e-RA: the electronic Rothamsted Archive

Data quality in e-RA

The data in e-RA are subject to rigorous quality control procedures from the point of collection in the field to entry into the database. Full details of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) followed to ensure data quality control can be obtained from the e-RA Curators e-RA Curators or the Rothamsted Quality Assurance Manager .

Sample collection procedures

Standard procedures are followed for sample collection by combine harvester1, sample processing2, dealing with harvest samples and preparing them for analysis3, and details of additional samples from the Classical Experiments to be kept for archiving4.

Downloading met data

A Standard Operating Procedure is followed for downloading the meteorological data from Rothamsted and Woburn automatic weather stations5. The calculations of the derived variables for the meteorological data are done by standard formulae, embedded in excel spreadsheets.

Data checking procedure

To ensure quality control during data inputting, the data sets are typed on two separate occasions (double data entry). During the second typing (known as verification) the data values are compared with those typed on the earlier occasion, and any discrepancies are resolved before verification continues. This procedure also sets out how to handle situations where the written records are illegible or ambiguous. This procedure avoids visual checking of data, which can be very inaccurate. Once the data are entered into e-RA, they are independently back-checked against the original data sheets6.

See Rothamsted Research Quality Statement (2014).


Please note that the SOPs listed below are Rothamsted internal quality control documents.

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