electronic submission of data



 BAA VSS database

  data input

  primary format

  primary format example

  Excel spreadsheet

  data field definitions

  data conversion

  input software

  observer codes


If you wish to submit data in electronic format, you have several options. But whichever you choose, you will have to give your files names. This may seem a trivial subject, but can make the difference between the input process running smoothly and risking loosing your data!

If - and only if - you submit observations monthly then create file names by adding the month and year to your observer code. For example, Gary Poyner's code is XP, so his files will have names of the form XPJAN05, XPFEB05, XPMAR05, etc...

In all other cases please name your files based on your observer code and a simple serial number, regardless of year. Please add 1000 to the year (since I already have files from some of you with serial number type names). For exanple, an observer with code XYZ would submit files with names XYZ1001, XYZ1002, XYZ1003 etc... You are responsible for generating correct file names and serial numbers.

This simple procedure offers these advantages: First, the filename is concise and unique. Second, it is immediately apparent who the data are from. Third, it is fairly easy to spot if one file has failed to arrive.

Please do not use any other form of filename. Other names might look sensible to you but risk confusion at this end.

I appreciate that sometimes you find an error in a file, and want to resubmit the corrected version. In this case, please resubmit the whole file, and add A onto the end of the name. For example, a corrected version of XYZ1002 would be XYZ1002A.

Right, back to how to create the files in the first place. Choose one of the following options:

1. I want to submit data as fully checked and processed files. This is the ideal option, mainly because it gaurantees the data are in the correct format and any errors or problems are dealt with by the person best suited to correct them - i.e. the observer! It also reduces the amount of work at my end. This option requires installation the database input software on your computer. Read more...

2. I want to enter data into the Excel spreadsheet, but do not wish to install the full input software on my computer. The Excel spreadsheet has proved quite popular, but is not suitable for entering archive observations. It is possible to submit Excel spreadsheets via email, but it would help me considerably if you ran the data through the conversion program first to generate a primary format, plain text, file, and submitted that instead. Read more...

3. I want to enter data in the original (plain text file) format, but do not wish to install the full input software on my computer. The original format is still perfectly acceptable, and is the one suitable for the entering of archive data. Read more...

4. Certain observers submit data in other formats. This is by prior arrangement with me - I do not wish to encourage any more non-standard formats!