How to Use the MOFEP Web Site (



MDC Resource Science is using the MOFEP Web Site web site to store (archive) finished datasets (data files) and metadata about them. Metadata is data that tells what the data in datasets means. Generally the datasets will be in MS Access, dBase, spreadsheets and well-formatted text files. If your data is in a different format, please try to use the “Export” function of your software to convert the dataset into one of the formats listed above. The MOFEP Web Site is easily searchable so that others may find your documents in the future.


Getting Started



1)      The first screen is the login, enter your UserID and password (initially the same as your UserID).



2)      The first time you log on you’ll be asked to select a new password.



3)      The MOFEP Web Site web site consists of a “tree” of projects on the Left-hand side (LHS), content in right-hand (RHS), and a top menu bar (TMB).

4)      As far as the MOFEP Web Site in concerned, everything is part of a “Project” (such as the Woody Vegetation project). Each “Project” has one or more “Studies” (for example, Canopy Mapping, Dens, Overstory, etc.). Each “Study” has one or more “Datasets” (for example, the 1994-95 overstory trees data and the 1997-98 overstory trees data). Each “Dataset” is the actual rows and columns of data (in a database, hopefully).  Each “Dataset” has “Metadata” (which tells what the rows and columns mean).

5)      Each Project also has folders under it for “Annual Reports”, “Publications”, “Researchers”, “Studies” and “Workplans”. There are also general folders of (all) ”, “Publications”, “Researchers”, and “Workplans”, and folders of “Maps”, “Jobs” and “Admin Tools”.





6)      To edit a Project description, navigate to it, change it and “Save”

a)      Edit the date(s), grant number (if known) abstract, and keywords.

b)      Always click “Save” if you want to save your work.

Note: Every Project has an “Owner”. This is the person who creates the Project (on the web site).




7)      Each Project has one “owner” (the person most responsible for the project and keeping its data and metadata up to date) but the “owner” can delegate (or try to) some of the responsibility to others by giving them permissions to do certain tasks.

8)      On the Project page click on the golden key to the right of the project name to bring up the permissions page (or the “Project Profile” to use proper computer terminology).



9)      The far right column lists all registered the MOFEP Web Site users.  Click on the name of the person you wish to give permissions to your project and then click on the “Assign” button. This will add them to the “Assigned” column in the middle of the page. (The project “owner” always appears in the Assigned column with an asterisk by their name.)

10)  To remove a person from the assigned column, highlight their name and click the “Remove” button. (This only removes them from this project, not from the overall list.)

11)  Researchers who you add to the “Assigned” column still don’t have permission to do anything yet. To give them specific permissions, highlight their name in the Assigned column. Their name will also appear in the “Name” box in the middle of the page.

12)  Click the check boxes for each type of permission you want to give them and then click the Save button. Types of permission are:

a)      Add: can add studies, datasets, etc. to the project.

b)      Edit: can edit studies, datasets, etc. to the project.

c)      Delete: can delete studies, datasets, etc. to the project. Be careful with this one!

d)      Upload: can upload datasets to the web site.

e)      Download: can download datasets from the web site (i.e. share\use the data).

f)        Assign: can assign others permissions.

g)      MetaData: can add\edit the metadata.

h)      Print: can print the metadata.





13)  Each Project has a list of researchers assigned to it. To Assign\Unassign “Researchers” to a project, navigate to the Project using either TMB or LHS.

a)      To assign click, select the names, and “Save”.

b)      To unassign click, select the names, and “Remove”.



Note: “Removing” researchers drops them from the list associated with a project. It doesn’t really delete them.





14)  Adding studies to a Project.

a)      Go to the Studies page for that Project (using LHS or TMB).



b)      Use the  button to add a Study. ( to delete one.)

c)      Fill in name, dates, description, methods and “Save”.



15)  To edit a Study description, navigate to it, change it and “Save”.





16)  Adding a dataset

a)      Navigate to the list of Studies for the Project (using RHS or TMB)

b)      Click on “Datasets” for the right Study.

c)      Use the  button to add a Dataset description. ( to delete one.)



d)      Fill in the actual file name, format, dates, # of observations, header (yes\no, e.g. plot header for plot level data), and “Save”.



17)  To edit a Dataset description, navigate to it, change it and “Save”.


Uploading Data




18)  Uploading a dataset

a)      At the Datasets list for a Study list for the Project, click on “Upload”. (Note: once you’ve uploaded this will show the upload date. You can always re-upload if you make changes in the actual dataset.)











a)      Click on “Browse” and find the dataset. Make sure the name matches the name you told it when describing it. Enter any comments (could be protocols, special things) about this file.





b)      Click on the “Upload” button.

c)      Wait. Go get some coffee. When it’s done, it’ll tell you “Successful” in red letters at the bottom of the screen.



d)      Now the data is there!


