HOW AND WHERE TO SHARE YOUR DATA

Do you have Southern Ocean data that you don't know how to make public? Do you have publicly available data that isn't visible in the SOOS metadata portal? This page will help answer your questions.

Your first stop should be either your institution's data centre or your National Antarctic Data Centre, if they're available. An alternative may be a discipline-specific data centre, either in your country or internationally. These centres have the resources to securely store your data and often provide opportunities for you to keep the data private until you've had a chance to publish your research. A list of National Antarctic and oceanographic data centres is available here.

A suitable data repository should do the following things:

  • Store data securely for the long-term and make datasets available in an easily accessible form
  • Ensure that metadata records for all datasets adequately describe the datasets and are made available for public searching
  • Maintain confidentiality of data during embargo periods (if it allows researchers to use embargoes)
  • Facilitate the data custodian's right to be cited as the source of the published data
  • Assist scientists to develop data management plans

If your institution, nation, and discipline haven't made it easy for you to store and share your data securely, contact the SOOS data officer, Dr Pip Bricher, and we can help you find an appropriate repository for your data.

To submit data to a data centre, you will need to write a metadata record that clearly describes the dataset in enough detail that someone who is unfamiliar with your work can assess whether it is suitable for their needs, and can then use the data without difficulty. A good metadata record will therefore clearly describe the purpose for which the data were collected, as well as the methods used to collect it, it's estimated accuracy, and what forms of error checking have been carried out. Appropriate data centres include National Antarctic Data Centres and data centres with broader remits, such as the National Centers for Environmental Information, among many others.

SOOS has a metadata portal through NASA's Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) to share metadata records from data repositories all over the world. If your chosen data repository already publishes its metadata records to the GCMD, then there's nothing else for you to do. Your record will be automatically picked up by the SOOS portal. If your data repository does not share their metadata records with the GCMD, then you can write your own metadata record, using the GCMD DocBuilder. 

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