International Oceanographic and Information Data Exchange

The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) was established in 1961 with an aim 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.” This is underpinned by a number of objectives, including supporting the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), developing best practice for management of data and narrowing the ‘digital divide’ between developing and developed countries. The UK has been a very active participant in IODE, particularly via the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), contributing both to its implementation and strategic development. The UK has also Chaired the IODE, through Dr Nicholas Flemming (1990, 1992) and Dr Lesley Rickards (2005, 2007).

 

The governance of the IOC IODE is set out as:

  • IOC Committee on IODE (UK representative at the last meeting was the Head of the BODC who, at the time was Dr Graham Allen, but is now TBC)
  • IODE Management Group (UK representative is Matthew Palmer as the Co-Chair of the International Quality Controlled Ocean Database (IQuOD) project)
  • IODE Network for the coordination of data and information management at the national level (Figure below)
  • IODE Steering Groups for various projects (Table below)

An Inter-sessional Working Group to propose a strategy on ocean data and information steward ship for the UN Ocean Decade (IWG-SODIS) was formed at the 25th meeting, where the UK contact, Lauren Weatherdon (UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge), will contribute.

The IODE has formed a working group to drive forward the new Ocean Data and Information System (ODIS). This was formed in at the 24th Session of the IODE after a review of the IOC operations in 2016. ODIS is intended tosupport the registration of a variety of sources, ranging from data and information, to systems such as catalogues/portals/webs sites, to manuals/guidance/standards”. It is currently in the early stages of development but has already a pilot catalogue site which houses descriptive information of data and access, rather than the data itself. The hope is that the catalogue will bring together information from all National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs).

IODE Network Structure

The IODE structure has two levels. The first is the coordination of data and information management (e.g. data centres). The second is the programme structural elements.

 

1. IODE Data & Information Centres

Global Data Assembly Centres (GDACs)

GDACs will be formed to work alongside the Marine Climate Data System (MCDS) and will focus on receiving and assembling both marine meteorological data and oceanographic data, ensuring the data are consistent and compliant to meeting international standards under the IOC and WMO.

UK involvementNo GDACs currently exist according to the latest IODE session in 2019

National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODC)

The mission of an NODC is to provide access and stewardship for the national resource of oceanographic data. This effort requires the gathering, quality control, processing, summarization, dissemination, and preservation of data generated by national and international agencies.

UK involvementThere are formally 67 NODCs, but only nine are IODE-accredited. Of the nine, the National Oceanography Centre in the UK is one.

The UK contact for data management is Head of BODC, TBC.

The UK contact for information management is Head of Library and Information Services at the National Oceanographic Library, TBC.

Associate Data Unit (ADU)

The ADU brings in wider ocean research and observation communities as key stakeholders of the IODE network. It allows these sectors to share, provide access to and preserve ocean research data.

UK involvement: There are 30 ADUs, only one (in Malaysia) is accredited. The UK has three ADUs: SCAR – Anton Van de Putte, MBA – Dan Lear, Cefas – Laura Hanley

World Data System (WDS)

The WDS aims to bring together previously stand-alone World Data Centres to form a global, interoperable distributed data system. IODE became a network member of the WDS in 2013. Through this, all NODCs are linked to the WDS

UK involvement: Only the World Data Centre – Oceanography exists under the WDS and this is based in the USA.

Associate Information Unit (AIU)

The AIU forms a network of the marine library community, whereby AIUs must carry out marine information management functions or provide marine information services

UK involvement: Only five currently exist, the UK has not formed one.

 

2. IODE Programmes

IODE Programmes and the UK contributions

Programmes

Description

UK Contribution

Point of Contact

Organisation

Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)

The OBIS vision is to be the most comprehensive gateway to the world’s ocean biodiversity and biogeographic data and information required to address pressing coastal and world ocean concerns

 

The UK OBIS node is hosted at the MBA with over 20 data providers and five and half million occurrence records submitted.

The MBA sits on the Steering Group of OBIS, the OBIS vocabulary infrastructure project team and the data quality assessment and enhancement project team.

Dan Lear

MBA

Pacific Islands Marine bioinvasions Alert Network (PacMAN)

PacMAN is a three year project (2020 – 2022) looking to develop a national invasive species monitoring system for Pacific Small Islands Developing States.

The IMO will be a key stakeholder and therefore will sit on the advisory board. The role of the IMO will be to give advice on the monitoring plan design and decision-making support tool, and to help raise awareness of the outcomes and local and regional levels.

John Alonso

International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

Global Oceanographic Data Archaeology and Rescue Project (GODAR)

The goal of GODAR is to increase the volume of historical oceanographic data available to climate change and other researchers by locating datasets not yet in digital form, and then digitizing the data and submitting them to NODCs and including them in the World Ocean Database.

This project covers all forms of oceanographic data. The UK is involved with sea level data archaeology through the BODC and Met Office.

