Thematic Standardization

Data in the EDI Repository are thematically and structurally diverse. Converting them into standardized formats, according to theme, facilitates interoperability and reuse.

Thematic standardization is a cooperative effort to develop and support a design pattern which serves as a standardized intermediary between raw "Level-0" data and synthesis research "Level-2" data. Collaborative effort to build tools that support the creation and use of the intermediate "Level-1" datasets, helps to incentivize the extra effort of reformatting and increase the likelihood of data reuse.

EDI currently has two thematic standardization projects: ecocomDP and hymetDP.


ecocomDP is a dataset design pattern and R package for ecological community data. The motivation and effort that led to its creation is documented in O'Brien et al. 2021. Details on creating and using ecocomDP datasets can be found on the ecocomDP R package webpage. EDI is also creating a L2 data product from L1 ecocomDP data: a Darwin Core Archive suitable for contribution to GBIF.


hymetDP is a dataset design pattern and R package for hydrological and meteorological data. The design pattern is based on the CUAHSI Community Observations Data Model Version 1.1 design specifications. The R package, which is under development, is largely based off of the framework laid out by the ecocomDP project.

Discovering thematic standardization data

EDI Data Portal

Data packages from thematic standardization projects can be discovered from the EDI Data Portal Search Engine through the Advanced Search interface. From the Subject tab, select the Keywords only radio button, and search for the name of the data pattern (i.e. "ecocomDP", "hymetDP"). Thematic Standardization data packages will always have the name of their design pattern as a keyword, which allows this type of searching.

A similar keyword search can be used to discover Darwin Core versions of the ecocomDP data packages. Instead of the name of the data pattern, search for "Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) Event Core" (including the double quotes).

R Packages

The ecocomDP and hymetDP R packages have a built-in function, search_data(), to search across an index of existing standardized data packages from within an R environment.