Best practices are created by the community for the community.

A best practice is a standard or set of guidelines that is known to produce good outcomes if followed. Best practices are related to how to carry out a task or configure something. Strict best practice guidelines may be set by a governing body or may be internal to an organization. Other best practices may be more informal and can be set forth in manufacturer’s guidance, in published guidelines or even passed along informally.

The Ocean Best Practices System under the auspices of the IOC supports 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.

We provide publication, discovery and access to relevant and tested methods, from observation to application, as well as a foundation for increasing capacity. The Ocean Best Practice System supports the entire ocean community in sharing methods, developing best practices and capacity development in their use. 


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

Our Mission

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. 


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 Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE).


The Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS)

a permanent OBPS repository hosted by IODE including state-of-the-art semantic discovery and metadata indexing for improved access to best practices


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


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


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




Users are at the heart of the system:  


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.

OBPS and Steering Group members participate in external projects (eg. CAPARDUS; EUROSEA; JERICO S3, Ocean Observation RCN, TechOceanS) to support their ocean observing requirements and user needs by implementing advanced technology functionality within OBPS. See our Project and Partners page for more information.

In addition, community partners contribute to the repository corpus of best practices content.


Governance  see separate page


Acknowledgements and Sponsors

Additional to the projects that have provided support for advancing OBPS, we gratefully acknowledge the following organizations for providing organizational, and/or logistical co-sponsorship and in-kind support: IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society and Frontiers in Marine Science.