News, Technical

PASTA’s date and time format quality check improved

PASTA’s date and time format quality check took a step out of the box this past month and used Python to assist in parsing preferred date and time formats and generating regular expression strings that are used for validating date and time data. The date and time format quality check initially relied on Java 8’s new date and time library for interpreting and validating data documented by the Ecological Metadata Language date and time schema, but inconsistencies in how Java 8 handled the ISO 8601 standard required an innovative approach to the problem. Instead of relying strictly on the Java date and time library to validate data, EDI software developers used Python’s Parsimonious package to parse and generate the preferred date and time format strings into Java 8 usable regular expressions. These Python generated “reg-exs” are used by Java to validate date and time data that are being uploaded to the EDI Data Repository. This out-of-the-box solution provides a unique, but simple solution for handling one of the most common data formats seen by EDI.


News, Technical

Associating Data Packages in the EDI Repository with Journal Article Citations

A new feature has been developed for the EDI Repository that supports the association of data packages in the repository with journal articles that cite them. For a given data package (as specified by its package identifier), a logged-in user of the EDI Data Portal can enter information on a web form about a journal article in cases where the data package or its associated data are cited by the article. Journal articles that used that dataset, but did not cite the dataset DOI, may also be included.  Only the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or the URL of the journal article needs to be entered, though a user may optionally include the article title and the journal title. This information is permanently stored within the EDI Repository (unless later deleted by the same logged-in user) as well as incorporated into the DOI metadata for a data package that is sent to DataCite. It is also displayed on the summary page for the data package in the EDI Data Portal, e.g.,, which has been used by three papers.