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Method is a systematic procedure for a particular information manipulation process that is needed as a part of an assessment work. Typically, a method is a "how-to-do" instruction to calculate a variable; it is used if the dependencies of the variable are unknown until an assessment is executed. In other words, methods can be used to calculate variables within assessments in situations where it is not practical or possible to calculate variables outside an assessment. In these cases, the method page is used within an assessment (e.g. in the dependencies slot) as if it was the variable that it is used to calculate. Method is the basic building block for describing the assessment work (not reality, like the other universal objects). Some methods can be about managing other methods.

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What is a structure for a method such that it

  • applies to any method that may be needed in any assessment work,
  • enables a detailed enough description so that the work can be performed based on it,
  • complies with the structure of the universal objects.


Methods are typically ovariables that contain case-specific dependencies. Their names are given in the dependencies, but the output cannot be calculated until the method is used in some assessment where the outputs of these case-specific ovariables are known.

In contrast, methods commonly contain generic inputs, such as emission or unit factors, for calculating the output. These inputs are given in the Rationale/Input of the method.

The attributes of a method.
Attribute Subattribute Comments
Name An identifier
  • Purpose
  • Boundaries
Subattributes are not often needed as titles, because texts are short.
  • Procedure: An example R code for using the ovariable, or other detailed instructions for the actual work.
  • Management: Instructions, tools, or software that make the actual work easier.

Subattributes are not often needed as titles, because texts are short.

  • Input: Description of inputs (causal parents) that must be given when the method is used.
  • Output: Description of output, e.g. units and formats used.
  • Data: Typically a data table for e.g. unit factors and other inputs needed by the method ovariable.
  • Calculations: R code for defining the ovariable.
  • Rationale: why the presented procedure fulfills the purpose.

See also


Related files