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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find datasets?

Search for ZALF datasets with the DataCite Metadata Search or use the search option on this website.


How can I view the data?

Download the dataset as zip file (there are many free programs available to unpack zip files), unpack it. You will either get the data as XML format or CSV format. You can view both of them with calculation programs such as Excel.


Which decimal delimiter is used?

Data on this website use a period or a comma as decimal delimitor. XML files that have been uploaded before July 2014 still use comma as decimal delimiter.


How can I view CSV or DSV data in Excel?

CSV means comma separated values, this means columns of a text file are separated by commas. DSV documents contain columns separated by any delimiter.

CSV data can also be separated by other delimitors like tabulators.

Import your CSV file by selecting the 'Data' tab, then 'Import text file'. Import your CSV file by selecting the 'Data' tab, then 'Import text file'. 

All CSV columns will be inserted in only one Excel column. Select this first column. Then select 'Text in colums' and follow through the wizard. The delimiter can be comma or vertical bar (pipe) "|". If a different delimiter is used, type it into the box next to "others". After completion, each CSV column is in one seperate Excel column.

Control your language and decimal delimiter settings if the data seem wrong. Please contact us if you have any kind of troubles with viewing the data.


How can I view XML data?

Do not open large XML files in the browser. It is not easy to read them and your browser may fail. Open them with a calculation program such as Excel according to question "How can I view CSV or DSV data in Excel?".


How can I link to a specific dataset?

Link to a dataset by using http://dx.doi.org/ [add DOI here], for example like http://dx.doi.org/10.4228/ZALF.1998.265. This ensures that the dataset can be found even if the website name changes.


How can I cite a dataset?

The citation for each dataset is specified on its landing page under "Citation". The citation includes names of the authors, year of publication, title, publisher and digital object identifier of the dataset. In addition, you can add a link to the landing page via a DOI resolver like http://dx.doi.org/[add DOI here]. The citation of a dataset must appear in the resources of your product (e.g. publication).


What does the section "Rights" mean?

All datasets are licensed with a Creative Commons License.

CC-BY means when reusing the dataset you need to cite it properly and give credit to the author. CC-BY-NC-SA means you need to give credit to the author, you cannot use the data for commercial purposes and your new product which results from using the data must be licensed in the same way as the original dataset.


How can I learn about Creative Commons Licenses?

Find more about Creative Commons and open licemsing on http://creativecommons.org/ and in the open access book "A Practical Guide to Using Creative Commons Licences" by Till Kreutzer.


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