Global Change Research Program
Change Research in the USDA Forest Service
Data Quality Assessment
FSGCRP Data quality assessment activities ensure that the data
produced for the program are of known and documented quality. It
is the goal of data quality assessment to ensure that all environmentally
related measurements may be carried out such that uncertainty statements
can be made. The objectives of data quality assessment are:
- To document data quality through statistically supported quantitative
and qualitative assessments.
- To ensure comparability of data collection for field and laboratory
procedures within and between research projects.
- To establish criteria for the development and evaluation of
models, historical databases, and socioeconomic assessments.
The essential features of data quality assessment consist of quality
management, quality assurance, and quality control. Quality management
establishes program-wide policies and procedures that ensure adequate
documentation and data quality for all field, analytical, and modeling
activities. Quality assurance (QA) implements these policies by
establishing and monitoring quality control (QC) procedures including
the identification of variability and follow-up control recommendations
to improve the accuracy and precision of measurements. QC procedures
are implemented by scientists within each project and are designed
to produce a sustained reduction of error and document systematic
error within statistically defined limits. All three activities
comprise the FSGCRP total quality management philosophy in which
management policies, research planning, and operating methodology
are fully integrated within the national program.
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