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Levels of service

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has a defined a levels of service model for the data sets that it distributes and supports. Within this model, “service" refers to the spectrum of data management activities and outputs provided by NSIDC in support of the data it manages. This model is an expression of the kinds of services that are provided and the level at which each service is provided. It enables NSIDC to appropriately tailor services based on the nature of the data set, the needs of the data producer and user communities, and the requirements and/or available resources of the funding agency.

The goals of the levels of service model are to:

  • Describe requirements for data stewardship activities performed to publish, distribute and support data sets at various levels of service.
  • Communicate the data stewardship and support expectations associated with a levels of service to data producers and data users.

Each data set landing page will have an icon indicating the level of service for that data set. Please note that older versions of data sets may not have an icon. NSIDC still provides at least a basic level of service for these older data sets.

Comparison of levels of service

Type Basic Standard Comprehensive

Data

  • File sizes, checksums, and number of files have been verified.
  • File names are descriptive and consistent.
  • File format and structure are appropriate for expected data use.
  • Key metadata -  Geospatial, temporal, and science variable information – are provided and well-defined.
  • Data can be accessed via all supported methods.
  • Data are backed up and versioned.
  • File sizes, checksums, and number of files have been verified.
  • File names are descriptive and consistent.
  • File format and structure are appropriate for expected data use.
  • Key metadata -  Geospatial, temporal, and science variable information – are provided and well-defined.
  • Data can be accessed via all supported methods.
  • Data are backed up and versioned.
    PLUS
  • Data usability has been verified in select data analysis tools.
  • File sizes, checksums, and number of files have been verified.
  • File names are descriptive and consistent.
  • File format and structure are appropriate for expected data use.
  • Key metadata -  Geospatial, temporal, and science variable information – are provided and well-defined.
  • Data can be accessed via all supported methods.
  • Data are backed up and versioned.
  • Data usability has been verified in select data analysis tools.
  • PLUS
  • Data customization services - subsetting, reformatting, and/or reprojection - are available for select data.

Documentation

  • Data discovery and usage metadata are available.
  • Links are provided to supporting documentation describing data content and methodologies.
  • Data set landing page and data citation, including Digital Object Identifier (DOI), are available.
  • Data discovery and usage metadata are available.
  • Links are provided to supporting documentation describing data content and methodologies.
  • Data set landing page and data citation, including Digital Object Identifier (DOI), are available.
    PLUS
  • User guide is provided with the following content: detailed descriptions of science variables, geospatial and temporal information, and data quality.
  • Data discovery and usage metadata are available.
  • Links are provided to supporting documentation describing data content and methodologies.
  • Data set landing page and data citation, including Digital Object Identifier (DOI), are available.
    PLUS
  • Comprehensive user guide is provided with the following content: detailed descriptions of science variables, geospatial and temporal information, data quality, and data methodologies.

User support

  • Assistance with data access.
  • Assistance with basic data usage questions and referral to external documentation or data provider for more complex questions.
  • Assistance with data access.
  • Assistance with basic data usage questions and referral to external documentation or data provider for more complex questions.
    PLUS
  • Assistance with data usage questions.
  • Guidance on use of data in select data analysis tools.
  • Assistance with data access.
  • Assistance with basic data usage questions and referral to external documentation or data provider for more complex questions.
    PLUS
  • Assistance with complex data usage and methodologies questions.
  • Guidance on use of data in select data analysis tools.
  • Guidance on use of data customization services for select data.