Ocean Best Practices System

The Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS) supports the EuroSea objective of fostering and making available best practices across the value chain, from observations to data management and applications for understanding the state and potential of our ocean.

The ocean play a key role in sustainability. As we move toward improved management of our natural resources, efficient and consistent monitoring and predicting of the planet’s ocean through sustained ocean observing is essential. To gain maximum value from this vital information we need to use commonly accepted methods, ‘best practices’, across our ocean observing system, in order to deliver data that is interoperable, re-usable, of high quality and consistent latency.

The function and breadth of services is illustrated in the diagram. The best practice users are at the heart of the system, which includes: a permanent repository, hosted by IODE with state-of-the-art semantic discovery and metadata indexing; a peer-reviewed Research Topic in the Frontiers in Marine Science journal; and a web-based resource for training and capacity development based on the IODE Ocean Teacher Global Academy.

The Ocean Best Practices System is a project co-sponsored by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the International Ocean Data and Information Exchange (IODE). It is a global, sustained system comprising technological solutions and community approaches to facilitate the use of commonly accepted methods as well as support the development of ocean best practices.

The OBPS Vision is “a future where there are agreed and broadly adopted methods across ocean research, operations and applications”. The OBPS Mission is to sustain an evolving system which fosters collaboration, consensus building, and innovation by providing coordinated and global access to best practices and standards across ocean sciences and applications.

The OBPS provides publication, discovery and access to relevant and tested methods from observation to application, as well as a foundation for increasing capacity.

Community engagement

The value of any system is contingent on its relationship to its user community and scaled by the degree of its adoption. OBPS maintains active community outreach and engagement activities and dynamic partner liaison. From 2017, the OBPS has hosted annual Community Workshops which provide the opportunity to address community needs for advanced method development and implementation in ocean observations, data management and applications.

Supported by EuroSea, NSF and other sponsors, a 4th Community Workshop, titled Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices Workshop, was held online on 17-30 September 2020. Proceedings were published as EuroSea Deliverable 1.3 and as IOC Workshop Report 294.

The 5th Community Workshop, titled An Ocean of Values, will be held online on 20-24 September 2021.

United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030

The ‘Ocean Practices for the Decade’ (OceanPractices) programme has been endorsed under the UN Ocean Decade for transformative Decade Actions.

Ocean Practices for the Decade Programme (OceanPractices) will:

  • Support all ocean stakeholders in securing, equitably sharing, and collectively advancing this methodological heritage.
  • By engaging diverse communities of practice and interlinking them through FAIR digital technologies, OceanPractices will transform how science and other stakeholders align their interests/capacities, creating ever-better practices, promoting sustainable human and ocean well-being.
  • Improve interoperability and facilitate training so broader global participation naturally evolves.
  • Address many of the 14 recommendations in our proposal.

Members of the OBPS Steering Group are also collaborating on several other endorsed Ocean Decade programmes, including ‘Coast Predict’ and ‘Ocean Observing Co-Design: Evolving Ocean Observing for a Sustainable Future’. See the full list of endorsed Decade Programmes here.

The Ocean Best Practices System is grateful for the support from the EuroSea project which identified the production of best practices as an essential legacy outcome of the project. EuroSea Task 1.1.4 is fostering the creation and validation of existing best practices for pilot applications and underpins the development of the Ocean Best Practices System including developing a Best Practice Endorsement Process piloted by GOOS and building machine-actionable best practice templates for EuroSea to use.