The Don Gardner Legacy Database (DGLegacy) is a collection of images, publications, and pathogen-host relationships for pathogens of plants of Hawaii compiled based on the work of Don Gardner. For further information, contact email@example.com.
Various versions of the data are provided online (including the original DGLegacy database [as originally received by HEAR [non-normalized/unedited: Access]; the original data as normalized & edited [Paradox & Access]; and the most current version of the database [used to create the current version of the "Pathogens of plants of Hawaii" website: Paradox]) (see http://www.hear.org/pph/database/). Eventually, it is planned to also host an XML version of the data corresponding to the most recently-posted version of the website.
In fact, a data steward needs to be designated even if the database is not being updated, so it's the responsibility of someone in particular to maintain the "safety & well-being" of the live/current version.
At this point, the current contents of the database is available online. As(/if) data is appended to/amended in the database, the site can be automatically regenerated/replaced to incorporate updated information.
A properly-structured, normalized database should be created to appropriately* (*includes "relationally") store information destined to reside in a "legacy database." The data structure will vary depending on the information being stored, but thought should be given to compatibility with other properly-formatted data sets so the information will be as useful and as comparable to other data sets as possible(/practicable). It is important that someone who understands data structures be involved in the original development of the database. Otherwise, extremely time-consuming and expensive data conversions will be inevitable. Much of the strife of this process can be avoided by having the original data be collected in a properly-structured, normalized database.
In my opinion, the development of such a data structure sooner rather than later--during pre-"legacy" creation of the data set--is much preferred to the option of waiting (e.g., until a faculty member whose data is to be captured has retired, or is busy in "wrap-up" mode at the end of a career). For various reasons, including the availability of the data creators (who will be able to help ensure that the data structures accurately reflect the relationships among the data elements), and the ability to adapt the suitability of the data structure to the availability of evolving information resources.
29 August 2005 addendum: It would seem that each "legacy database" would need a customized structure, based on the requirements of the particular project; however, the databases should share certain field structures (e.g., species; publication references; etc.) in case it's desirable for them to be somehow combined. At the very least, a scheme to "crosswalk" the structures/data values among "legacy databases" should be created (again, if it's possible that someone will want to combine them someday for any reason).
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|This page was created on 22 August 2005 by PT, and was last updated on 21 March 2006 by PT.|