Metadata Standards

A Soil Metagenomics Subcommittee of the Terragenome Initiative recommended to the Genomics Standards Consortium (GSC) data types and standards appropriate for describing soil features relevant to soil biology. This recommendation has been accepted and is available as a Google spreadsheet (access with computers and/or mobil devices). The Ribosomal Database Project has developed a MiMARKS GoogleSheet to help you manage the metadata for your samples. Follow the directions at to

  1. copy the sheet,
  2. choose your environmental package,
  3. enter your metadata (more items may be added to fit your particular research needs),
  4. store/share with collaborators (if you so choose), and
  5. export as WebIN or Sequin text files for submission to databases.

To cite the publication describing the development of the Soil Metadata use:

Cole, James R., David D. Myrold, Cindy H. Nakatsu, Phillip R. Owens, George Kowalchuk, Christoph Tebbe, and James M. Tiedje. (2010). Development of Soil Metadata Standards for International DNA Sequence Databases. 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Soil Solutions for a Changing World, 1-6 August, Brisbane, Australia.

Prior to the above implementation, the following excel data entry TEMPLATE was (and is) provided for download (right click to “Save As” or click to “Open With” and complete dialog box options).

Subcommittee members: George Kowalchuk (Netherlands Institute of Ecology and Free University of Amsterdam), David Myrold (Oregon State University, Crop and Soil Sciences), Cindy Nakatsu (Purdue University, Agriculture/Agronomy), Dawn Field (Oxford Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council), Christoph Tebbe (Federal Agricultural Research Centre, Institute of Agroecology), James Tiedje (Michigan State University, Center for Microbial Ecology), and James Cole (Michigan State University, CME’s Ribosomal Database Project).

The survey results upon which this data entry template was based can be found here:

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