Could Sherlock Holmes Have Been a Good Geologist?/The Primary Document

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"-Mr. Mac, the more practical thing that you could do
in all your life is to lock yourself for three months
to read during twelve ours a day the annals of the crime".
Sherlock Holmes, in "The Valley of the Terror".

The main objective of all this process is to obtain a quality primary documentation, which keeps its informational value even after the publication of the results. When the primary documentation is made correctly, the data can become very useful in the case of a reevaluation of the studied area.

A good primary documentation will fulfil the conditions listed bellow:

a- UNIFORMITY; represented by the same investigator, the same analytical equipment, the same technology or work technique, etc. The use of

codified cards or any other codification method will be of great help to achieve uniformity, mainly in those occasions when more than one person works in the same place.

b‑ PRECISION; all the statistical treatment, experimental designs, etc., most be accomplished with the same degree of precision.

c‑ REPRODUCIBILITY; the observations collected in the primary documentation should answer to some description system that will allow its later verification. All the key samples should have a duplicated.

d‑ READABILITY AND EASY ACCESS; the primary documentation should be located in adequate places, duly ordered, to ease their consultation and conservation. The text, unless it is in microfilms, codified or typewritten, should be written with legible letter. It is expected that the primary documentation will be simple and objective, so that its study will be quick and effective.