Polar Data Discovery Enhancement Research (POLDER)

The Polar Federated Search Working Group (POLDER) is a collaboration between the Arctic Data Committee (ADC), Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM), and Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), to develop the tools and resources to support metadata aggregation and federated search tools to improve the discoverability of polar science data.

More information is available on the POLDER website.



Leadership Team

Pip Bricher (Co-Chair; SOOS)
Taco de Bruin (Co-Chair; NOIZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Alexander Smirnov (Artic Portal)


Working Group Members

Anton Van de Putte (Biodiversity.aq)
Brendan Billingsley (Billingsley Custom Software)
Halldor Johansson (Arctic Portal)
Marten Tacoma (NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Stein Tronstad (Norwegian Polar Institute)
Thomas Vandenberghe (Belgian Marine Data Centre)
William Manley (Institute for Arctic and Antarctic Research)
Lynn Yarney (Research Data Alliance)
Matthew Jones (Arctic Data Centre, DataONE)
Gabrielle Alix (Polar Data Catalogue)
Stefanie Schemacher (PANGAEA)
Jenny Thomas (Swiss Polar Institute)
Kathryn Meger (Arctic Data Centre)
Yubao Qin (Big Earth Data for the Three Poles, GEOCRI)
Adam Leadbetter (The Marine Institute of Ireland)
Cindy Chandler (Woods Hole Oceanography Institution)


  1. POLDER will investigate the needs of the polar research community and opportunities for developing metadata aggregation and federated search
  2. POLDER will advise ADC, SCADM, and SOOS on the best approaches to metadata aggregation federated search
  3. POLDER will pursue funding and resource opportunities with other related groups to support metadata aggregation federated search
  4. Once funding/resources are found, POLDER will act as a scientific advisory group for the developers
  5. POLDER will maintain contact with the broader data management community to ensure that polar metadata aggregation and federated search is linked with other global initiatives and minimises duplication of efforts
  6. POLDER will work in as transparent and open a manner as possible, including the open distribution to group materials in publicly accessible resources.
  7. We expect that members of POLDER and the broader data management and polar communities will treat this openly shared information with respect and with due diligence towards citation, attribution, and re-use of the materials (e.g., without “scooping” the community’s work to publish under their own name).
  8. POLDER will adhere to the Polar Information Commons

Core Tasks

  1. Define the core needs of the polar research communities in metadata aggregation and federated search (e.g. functionality, key metadata standards)
  2. Pursue active involvement from the polar science and data communities to drive the activities of this group
  3. Document the community’s needs and the available tools in a research/white paper
  4. Identify key metadata standards used by relevant global, ocean, and polar communities
  5. Establish the core elements of those metadata standards and cross-walks between key metadata standards used by research communities in the high latitudes
  6. Investigate existing federated search platforms to identify those that may meet the polar community’s needs and identify benefits/limitations in those platforms
  7. Investigate available methods and tools currently not widely used by the polar community for developing federated search
  8. Pursue funding and other resources for developing federated search
  9. Serve as a venue for discussions around the implementation of metadata aggregation and federated search for high latitude regions through one or more portals
  10. Report to ADC, SCADM, and SOOS on progress


Polar data managers will meet in Helsinki in November 2019, to work on a set of projects of value to the SOOS community. Polar Data Forum III includes a two-day conference and three days of workshops. Of key interest is a two day hackathon to explore opportunities to develop federated metadata search for polar and ocean data. This targets a key problem for Southern Ocean scientists – there are more than 70 metadata catalogues that hold descriptions of Southern Ocean-relevant data and nobody has the time to search them all independently. We hope to use the technology behind Google Dataset Search to build a tool specifically for our community. There will also be a workshop to improve the flows of marine data into portals that include SOOSmap and another to update the data policies of three key polar data groups – SOOS’ data management sub-committee, the Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management, and the Arctic Data Committee.

Click here for more information at the Polar Data Forum III website.


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