A general data model for databases in experimental animal ecology

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Project-independent storage of data increases compatibility and comparability of ecological data-sets across studies. Here a data model is presented which describes a general data structure that can hold information from diverse animal ecological studies. The data model structurally reflects the three main aspects of ecological data sets by having modules for the biological object, the circumstances of the study and the results. Circumstances of a study include two modules: a module about project description and another about the sampling event. The Project module describes the project itself, the experimental design, and the properties of the study location. Details of data acquisition, including methodology, and any variables that change between sampling events are coded in the Sample module. The quantitative outcome of the study is handled in the Results module. Results are obtained from the evaluation of samples. Evaluation consists of classifying animals into homogenous groups, the 'lots', and recording relevant properties (response variables) of these lots. The Taxon module stores the main criteria of classifying animals into lots, their taxonomical identity. The logical data model expands these main modules by explaining their structure, giving the rationale for grouping data in a given way, and emphasising how data entities can be used flexibly in various research projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-283
Number of pages11
JournalActa Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Volume45
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1999

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Keywords

  • Animal ecology
  • Bio-informatics
  • Data model
  • Database
  • Experimental design
  • Sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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