A Template for Data Documentation Files

Below is the November 2010 update that is currently in use.


NAME: A descriptive name for the dataset file (.txt or .dat.txt)
TYPE: e.g., Random sample, Census, Time series, Designed experiment,...
SIZE: Number of observations, number of variables
ARTICLE TITLE: Title of the article, when appropriate

DESCRIPTIVE ABSTRACT:
A brief (no more than 10 lines) description of the dataset.

SOURCES:
Acknowledge any published data sources or give brief description of origins of the data.

VARIABLE DESCRIPTIONS:
Provide a "key" for reading the ASCII data file. Explain how the data is delimited (tab, comma, space, etc.),any variable codings (including missing values) and/or measurement units.

SPECIAL NOTES:
Describe any special circumstances which should be brought to the attention of persons attempting to analyze the data.

STORY BEHIND THE DATA:
A brief narrative describing the origins of the data and the reasons they were collected. This is a good place to supply any background needed to understand the underlying variables, describe relevant issues, and suggest questions which might be of interest. This and the next section should be fairly concise. If you find them getting too long -- it's time to write a full "Datasets" article!

PEDAGOGICAL NOTES:
Suggest some ways an instructor might use the data in class. Describe any interesting features and/or statistical concepts which are well illustrated.

REFERENCES:
Include any references not in the SOURCES section.

SUBMITTED BY:
Name
Affiliation
Surface address
e-mail address

(This gives you credit and provides a source for instructors who find the data useful to get clarifications if needed.)


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