Information that has little or no documentation can be of little or no value. A lack of documentation can also lead to misuse or misinterpretation of data, the consequences of which could be far worse than not having used the data at all. It’s critical to properly document data for others to be able to re-use it effectively and appropriately. Specifically:
- Documentation helps people find data;
- Documentation helps people use data;
- Documentation helps people interpret data;
- Documentation captures institutional memory about the data; and
- Documentation can minimize repetitive questions from data users.
If you know something, say something. Please let us know if you’re interested in contributing to the documentation archive, or have any comments or suggestions related to our metadata or Data User Guide formats.