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Science Blog from SDSS III

Where there’s a data release, there’s documentation!

3 May 2017, 19:27 UTC
Where there’s a data release, there’s documentation!
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Last week, more than a dozen SDSS IV-midables gathered in St Andrews, Scotland for a very important task: preparing the documentation for the Fourteenth SDSS Data Release. This information — from high-level overviews of the surveys to column-by-column description of the files — is one of the reasons SDSS is the most highly cited dataset in the history of astronomy. (Too strong? No, it’s actually true: Madrid & Macchetto 2006, 2009.)
The APOGEE-2 Team love documenting – Gail Zasowksi succeeds in breaking Jen Sobeck’s concentration.
SDSS holds one of these documentation workshops for every data release: e.g., DocuFeest (DR13), DocuLuau (DR12), DocuGras (DR10), and DocuFiesta (DR9). As the DR14 incarnation was being held in Scotland, it was dubbed the DocuCeilidh — “Ceilidh” is a Gaelic term for an evening full of traditional music, dancing, and storytelling.
The MaNGA documentation team (plus Bonnie) lay out their plans for the week.
Over four days, the DR14 DocuCeilidh team added or updated 180 webpages and rewrote more than 50 data models. There were 12 operating Slack channels, meters of emails, and almost non-stop discussion across the tables, even as people ducked in and out of the room to sit on numerous telecons and ...

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