Describe Data and Models

The HydroShare resource landing page provides a template for describing data and models as thoroughly as possible. The following tutorial provides some best practices for filling in the resource landing page. The resource used in this example contains data that were used to generate the results for the journal publication: An urban observatory for quantifying phosphorus and suspended solid loads in combined natural and stormwater conveyances at

Fill in the required fields 

To ensure the resource is easily understood by others and can be made public, the required fields must be filled out. The resource must contain content, as well as a completed title, abstract, and keywords. Some metadata best practices for title, abstract, keywords, and content files are described below.

First, ensure you are in edit mode by clicking on the  icon in the top right corner of the resource landing page to edit the metadata. At any point you can switch from edit mode to preview mode by clicking the   icon.

  • Title: The title should be a very condensed abstract, it should describe the content of the resource. The title may include the data type, location of collection, and date range of collection.

Example: Grab Sample Data for the Northwest Field Canal in Logan, UT, USA

  • Abstract: The abstract should put the content of the resource in context, including the rationale for the data collection or modeling and should include a specific description of the content files included in the resource. The Abstract should include a description of the resource content and organization to help a potential user navigate the various files included. Additional details may be added to the Abstract to describe the methods of data creation - i.e., what you did, why you did it, how you did it, when and where you did it, etc. 

Example: This resource includes water quality samples collected within the Northwest Field Canal, located in Logan, UT and from stormwater outfalls that drain to the canal. These data were collected to with the purpose of developing surrogate relationships between in situ parameters and total suspended solids (TSS) and to determine spatial loading patterns in the drainage. Samples were collected manually and via an ISCO 3700 automated sampler. These samples were then analyzed for TSS), total phosphorus (TP), and total dissolved phosphorus (TDP). Methods implemented for sample collection and analysis are described within the resource.

  • Keywords: Keywords facilitate data discovery and should be selected to be descriptive and thorough for the associated data. Consider what the data represent, the variables included in the dataset, how the data were generated, and the geographic area that they represent. Unique acronym-like keywords may also be used similar to the way hashtags are used in some social media. For example, the term “iUTAH” is unique to a specific Utah research project named “iUTAH.” Use of this as a keyword facilitates discovery of resources associated with the iUTAH project.

Example: Northwest Field Canal,  Suspended Solids, Utah Logan, Water Quality,  Urban Stormwater, Phosphorus

  • Files: File names should be descriptive and meaningful. Where many files are included in a resource, a README file that describes the content and/or organization of each file or the resource as a whole can be very useful in helping others understand the content of the resource. For HydroShare to render the README file on the Resource Landing page, like shown below, it must be in Markdown formatting. For more information, see:

Example: The data can be organized into folders divided by the data types, GIS_Data, Supplemental_Data, TSS_TP_TDP Sample Data, a pdf explaining the methods, and a for additional detail on the content and organization of the files and folders.

Fill in the recommended fields 

Although only title, keywords, abstract, and content are required to make a resource public, we recommend that you fill out as much as possible so it can be interpreted best by others.

Spatial and Temporal Coverage: These are optional metadata and should be used if the data or model in the resource has a geospatial “footprint” or location or a temporal component/time window. Including appropriate spatial and temporal coverage metadata can help others discover your data if they are searching within a specific geographic location or over a specific time period.

There are multiple ways to set the spatial coverage of a resource.

  1. Manually fill in the coordinates
  2. Use the map to place a point or box
  3. Alternatively, you can add content files to your resource that have spatial coverage information (e.g., geographic feature, geographic raster, multidimensional, etc.) and then click the button to set the coverage from the content files.

Additional Metadata

The Additional Metadata panel allows for Name and Value pairs. For instance, if you wanted to define some terms in your data or methods.


The References sections allows you to link to sources of a data and/or to content related to the data.


If the data in your resource was derived from another source or dataset, you can cite or acknowledge it in the References section under Sources. Click on the plus sign next to "Sources" and then add a full text citation to the original content, a web link, or text describing the source of the data. For example, you may want to include a link to another HydroShare resource which this data was originally derived from.

Related Resources

HydroShare also allows you to link your HydroShare data with related content, or resources. For example, you may want to record a relationship between the dataset you have created in HydroShare and a journal paper that uses or cites that dataset. Each relationship is a text field that may hold a link (expressed as a URL) or full reference information for related content.  Where possible, the relationship field should not be limited to only a URL, but should hold the full bibliographic information for the referenced content. HydroShare also allows you to specify the type of relationship you want to store. See the example of the related resource below, which links an associated paper publication using the relation type: “The content of this resource serves as the data for.”


Use the credits section to include Funding Agencies and Contributors. Funding Agencies can be any group, agency, or organization that provided funding for the research related to the resource data. Contributors are people or organizations that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource’s content but are not considered authors.


Contributors are those people and organizations that worked on or supported efforts for the creation of the resource's content but are not authors.

For more details: Check out the Guide for Data Authors and Publishers