Assessment, and Member Nodes working groups within DataONE. I am based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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