Data sources and reporting



Most of the data used to identify and characterize seismogenic sources included in the Database come from published scientific literature. We use the following three forms of showing these data and acknowledging the source of information for each record of the Database:

  • References;
  • Pictures;
  • Commentaries.
Arguments used to justify a Database record are usually supported by reference to published work. These references may be from work presented in scientific journals, technical reports, books, research theses, geologic/tectonic maps or material from the Internet. In addition to the latest scientific findings, references include legacy literature as old as the 1600s. A reference gives the full details of the source item and should enable it to be traced. All work used and/or cited in any element that makes up a Database record appears in the references list. References help with a better understanding of the Database record and may provide an alternative solution or scientific view for that record. When a user queries any of the Database tables all relevant citations are automatically extracted and displayed. The first diagram shows the total number of references in each version of the Database. The second diagram shows the distribution of citations to published work among the Database records (e.g. the second bar from the left shows that 109 records of the Database cite a number of publications between 20-40).


A picture, as the Database intends it, is not just a figure. It is instead a digital document that may represent a variety of things, like maps, diagrams, photos, drawings or even text that cannot be transferred into a plain text file (e.g. a photo of an epigraph saying something about an earthquake). A picture is made up by the following three items: (1) a title that illustrates concisely but exhaustively the picture content; (2) a figure; (3) a caption that points out what is important in the figure with respect to the Database record. The diagram shows the total number of pictures in each version of the Database.


Each Database record has a section of explanatory text called "Commentary". Length and organization of these texts vary depending on the level of knowledge about the seismogenic source being described. Usually, these texts are split into a few sections. The first section introduces the regional seismotectonic context of the seismogenic source. Subesequent sections illustrate how each parameter was estimated and the choices that were made follow along with a discussion or a list of comments and open questions about the seismogenic source reliability and possible alternative solutions. To further enhance the commentary, a few summaries of published papers may be included, especially those appearing in journals that cannot be accessed easily or are written in a language different from English. The diagram shows the total number of text pages in each version of the Database.

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