--What Is BioQUEST?
|-- Biometrics
|--Data Collection and
|--Environmental Decision
|Construction Kit
|--Isolated Heart
|--Sequence It!


--First Review
--Extended Learning
--Software Materials
--Support Materials

Data Collection and Organization

 Frank Price (Hamilton College)
Screen Shots | What's New | System Requirements

The Data Collection and Organization (DC&O) text module is designed to give you background and experience with some useful, commercially available, general-purpose software tools. The aim is to discuss types of generic software that virtually every well-equipped scientist already needs, not programs used only by specific subdisciplines. The generic software discussed includes: spreadsheets, database programs, statistics packages, graphics programs, and word processors.

DC&O includes several examples of the use of these tools in biology. These include "An Embryological Example with Tips and Tricks" and the complete text and dataset of a classic evolutionary study published in 1899 by Hermon Bumpus ("The Elimination of the Unfit as Illustrated by the Introduced Sparrow, Passer domesticus"). The Bumpus data can be used to investigate problems in natural selection.


Screen Shots

The table above is an illustration from "An Embryological Example with Tips and Tricks" showing data entered into a statistical package. Data from over 500 sites in one embryo were entered. A scatterplot of the values in the two "Total" columns allowed the user to identify several instances of incorrectly entered data.

The same data could be entered into a spreadsheet rather than a statistical package for easier data entry and initial validation.

Numbers of unlabeled and labeled cells from each sample site were entered into a section of the spreadsheet and formulas to compute summary totals and proliferation indices were defined. The "fill-down" command was used to enter repetitive data in columns such as Date, Location, and Site. Formatting the display with blank space between sample sites made printed copies easier to read.

What's New?

The complete dataset from the paper by Hermon Bumpus is now available as separate data files, in three different formats (JMP, Excel, and text).


System Requirements

This document is available in Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word for Macintosh version 5.1, and Microsoft Word for Windows version 6 format. To access the PDF file you must install the Acrobat Reader (versions for Macintosh and Windows are included on the CD).

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