Neotoma maintains a number of constraints on tables, sets of required fields and bounded values. For example, a user must define a dataset type within the set of available dataset types in
datasettypes. However, it is possible to enter a new dataset with very minimal data should that be required. To help understand what a Neotoma object looks like, we can look at these minimum requirements:
ndb.siteswe only need to fill the columns “sitename”, “geog”, defining a (non-unique) place name and a spatial location.
siteidthen links to
ndb.collectionunitswhere we have the required field
handlemust be unique across the database, but this is a legacy constraint.
- A dataset is linked with the
collectionunitidand requires a
datasettypeidfrom the valid
- Any analysis unit has no required fields, only a link to the
- We require a link to the
ndb.constituentdatabases, so a valid
- We require a
value, which is linked through the
sampleidand tied to a
So, at minimum we have a single observation of a “taxon” from a collection unit at a site. This data gets entered into a constituent database as a particular dataset type. Thus we might consider:
- A grain of Taxus pollen, in a modern pollen dataset from a collection unit
HERMESat a site
Límni Zireliain Greece that is included in the European Pollen Database.
- An obervation of pH collected from collection unit
DIRTYfrom a roadside pond at a site called
Paul's Truck Stopin Canada that is included in the
It should be clear from these extremely simple objects that more metadata is needed to fully explain a data record, however, with the current constraints in Neotoma, this is all that is fundamentally required to add a record to Neotoma, and will be the fundamental unit of record for any DOI minted of that dataset.