Best practices are created by the community for the community. The Ocean Best Practices System under the auspices of the IOC will support the end-to-end best practices value chain.



The oceans play a key role in global issues such as sustainability. As we move toward basin-scale ocean-observing, efficient and consistent monitoring and predicting of the planet’s ocean is essential. These need common methods for interoperability and reproducibility. (for more information see Pearlman, et al 2019.

The Ocean Best Practice System supports the entire ocean community in sharing methods and developing best practices.
We provide publication, discovery and access to relevant and tested methods, from observation to application, as well as a foundation for increasing capacity. We are working towards all observations being taken by known and adopted methodologies (provenance, transparency, traceability).

Credit: SOCIB (requested permission and HR)

Our Vision

A future where there are agreed and broadly adopted methods across ocean research, operations and applications

Our Mission

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.

OBPS Background

The System has been built on the OceanBestPractices of IODE and the lead work of the AtlantOS Project Work Package 6.4. Best Practices Working Group that developed the System concept. It was adopted in June 2019 by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission as an international project co-sponsored by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the International Ocean Data and Information Exchange (IODE).

The Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS)

Consists of:

  • a permanent OBPS repository hosted by IODE including state-of-the-art semantic discovery and metadata indexing for improved access to best practices (search.oceanbestpractices.org)

  • a peer-reviewed Research Topic Journal in Frontiers in Marine Science  

  • a web-based and in-person Training and Capacity Building capability based on the IODE OceanTeacher Global Academy

  • Community outreach and engagement activities to help users integrate OBPS into their routine work.

System Connectivity

Ocean Best Practices System Management 

The System is hosted at the Project Office of IODE of UNESCO-IOC in Oostende, Belgium and managed by a Steering Group representing major Stakeholders: (i) Representatives from IOC Programmes (ii) Invited Experts from the full value chain of the ocean observing community; (iii) Representatives of IODE and GOOS Secretariats.

Partners and Projects 

The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange and the Global Ocean Observing System of the IOC have partnered to support the Ocean Best Practices System.

In addition, OBPS is joining external projects eg. CAPARDUS; EUROSEAS; and JERICO3 to support their ocean observing requirements by implementing advanced technology functionality within OBPS.

Community partners contributing to the corpus of best practices content can be seen at repository.oceanbestpractices.org.

Acknowledgements and Sponsors

We gratefully acknowledge the following organizations for providing organizational, and/or logistical co-sponsorship and in-kind support:

The AtlantOS Best Practices Working Group received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 633211 (AtlantOS) and under grant agreement No: 654310 (ODIP). Funding has also been received from the NSF Ocean Research Coordination Network under NSF grant 1143683.