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Hydrologic and Water Quality Models: Documentation and Reporting Procedures for Calibration, Validation, and Use

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 58(6): 1787-1797. (doi: 10.13031/trans.58.10707) @2015
Authors:   Dharmendra Saraswat, Jane R. Frankenberg, Naresh Pai, Srinivasulu Ale, Prasad Daggupati, Kyle R. Douglas-Mankin, Mohamed A. Youssef
Keywords:   Documentation, Model calibration, Model validation, Performance criteria, Performance measures, Reporting.

Abstract. The increasing use of hydrologic and water quality (H/WQ) models for technical, policy, and legal decision making calls for greater transparency in communicating the methods used and decisions made when using H/WQ models. The objectives of this article are to: (1) provide guidelines to properly document H/WQ model calibration, validation, and use, and (2) raise issues about how to improve model documentation and reproducibility, and encourage open discussion of these topics in the H/WQ modeling community. First, eight recommended elements of model documentation and reporting are identified and described, and good examples are provided for each. Next, steps to move the H/WQ modeling community toward a culture of full model reproducibility are discussed. The use by model practitioners of the consistent and comprehensive elements described herein for documentation and reporting of H/WQ model calibration, validation, and use will allow better interpretation of published modeling studies, improve the utility of modeling studies, and allow more systematic advancement of H/WQ models.

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