Adding Metadata


19)  There are two paths for adding metadata to (about) a dataset:

a)      If you uploaded an “automatic” data file, a MS Access or dBase file (well formatted text files and spreadsheets will soon be added to this list), the web site will automatically “convert” it for you (read it, fill in the available metadata, rewrite the file in XML, and keep the original)



i)        On the Datasets page (for the correct Study for the correct Project), click on the convert icon () for the correct Dataset.



ii)       Wait. Go get some coffee. When it’s done, it’ll tell you “No errors” on the screen. Click “Continue”.



iii)     To view\edit the metadata, click on “Metadata” for the dataset. Select the “table” (MS Access table, dBase file) you want to view.



iv)     To view the data itself, click on the view data icon () for the dataset. Select the “table” (MS Access table, dBase file) to view.

b)      If you uploaded a manual file (not in MS Access or dBase), you’ll have to manually type in field names, etc. (see below)



Editing\Adding Metadata


20)  There are two paths:

a)      If you uploaded\converted a MS Access or dBase file, you can only change the field definitions, codes (the rest is correct, right out of the file).

i)        On the Datasets page (for the correct Study for the correct Project), click on “Metadata” for the correct Dataset.

ii)       Select the “table” (MS Access table, dBase file) (as above).



iii)     Click on the field you want to edit.

iv)     Make changes to definition, codes, and click save. Note: “Code File Name” is a poorly named way of documenting “links” (e.g. “species code” field to “species list” table).

b)      If you uploaded file not in MS Access or dBase, manually type in field names, etc.



i)        Click on “metadata” for the dataset (for the study for the project). (Note: these types of files don’t have a convert icon ()!)



ii)       You will need to enter fields, etc. one at a time


Note: For a “manual” file, you can also copy metadata from another “manual” file that you have already uploaded and documented.



(1)   Use the  button to add field

(2)   Use  to delete fields (Note: this “deletes” them from the metadata, NOT from the actual dataset!)

iii)     Also can move fields up and down with the arrows at the right side of the metadata.


Viewing\Printing Metadata



21)  To view or print all the metadata from your project, navigate to the main project page using the folders and icons on the LHS. Click on the “Print” button at the bottom of the page.



22)  In the blue window that comes up, select the parts of the metadata that you wish to see\print (or click on “Select All” to click all the boxes at once). Then click on “Show”.



23)  This will bring up a printable screen with the metadata. You can also cut and paste from this screen into Word.




Adding Publications


24)  Pubs are associated with one or more Projects.



a)      Navigate to the Pubs area for a project (RHS or TB). Use the  button to add a new Pub.



b)      Fill in the biblio info and “Save”.

25)  To assign an existing Pub to a Project, click (), select the Pub(s), and “Save”.



a)      To unassign (), select the Pubs, and “Remove. Note: this doesn’t really delete the Pub, just unassigns it to that Project.


Researcher Information


26)  Navigate to the Researcher area for a project (RHS or TB)



a)      Make changes to personal info (you can only do this for yourself) and

b)      Click “Save”.


Annual Reports


27)  Navigate to the Annual Reports area for a project (RHS or TB). The MOFEP coordinator may also request annual reports in other formats.



a)      Use the  button to add a new report.



b)      Click on an old report to Edit.

c)      Click “Save” when done.


Work Plans


28)  Navigate to the Work Plans area for a project (RHS or TB). “Work plans” are simply a place to tell the Web site what studies (and datasets) you plan to do in the future and to check them off as you complete them.



a)      Use the  button to add a new line.



b)      Click on an old report to Edit.

Click “Save” when done.



Assign                To add a publication or researcher to a Project.

Automatic file    A file that is in a format that can be converted.

Convert              Automatically open a data file, extract existing metadata, and translate it into MDCMeta’s language.

Datasets            The physical data in electronic form recorded by each Researcher during the lifetime of a Study.

LHS                   Left hand side of the MDCMeta program, the tree of projects and studies.

In-box                Folder on the SAN to which data is moved before processing.

Manual file        A file that is in a format that cannot be converted. Metadata must be entered manually.

Metadata           The individual variable definitions and range of values within a Dataset.

Password           A secret code, 6-8 characters long, unique to each researcher, used to login to the system.

PIs                      Researchers

Projects              A general area of research.

Project group     General heading\subheading to which a Project belongs.

Publications       Articles, publications, reports and/or books pertaining to a specific Project.

Researchers      Project owners or administrators.

RHS                   Right hand side of the MDCMeta program, the main body of the screen.

SAN                   Storage Area Network computer server where MDCMeta stores data

Studies               A specific area of research within a Project.

TMB                  Top menu bar of the MDCMeta program.

Unassign            To remove a publication or researcher from a Project. This does not delete the publication or researcher.

Upload               To copy a file from a Researchers's computer to the MDCMeta server (SAN)

UserID               A pre-assigned system name for a researcher.