Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange

The report (123 p). of the 24th Session of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOCCommittee on International Oceanographic Data and Information (IODEis now available for download. Below you will find some highlights on the progress related to initiatives in ocean data usage


The programme "International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange" (IODE) of the "Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission" (IOC) of UNESCO was established in 1961. Its purpose is to enhance marine research, exploitation and development, by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating Member States, and by meeting the needs of users for data and information products.

The IOC Committee on IODE held its Twenty-fourth Session (IODE-XXIV) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between 28 and 31 March 2018. The Session was preceded by a 1-day scientific workshop on 27 March 2017. During the Session:

IODE-XXIV: Status of the IODE Network - Part 1: Data Management 

IOC Strategic Plan for Data and Information Management (2017-2021)

Ocean Data and Information System- Concept Paper 

The JCOMM/IODE Expert Team on Data Management Practices (ETDMP) focuses on adopting or developing principles and practices for the end-to-end data management processes, also including required data management best practices and standards for such subjects as metadata, common codes, vocabularies, etc. These data practices include tools and services developed under IODE projects such as:

Ocean Data Portal (ODP)

     ODINAFRICA (ODP regional node established in KMFRI, Kenya) - ODINAFRICA Portal 

Ocean Data Standards and Best Practices Project (ODSBP)

Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) - The OBIS data exploration portal provides enhanced access to data and statistics related to geographical areas, taxa, institutes and datasets, and could be used for national biodiversity reporting.

    OBIS manual (how to contribute data to OBIS and how to acess data from OBIS)

    IODE Pilot Project Expanding OBIS with environmental data (OBIS-ENV-DATA Pilot Project)

ETDMP also investigates and proposes adoption of internationally endorsed metadata standardsThe proposed standard published in a recent paper in Biodiversity Data Journal consists of a DarwinCore (Dwc) Event Core in combination with a DwC Occurrence Extension and a proposed enhancement to the DwC MeasurementOrFact Extension.

This new structure enables the linkage of measurements or facts - quantitative and qualitative properties - to both sampling events and species occurrences, and includes additional fields for property standardization (using the NERC Vocabulary). The standard also allows to organize, aggregate, and link ocean observation events using “event hierarchy”.

# The Committee invited IOC Member States to facilitate the flow of data to the World Ocean Database (WOD) and to use Data Object Identifiers (DOIs) for oceanographic profile data, as well as Creative Commons (CC) data use licenses. WOD continues to maintain and expand the world’s largest unrestricted access uniform format, quality controlled, ocean profile database.

# Organizations and expert communities in marine data and information management have been generating and publishing best practices, but, there was always a lack of an exclusively best practices repositoryOceanDataPractices (ODPr) is created to fill this niche and provide a platform for organizations to work on common standards and avoid duplication.

# The Committee urged Member States to encourage the deposit of works in OceanDocs - Repository of Ocean Publications or implementation of their own national/institutional e-repository with OceanDocs assistance.

# The grand vision for OceanKnowledge Platform Pilot Project is to build a discovery platform that would search across only the IODE data and information products, which range from information on individuals and documents to physico-chemical and biological data. OceanKnowledge plans to map linkages between these diverse sets of data and information. 

The underlying semantic technology, standards, interoperability, linked data and information exchange between content providers and their microdata layers requires innovative high tech solutions to pull together the information model.

# IODE OpenScienceDirectory provides access to useful scientific information needed in many of the world’s developing nations. All information about the included journal collections is available at the websites of the included programs (HINARI, AGORA, INASP-PERI, OARE, eIFL and eJDS).

Report on cooperation of IODE in the Research Data Alliance (RDA)Concerns of interest to the oceanographic data community are discussed among members of the RDA Marine Data Harmonization Interest Group (MDH IG) which is a science-domain focused interest group whose members are actively engaged in the management of marine data and metadata, and similar related activities within existing networks of marine data centers/repositories. 

READ FULL IOC Session Summary Report from IOC Committee on IODE Twenty-fourth Session to learn more about NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), formerly  the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), IODE Associate Data Unit (ADU) and other initiatives supporting oceanographic data management, usage and exchange.


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