Data archived at NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) data repositories are provided long-term, high-quality data stewardship that includes more services than just data ingest and storage.
However, each individual data product cannot and likely should not have all the same services applied. The typical goal is to apply the appropriate amount of services to a data product in order to optimize the data usability and access while also balancing the resources, time, and effort required.
The Level of Service model is designed to bring consistency to service determinations for data across all NASA ESDS data repositories and to improve communication of the data archival roles and responsibilities, making it easier for data producers and data users to know what to expect with respect to data stewardship of a given data product.
The term Level of Service refers to the quantity and types of services applied to data during archival and preservation. Services include the activities related to data ingest, storage, documentation, distribution, assurance of usability and discovery, user support, outreach, and preservation.
The process of determining what services to provide a data product has previously been carried out independently at each of the NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). Therefore, data producers interacting with different data repositories may not have received the same services for similar data products. This has led to data producer confusion and frustration and highlighted the need for creating a common model.
The primary goals of the Level of Service Model are to:
- Provide a framework for clearly communicating information about data stewardship at NASA ESDS data repositories.
- Use consistent terminology so that data producers interacting with multiple data repositories can understand the process no matter which data repository they interact with.
- Present clear definitions and service level descriptions so that all data producers and users can understand how services are assigned and have realistic expectations of data repository effort.
- List ESDS common data stewardship requirements by service level. Data repository-specific services are not included in the model and would need to be specified separately. Improve enterprise-wide transparency, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the data stewardship process.
How is Service Level Assigned?
Service levels are assigned based on two common data characteristics: the NASA data processing level and the data product category. The NASA data processing level identifies the nature of the data, from raw instrument data (Level 0) to gridded variable data products (Level 3) to merged data or model output (Level 4).
There are six NASA data product categories:
- Science Mission Products
- NASA-funded Data Products
- Facility Created Products
- NASA Research Community Products
- NASA Applied Science Products
- Non-NASA Research Community Products
More information about the data product categories can be found in the Level of Service model document (PDF).
The Level of Service Determination table below identifies which of three service levels (basic, standard, or comprehensive) apply to data of a given processing level and data category. The second table shows service level descriptions.
Table 1. Level of Service Determination
Service Level Guide for Data Producers
The intent of the ESDS Level of Service model is to specify the service requirements as opposed to suggesting how those requirements are to be met. This leaves room for data repository personnel to determine the best way for them to meet the requirements.
The Level of Service model covers services in six categories, including Ingest, Check, and Archive; Distribution and Access; Documentation; Discoverability and Usability; User Support and Outreach; and Preservation. The requirements directly relevant to data producers are summarized in Table 2. These lists demonstrate what you can expect a DAAC to do with respect to your data product as far as handling data, documenting data, and supporting data into the future.
The basic level requirements are designed to provide a minimal level of data stewardship that makes the data findable and accessible. Even at the basic level there is a high bar on data requirements that ensures appropriate data stewardship. The additional requirements for standard and comprehensive services build on these baseline requirements, increasing the quality of data care and support. These requirements apply only to upcoming/future datasets at this time. Requirements for already published and supported data have not yet been determined.
Table 2. Service Level Descriptions
|Standard Services Includes all Basic Services, plus:
|Comprehensive Services Includes all Basic and Standard Services, plus:
|User Support and Outreach