There are significant challenges that urgently need to be addressed:
- Tracing methods that create ocean-related data, information and knowledge is not transparent;
- There are limited processes to motivate and support the convergence of methods into endorsed best Practices
- Ocean Practices are undervalued and under-incentivized
- Methodology archives and management systems in individual institutions or enterprises are strongly siloed and at times inaccessible
- Linguistic and cultural barriers to discovering, responsibly using, and co-developing methodologies are still high
- Training in the use of best practices can be difficult to access and individual mentoring is not scalable
- A systematic intersection of best practices and standards must be advanced
- The need and importance of best practice to policy makers and funders is not always appreciated.
Many of the above are a mix of technical, social and cultural issues which need a multidisciplinary approach to transform the current ocean research values to an environment that rewards open exchange and broad collaboration. Indeed, a global collection of independent – but continuously seamlessly interoperating methodology management systems can provide the technology needed to support a cultural shift in how ocean communities advance their practices. The Ocean Decade represents a unique time to focus on such a transformative shift, which will take a decade or more.