Elizabeth Bradshaw

BODC/NOC

World Ocean Database (WOD)

The WOD represents the world’s largest collection of vertical profile data of ocean characteristics available internationally without restriction.

WOD is hosted by the WDC Oceanography.

Data is submitted to the WOD via the UK Hydrographic Office and the BODC.

Head of BODC

BODC/NOC

Global Temperature and Salinity Profile Programme (GTSPP)

GTSPP is a cooperative international project seeking to develop and maintain a global ocean temperature-salinity resource with data that are both up-to-date and of the highest quality.

The Met Office were invited to the GTSPP meeting in 2019 to provide feedback on GTSPP data that was used for the Hadley Centre EN4 dataset.

The Met Office is looking to become a GTSPP Product Centre.

Rachel Killick

Met Office

Global Ocean Surface Underway Data Project (GOSUD)

The main objectives of GOSUD are to provide near real time sea surface salinity and sea surface temperature data for operational needs, and to provide delayed mode sea surface salinity for research purposes and for satellite data validation.

GOSUD aim to work closely with FerryBox and GO-SHIP (see GOOS page).

N/A

N/A

N/A

International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN)

The strategic aim of the IODE ICAN project is to share experiences and to find common solutions to coastal web atlases (CWAs) development while ensuring maximum relevance and added value for the end users.

The UK has historically had individuals take part in the project, but as it stands there are no known individuals who are currently part of this steering group or project.

N/A

N/A

International Quality Controlled Ocean Database (IQuOD)

The primary focus of IQuOD is to produce and freely distribute the highest quality and complete single ocean profile repository along with (intelligent) metadata and assigned uncertainties for use in ocean climate research applications. This goal will be achieved by developing and implementing an internationally-agreed framework.

Both of the Co-Chairs of the IQuOD are UK representatives, from NOC and the Met Office. Other members of the steering team are represented by the Met Office.   

Matthew Palmer

Met Office

Ocean Data Portal (ODP)

The ODP aims to facilitate seamless access to marine data/services from across the IODE NODCs, and to promote the exchange and dissemination of marine data and services. ODP are also actively supporting the formation of ODIS.

UK organisations (British Geological Survey, BODC, Cefas, JNCC, MBA, NOC, OceanWise, University of Sheffield, University of Sussex) have been/are involved with EMODnet and SeaDataNet through submission of their data. Data from these feed into the ODP.

Head of BODC

BODC/NOC

Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS)

OBPS was formally approved in 2019 and supersedes the OceanDataPractices repository project.

OBPS provides publication, discovery and access to relevant and tested methods, from observation to application, as well as a foundation for increasing capacity. The Ocean Best Practice System supports the entire ocean community in sharing methods, developing best practices and capacity development in their use.

Scientists from the UK have provided hundreds of ‘best practice’ documents, which can be found using the OBPS search engine.

 

N/A

N/A

OceanDocs

The aim of OceanDocs is to collect, preserve and facilitate discovery and access to all research output from members of the ocean research and observation community

Pauline Simpson is member of the OceanDocs Steering Group

Pauline Simpson

IOC Consultant

OceanExpert

This project created and maintains a global directory of marine and freshwater professionals, their institutions, involvement with IOC groups and publications.

There are hundreds of UK individuals on the OceanExpert website along with a dozen institutes.

Pauline Simpson is member of the OceanExpert Steering Group

Pauline Simpson

IOC Consultant

OpenScienceDirectory

This project was offered by a Member State and company to provide a global search tool for all open access and special programs journal titles

N/A

OceanKnowledge Platform Pilot

ON HOLD

Ocean InfoHub

New initiative to consolidate IOC-associated online resources (e.g. OceanExpert, OceanDocs, OBPS, OBIS, WOD, ODP, ODIS Catalogue)

Quality Management Framework (QMF)

The objective of the QMF is to provide strategy, guidance and capacity development activities in order for NODCs to become accredited, once they reach a minimum agreed level against a specified criteria

Lesley Rickards of NOC is part of the Steering Group for the QMF.

Lesley Rickards

NOC

Ocean Teacher Global Academy (OTGA)

The OGTA has trained nearly 2000 students from 120 countries since 2005.  This web-based training platform supports classroom training, blended training (combining classroom and distance learning), and online learning and courses include: Scientific Knowledge and Research, Sustainable Use of Marine Resources, Marine Spatial Planning, Marine and Coastal Ecosystems, Disaster Risk Reduction, International Marine Law, Ocean Acidification, Marine Pollution. The courses contribute to the implementation of the IOC Capacity Development Strategy, enabling equitable participation of all IOC Member States and IOC Programmes.

UK scientists present on some of the Academy courses. The UK’s Val Byfield (NOC) was involved in the UNESCO Bilko project which has distributed software and hands-on training material in coastal and marine remote sensing to over 1500 organisations and over 5000 individual users in 168 countries around the world.

Pauline Simpson is on the IODE Steering Group for the OceanTeacher Global Academy (OTGA) Project.

Pauline Simpson

IOC Consultant