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The external data framework was developed on the premise that all data is potentially useful. The framework is based on a graded approach that allows for varying levels of data quality depending upon the intended use of the data, the relative importance of any decisions to be made with the data and available resources. Using this approach allows OWQ to accept any and all existing data from external organizations and creates greater opportunity for collaboration.
Specific information regarding the data requirements and OWQ review process for each of the three levels is provided in following sections. In general, the ability of OWQ to use your data depends on the scientific rigor of the data set. Scientific rigor concerns the extent that scientific methods are used to collect and analyze data. It encompasses quality assurance, quality control, training, level of expertise and protocols.
Each data set submitted to OWQ through the external data framework will be reviewed and categorized into one of three levels based on its scientific rigor. Depending on the data quality and the number and types of quality assurance and quality control activities you build into your study, OWQ may be able to use your data in more than one program area. OWQ’s data quality review consists of three steps:
All organizations submitting data to OWQ through the External Data Framework will be notified of OWQ’s review results and the OWQ processes for which their data may be used. As an additional benefit, for any organization requesting it, OWQ will develop from its review a set of summary recommendations regarding the type of changes they may need to make in their monitoring plan in order to improve the quality of their data for higher level uses.