Data submission

This page provides information to UK Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry (SSB) programme members on how to submit data to the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC).

All data arising from the programme should be submitted to BODC upon data acquisition in accordance with the SSB-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. 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, BODC 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 can be maintained. BODC 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 detailed in the 'Guidance on providing data to BODC for Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry' PDF document (173KB) 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 SSB data managers via email to Louise Darroch or copied onto CD, DVD or Zip disk and sent by post to:

Dr Louise Darroch,
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 Louise Darroch 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 SSB-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 SSB project.

For all submitted data, BODC 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 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. It must be stressed that BODC 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.