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Aquanews Volume 15, Number 1/ Winter 2000
Central Database
...from p.1
better able to interpret and utilize data sets and benefit from related publications and correspondence with researchers.

Has Database use over the Internet been monitored? If so, what do the user statistics reveal?

We monitor the visits to the website and we can monitor, to some extent, where users go on the website, but it's hard to know how much the data themselves are actually being used. At the moment, we don't categorize website "hits," but I suspect that members of the research community primarily use the Database. The Database still provides an empirical benchmark for producers, but it remains difficult to interpret given, for example, the stochastic variability that exists between replicates for a similar treatment.
Sample query results of fish weight vs. time from a study conducted at the
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
methods is near completion and will soon be added to the interface.

Query results can be viewed on the screen or downloaded as tab-delimited text files. At present, queries over the Internet can be time consuming due to the size of certain raw data sets. Our plan is to create statistical summaries of these data sets that combine treatment replicates, thus reducing query time by reducing the size of the files being queried.

What if a user wanted to query the entire Database? Does a master file exist that covers all the parameters for all the experiments across all sites?

No. Multiple queries would have to be run if the question of interest involved multiple parameters, multiple sites, etc. The constraint of querying such a large file over the Internet presents an argument against serving a master file that is integrated across all data for all sites. However, that will change as we develop statistical summaries that are smaller and more manageable than raw data,
making the possibility of serving a master file of summary statistics over the Internet a feasible alternative. In the meantime, a master file containing all the data for all the sites can be generated by the Database Manager at the request of the Database user.

Are the data available only on the website or is the Database available on other media?

The data reside in a relational database in Microsoft Access and can be provided on floppy disks or zip disks depending on the size of the data set requested by the user.
Throughout the website, Database users
are encouraged to contact the Database
Manager with specific questions. On average, I get about four requests per month, which fall under varied headings including pond management questions, publication ordering, related aquaculture software, and inquiries regarding the availability of data sets for intensively fed production systems.

How can the data be queried?

Publications can be searched by keyword, author, year, site, and publication type. The data themselves can be searched by site, date, species, and data type. An additional data search constraint based on fish production

PD/A CRSP Central Database Manager Doug Ernst