Document Type

Technical Report

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Transportation -- Research -- Management, Data integration (Computer science), Software documentation


Data users involved in research and analysis typically invest a lot of e ort cleaning and manipu- lating their data as they work. Based on this observation, we have investigated two hypotheses: 1) reuse of datasets and procedures is difficult, and 2) the inability to reuse datasets and procedures is primarily due to a lack of documentation. To test these hypotheses we conducted structured interviews with data users asking questions regarding the struggles in their work pertaining to data, their documentation habits, and the importance of documentation. The interviews revealed that the data users rarely reused data or procedures, frequently encountered poor documentation, did not adequately document their own work, and unanimously agreed that documentation was important and that the absence of documentation was the primary cause for a lack of reuse. The results of these interviews have led us to develop a concept of a tool to help data users document and manage their work.


Portland State University Computer Science Department Technical Report #11-05, 2011.

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