EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Proposal of a simple procedure to derive a more FAIR open data archive than a spreadsheet or a set of CSV files

Filippo Giadrossich1, Ilenia Murgia1,2, and Roberto Scotti1
Filippo Giadrossich et al.
  • 1Nuoro Forestry School, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy (
  • 2Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University (UNIVPM), 60131 Ancona, Italy

NuoroForestrySchool (a study center of the Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, Italy) has developed and published a ‘data documentation procedure’ (link to NFS-DDP) enabling the improvement of the dataset FAIRness that any data collector wishes to share as open data. Datasets are frequently shared as spreadsheet files. While this tool is very handy in data preparation and preliminary analysis, its structure and composition are not very effective for storing and sharing consolidated data, unless data structures are extremely simple. NFS-DDP takes in input a spreadsheet in which data are organized as relational tables, one per sheet, while four additional sheets contain metadata standardized according to the Dublin Core specifications. The procedure outputs an SQLite relational database (including data and metadata) and a pdf-file documenting the database structure and contents. A first example application of the proposed procedure was shared by Giadrossich et al. (2022) on the PANGEA repository, concerning experimental data of erosion in forest soil measured during artificial rainfall. The zip-archive that can be downloaded contains the experiment data and metadata processed by NFS-DDP. At the following link is available a test document where basic statistics are computed to show how NFS-DDProcedure facilitates the understanding and correct processing of the shared dataset. 

The NFS-DataDocumentationProcedure provides a simple solution for organizing and archiving data aiming to i) achieve a more FAIR archive, ii) exploit data consistency and comprehensibility of semantic connections in the relational database, ii) produce a report documenting the collection and organization of data, providing an effective and concise overview of the whole with all details at hand.

Giadrossich, F., Murgia, I., Scotti, R. (2022). Experiment of water runoff and soil erosion with and without forest canopy coverage under intense artificial rainfall. PANGAEA. DOI:10.1594/PANGAEA.943451

How to cite: Giadrossich, F., Murgia, I., and Scotti, R.: Proposal of a simple procedure to derive a more FAIR open data archive than a spreadsheet or a set of CSV files, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9852,, 2023.