Using the ESAA

AFEN submarine landslide west of Shetland.
Hindeodus coated in gold under a Alicona Infinite Focus microscope.

The ESAA is a recognised place of deposit for public records and also the NERC Environmental data centre for Earth Sciences. It involves those engaged in any part of a project, from applying for a research grant, through the data collection, and to the preparation of the data for deposit in the archive.

ESAA's guidelines are constantly evolving as they reflect NERC Data Policy and best practice and experience gained from other organisations, professionals and specialists.

Researchers can contact ESAA at any time to discuss their plans with respect to the selection and preparation of datasets.

Research grants

If you have received a research grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), you are required to offer all relevant data resulting from your research for deposit with the ESAA. This includes models software and any specimens.

Many investigators are more than willing to make their data available to others, but are unsure of how to go about preparing data for outside use, particularly in terms of complete documentation.

The ESAA Guidelines for depositors is intended to help researchers document their datasets and prepare them for archival deposit.

Professional recognition

By evaluating data offered for deposit, the ESAA ensures that its collection consists of high quality and well-documented datasets. This provides depositors with tangible evidence of the quality of their work, and leads to recognition of the effort involved in the creation of digital data.

Datasets deposited with the ESAA may be promoted to potential users through publicity, workshops, and the online catalogue. Depositors will also receive recognition and citation for their datasets as they are incorporated into future geological research and teaching.

Q: When do you need to contact the ESAA about archiving your dataset?

A: As soon as possible!

The ESAA will provide advice and assistance on the best way to collect and document records and what would be appropriate for final deposit in the archive. The ways in which you create and document your research will affect the value of that research, the worth of the data and how or even if, it can be preserved and re-used.

If you are working on a research grant from NERC the proper management of the data is considered to be part of the project and failure to deal adequately with this aspect may lead to failure or the withholding of funds for future research.

By contacting the ESAA you can gain professional advice and guidance to help you maximise your data-creation efforts and design your recording systems. Although in general the type of research will influence the recording systems used, the ESAA can provide some basic software and recording schemes.

Remember you don't have to wait until your research is completed. Arrangements can be made to deposit data before the end of the project.


Contact Sue Roper (Data Collection Officer)