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The Ag Data Commons is migrating

The Ag Data Commons is migrating to a new institutional portal on Figshare. The current system is available for search and download only. The new platform is open for submission with assistance from Ag Data Commons curators. Please contact NAL-ADC-Curator@usda.gov, if you need to publish or update your datasets.

This blank template can be used to manually create a data dictionary. Use one row for each data element, and do not leave rows, columns, or cells blank. Add rows and columns as necessary, and enter n/a if nothing applies. See below for an explanation of column headers.

Use the following link to access a blank template to download and customize:

Blank Template

This template is read-only. Please copy the information into your own spreadsheet to create your data dictionary.

Explanation of column headers:

  • Spreadsheet tab​: If your spreadsheet has multiple tabs, identify the tab you are describing.

  • Element or value display name​: What is the name used in your data file?

  • Description​: Write a brief definition, stated in the singular, that could stand alone from other element definitions.

  • Data type​: For example, indicate varchar, integer, date, etc.

  • Character length​: For example, the maximum length for Excel is 255, so indicate 255 or less.

  • Acceptable values​: List all acceptable values, separated by pipes ( | ). This may be a field name or a range of values.

  • Required?​: Enter y/n to indicate whether this field is required.

  • Accepts null value?​: This required to run calculations on your data. Indicate y/n if null value is allowable.

    • A note on null values: Null is the absence of a recorded value for a field. A null value differs from a value of zero in that zero may represent the measure of an attribute, while a null value indicates that no measurement has been taken.

Blank Template (Test)