Data Quality Procedures

The researchers and staff associated with the Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Program strive to provide the highest quality data sets possible. The intensive and extensive data collected from our field sites and laboratory experiments is provided to the greater scientific community in hopes of furthering the understanding of the mechanisms and interactions of the boreal ecosystem, its inhabitants, and impacts on regional and global dynamics.

Please note that there are difficulties with ensuring that all the data we provide is free of errors. Instrumentation malfunctions and human errors are made, but we have implemented numerous procedures and controls to minimize errors in the data sets.

The quality controls and assurances for the core climate data that is collected by the permanent BNZ research staff is completed by the technicians and researchers collecting the data. Documentation of quality assurance methods are included with each data set. Additional questions regarding methods or quality should be directed to the investigator responsible for a particular data set or the field technicians who collected the data. While not every data set has yet been fully analyzed for quality, we are continually working to achieve this goal and identify the level of quality for each data set that is available.

All other individual project data that were submitted by senior investigators, research associates, or graduate students have been checked and corrected for errors by the individuals submitting that data. Each of these data sets should have documentation available for the methods that were used to ensure the data quality. If documentation is missing or inadequate, interested parties should contact the data set provider for additional information or clarification.

Core Data Quality Levels:

In order to identify for end users the quality of the data they are seeking to obtain, we have implemented a Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) rating for all core data sets provided by the Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Program. The data classifications are as follows:

  • Level 0 - The data set has not yet been analyzed for quality. Use with extreme caution.

  • Level 1 - The data set has been analyzed to provide all available data records (i.e. ensure minimal data gaps) and eliminating redundant data records. The quality of the values in the data set has not been accessed. Use with caution.

  • Level 2 - The data set has been additionally analyzed to remove any and all data points that fall outside of accepted ranges. Erroneous values that do fall within these accepted ranges may still be present in the data set. Use with some caution.

  • Level 3 - The data set has been additionally analyzed to remove outliers that were still within acceptable ranges but have been determined to be inaccurate or in error. Additionally, instrumentation calibrations have been verified and applied to the results to produce the highest quality data set. Use with confidence.

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