Data collection and annotation are critical parts of all aspects of science. However, it’s not always clear what data to collect. For example, say you go out in the field and harvest a plant for an experiment. You might note the time of day, the weather conditions, other nearby plants, the soil temperature, the presence of any pests etc. But where do you draw the line? Should you note the fact that you had garlic for lunch? Probably not. But what about the humidity at the time? Maybe, depending on your experiment.
In the context of microbiology sample collection, we call this information “metadata” and there are efforts to standardize the way this data is collected and reported within certain areas. See more detail on our “Metadata Standards” page.
However, microbiology sample collection in the built environment is faced with a number of variables that aren’t relevant to the more studied “natural environment”. To that end we’re asking the community (that’s you) to help us come up with an appropriate list of metadata that should be collected with built environment samples.
Leave feedback as comments on our “Metadata Standards” page.