Data Submission

This page provides information to Changing Arctic Ocean (CAO) investigators on how to submit data to the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and the UK Polar Data Centre (UK PDC).

All data arising from the programme should be submitted to the appropriate data centre upon data acquisition in accordance with the CAO-specific data policy. The types of data submitted to BODC include field-based observations, field experiments, laboratory experiments (using field-based samples), selected model output, data syntheses, data-model syntheses, model codes and information on actual samples. The types of data submitted to  the UK PDC include biological samples, sample analysis data and laboratory experiments (biological parameters).

Data are considered to be acquired when definitive values have been established. This may be when observations are directly made (for real-time, underway data) or when samples have been analysed. After you have submitted your data, the data centres will archive a copy, assign data access conditions and assemble the data set into a relational database, so that spatial and temporal links to all data within the programme and within BODC/UK PDC can be maintained. BODC and the UK PDC will then take responsibility for distributing the data to programme members and the wider community.

How to submit data

Observational data and data arising from physical samples

Data submitted to BODC (to be included in a relational database) should be fully-calibrated, quality-controlled and supplied with enough information about methods, parameters and calibrations that data sets can stand alone without the need refer back to you (for more information see ‘Notes on submitting data’ below). Where possible, please format your data according to NERC good practice criteria, except in cases where we have previously agreed data delivery formats with you (which will also conform to these specifications).

Data can be submitted directly to the CAO data manager via email to Robyn Owen or copied onto CD, DVD or Zip disk and sent by post to:

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building
6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom


FTP server transfer can be arranged where files of larger size are to be submitted. Please email Robyn Owen for arrangements. Alternatively, data may be uploaded to our secure file area. When submitting data, please inform BODC of:

  • The data access conditions to be applied (see the CAO-specific data policy for more information)
  • Whether the data will also be published in the Published Data Library (PDL) and require data citation through a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Numerical model data

Please refer to the BODC numerical modelling submission pages.

Notes on submitting data

Metadata and documentation

Metadata are a crucial part of any data archive since they ensure that the data can be made discoverable and understood at later date. All data should be submitted to BODC with enough supporting metadata to ensure that they are stand alone and without further need to refer back to the originator. In general, metadata should include details about how (with which instrument or technique), when and where the data have been collected, by whom (including the affiliation and contact address or telephone number) and in the framework of which CAO project.

For all submitted data, BODC/UK PDC needs to know how the values were arrived at. The derivation process must be stated: all processing and calibration steps should be described and calibration values supplied. The nature and units of the recorded variables are essential, as well as the grid or reference system. As much information as possible about fieldwork instrumentation should also be included (e.g. serial number, copies of manufacturer’s calibration sheets, and recent calibrations).

Data quality

The quality of data submitted to BODC/UK PDC must be of a high standard, so that it is ready to be analysed without the need for further processing. This is essential to facilitate the exchange of data between programme members and to incorporate the data into models.

In general, all data submitted to BODC should be fully calibrated and quality-controlled. Data should be checked for quality and pre-edited or flagged for erroneous values. All relevant processing steps, calibrations and unit conversions should be applied to the data. The level of processing applied to datasets submitted to BODC is usually enough for the data to be directly analysed or repackaged to ‘add-value’ (usually termed the ‘base’ or ‘cruise’ dataset).

Raw data

In specific cases, it may be appropriate to submit corresponding raw files, such as, where only a subset of the raw data is exploited or in cases where changes in processing method are likely to occur after the project has ended. In these cases both raw and processed data should be archived at BODC/UK PDC. It must be stressed that BODC/UK PDC does not have the resource to process raw data without specific agreement. Unprocessed data cannot readily be incorporated into the relational database system and its distribution is limited to copies of the original files via a data set inventory.

As CAO will use a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) ship, all raw data will be stored at BAS and available via the UK PDC. Note: this is not formally accessioned i.e. it is not available via the Discovery Metadata System and does not receive a DOI.

Notes on biological data

CAO biological datasets will be held at the UK PDC. Data can be submitted directly to the UK PDC or to BODC who will then forward it to the UK PDC. Should data come directly to the UK PDC, then the UK PDC accepts data via email or FTP depending on the data volume. Discovery metadata can be submitted using the DMS/DOI metadata template.

Data queries in the first instance should be directed to the CAO Data Manager (Robyn Owen). Direct contacts for the UK PDC are:

Katy Buckland Petra ten Hoopen
Scientific Data Coordinator Marine Data Manager