09 July 2012
Definition: Bringing together two or more datasets to make them appear as one larger dataset.
Explanation: If you take similar datasets and combine them, either by physically bringing them together or virtually making them available together, you have just synthesised the datasets into one large dataset.
Example: The Long Term Ecological Research Network Information Management Committee combines the metadata for all 26 sites into a single source. Temperature, for instance, is a variable tracked by all 26 sites. A person can search the metadata collection as if it was a giant database of temperature for all 26 sites.
Why it is important: Data synthesis allows many small data collections to be part of a larger, more useful collection.
Contributed by BES Information Manager Jonathan Walsh