The UN Ocean Decade challenges marine science to better inform and stimulate social and economic development while conserving marine ecosystems. To achieve these objectives, we must make our diverse methodologies and best practices more comparable and interoperable, expanding global participation and foster capacity development in ocean science through a new and coherent approach to best practice development. In the Call for Actions Guidance Note, the IOC encourages Ocean Decade programs “to address interoperability and to develop and use best practices in their work”. While basic scientific research continuously generates and evolves practices, there is an essential need to systematically identify, manage and advance these within and across diverse operational contexts, in consultation with sectors outside of science. We address the challenges for doing this and directions for evolution in our new paper here.