Data can be contributed to ECL in any format, but needs to be documented with relevant information regarding the analytical data quality. Please confirm that your dataset follows the below requirements and suggestions. Incomplete datasets will take longer to process and publish.

The EarthChem Library conducts a review for quality of sample and analytical metadata, not a review of geochemical data. The author of the dataset is responsible for ensuring geochemical data submitted to PetDB is quality data.

Data can be submitted for long-term archiving with DOIs in the EarthChem Library (ECL) Repository. Please review the ECL General Guidelines and Policies before submitting a dataset.



To ensure your geochemical tephra data is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) please document the following:



You must provide information regarding how your data were collected. The method template can be registered with a DOI once to document your laboratory procedures. It can be reused in future work by citing the DOI in the data template.



To catalog metadata and receive unique identifiers for samples that you own, please submit sample metadata for registration and sample cataloging in SESAR.

If you are not registering samples in SESAR, you must include the sample template in your ECL data submission to provide sample metadata.



Data templates are meant to facilitate and standardize data reporting.

Before you submit your data to the EarthChem Library, please ensure that you have the relevant method and sample information, as outlined above.

T Y es No Y es No Register samples with IGSN Download Data Template Download Sample Template Do your samples have IGSNs? Submit your Method for DOI Download Method Template Does the method have a DOI? Create ORCID Profile Submit Data for DOI Create SESAR Account

File Format

  • If you are submitting tabular data it should be in an ECL template but must at the very least be in a .csv, .txt, or .xlsx file (not in .pdf, .docx, .jpeg, etc.). For more information on file formats please consult our file policies.
  • We strongly recommend the use of data submission templates. Templates are available for various data types such as bulk analysis (majors, traces, isotopes), mineral analysis (in-situ analysis), and melt inclusion analysis. If a template does not yet exist for your data type, you may contact us about creating one at

Data & Metadata

  • All analytes, units, and technique, instrument and laboratory  must be clearly stated and defined. Relevant standards, reference measurements, and additional information about instrument calibration should also be included when possible.
  • Every analyte must be linked to a sample with a  sample name and geospatial information (unless not applicable, i.e. experimental samples).
  • We strongly recommend use of IGSNs (International Geo Sample Number) as persistent identifiers to identify samples. Obtain IGSNs by registering samples in the System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR).

If submitting a compilation dataset, the ECL requires a reference sheet or tab with full citations of all referred publications.

The EarthChem Library offers multiple Data Submission Templates, the different workbooks have different fields customized to the material analyzed and the method used.

There are several tabs in this workbook to help catalog necessary metadata for our geochemical databases.

1. Mandatory fields are labeled in boldface. The mandatory fields are the minimum requirements for the data to be entered into our searchable databases. The Requirements for the Publication of Geochemical Data document describes why certain data are necessary.

2. Longitude/Latitude should be reported in decimal degrees ideally to at least four decimal places (if the precision is that good),
and negative values for South and West.

3. We strongly recommend using the EarthChem Vocabularies to complete your parameters, technique and unit names, as well as mineral abbreviations.

4. To manipulate data in Excel, the ‘Transpose’ option is useful to transpose rows to columns or vice versa. Use “Paste Special” then check the box for Transpose.

5. More info about IGSNs (International Geo Sample Number) can be obtained at

6. The Method Code is a numerical value assigned by you that links the column of measured values (Data Tab) with the Method information (Primary Analytical Metadata tab).

File TabDescription
Data SourceInformation to identify the dataset: title, author(s), creator (form-filler)
Mandatory fields: Title, Author(s), Abstract, Contact Info
SamplesInformation to identify, locate, and describe the samples, including IGSNs. Extra fields can be added.
Mandatory fields: Sample name, Latitude, Longitude, Elevation (or Location keywords), Lithology
DataThe measured geochemical data values go here, along with basic information about how that value was derived (what was the material analyzed and what was done to it before the measurement?)
Mandatory fields: Sample name, Analyzed Material, Parameter(s), Method Code(s)
Primary Analytical MetadataInformation about the analytical procedure and accuracy and reproducibility, including technique, laboratory, and reference sample information.
Mandatory fields: Method Code, Parameter, Technique, Instrument, Laboratory
Method-specific MetadataInformation about detection limit, total procedural blank, normalization, fractionation (if applicable). Additional fields can be added.


Your dataset title must contain concise and descriptive information about the content of the dataset (the “what” and “where”, for example “Gakkel Ridge basalt melt inclusion and mineral chemistry”). If submitting data from a publication, the dataset title may be the same as your publication title, but likely will be different since your ECL dataset will paint a different story than your full publication.


Your abstract must describe in full sentences the measurements, location, and purpose of the dataset. The abstract should be <250 words and different from your related publication abstract. Avoid abbreviations and acronyms. Include relevant keywords, such as the geographic area or cruise or field program name, for example “This dataset presents analyses of volatile, major, and trace elements for a suite of glasses and melt inclusions from the 85 degrees E segment of the ultra-slow spreading Gakkel Ridge”.

By default the release date is set to the date of submission. If this is not desirable, you may select a release date within the next two years. Every approved ECL dataset receives a DOI and is searchable in the ECL, even if the release date has not yet been reached. This allows investigators to submit datasets in compliance with data management policies of funding agencies and journals without releasing the actual data immediately.

Use of digital materials obtained from the EarthChem Library is licensed under varying Creative Commons licenses that can be selected by the data contributor. EarthChem Library strongly recommends use of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. The license that is applicable for a given dataset can be found on its landing page.


Contributors have 5  Creative Commons data file license options to choose from:
  • Include as much documentation as possible, taking particular care to include unique identifiers such as IGSNs, related publication DOIs, volcano numbers, cruise DOIs, etc.
  • We strongly encourage US-based researchers to link their NSF award numbers with their ECL datasets. This will allow tracking of datasets by Award number and show compliance with Data Management policies of funding agencies.
  • Make sure your uploaded file is in its final form – the EarthChem Library is a long-term repository, treat the dataset submission like a journal article submission. Once a file has been released for public access, it cannot be changed, instead you would have to publish a new version with a new DOI.
PetDB is a searchable database of published geochemical data for igneous and metamorphic rocks. If you are submitting a geochemical dataset to EarthChem Library derived from igneous and metamorphic rocks you may also suggest your dataset for inclusion in PetDB. PetDB only includes geochemical data that has been published. This includes data from peer-reviewed publications and data that has been published online through the minting of a dataset DOI (such as the ones provided by the EarthChem Library).
If an EarthChem Library dataset is suggested for PetDB by the contributor and has a related manuscript that is in preparation or under review, the dataset will be reviewed for inclusion in PetDB upon publication of the related manuscript. A dataset submitted to the EarthChem Library without a related publication is immediately available for consideration.

The ECL is a curated file repository, you will receive your dataset DOI only after your files and submission has been reviewed and accepted. Please keep in mind that this entire process can take up to two weeks. Complete datasets following all requirements are often published within a few business days.

Submit Data