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GLENDA reporting standards

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Data reporting formats

GLENDA Field Data Reporting Format

GLENDA Lab Data Reporting Format


Many organizations produce Great Lakes data through the collection and analysis of environmental samples. The data they collect mainly come from the field sampling crews and the analytical laboratories.

EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) established GLENDA to store these data for long-term viability.

As part of this effort, GLNPO developed specific formats (i.e., file formats and codes to represent certain data values) for reporting data for the Lake Michigan Mass Balance. These formats must be followed by whomever is collecting and submitting data in order for the results to be entered into GLENDA.  Each format specifies the "rules" by which data must be submitted, and, in many cases, the allowable codes that can be reported.

The data reporting formats were designed to minimize the number of data elements reported from the field crews and lab analysts. By adhering to this structure, all data sets going into GLENDA will have a consistent format and be compatible with each other no matter who generated and submitted the data.

GLENDA has five types of data: Program, Project, Station, Sample Collection, and Results. All of the Program, Project, and Station data, as well as any data that can be gleaned from the Quality Assurance Project Plans, will be entered by GLNPO into GLENDA and is therefore not part of the data reporting formats. The Sample Collection and Results data will be supplied by the principal investigators (the sampling crews and the analytical laboratories) following the standardized reporting formats. Both the database and the data reporting formats were designed to be applicable to a wide variety of projects.

What is a Data Submission?

A data submission is defined as a logical combination of reporting standard files that are sent as a unit from a Principal Investigator (PI) to GLNPO. Each submission is defined within a biological delivery header file that contains a unique combination of project code, sampling organization or laboratory code, submission number, and version number. The submission number and version number are assigned by the PI for tracking purposes. The version number is simply a control number that distinguishes a specific collection of data from older (or newer) submissions of the same data.

The data submission concept becomes important when a PI determines that he/she needs to replace a data submission that was sent previously to GLNPO. A PI easily can replace a data submission by sending an updated, complete data submission that is identified with the same submission number as the original data but with an incremented version number.

General Instructions

Please adhere to the following instructions throughout the reporting standards:

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