OBPS offers an array of services in publication, discovery, access and training of Best Practices, working with the technical communities that originate and use best practices.

A main component of OBPS is an open access and sustained digital repository of community best practices in all ocean-related sciences and applications.  It is hosted and maintained by the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of the UNESCO-IOC as an IOC (IODE, GOOS) coordinated activity.






















The OBPS is accessible through   The Repository supports full text document indexing and search provided by a managed Elasticsearch ( The digital repository is enhanced with natural-language processing capabilities coupled with semantic interoperability solutions and metadata indexing offered through a sophisticated but user-friendly web interface.  Together, these capacities are improving the discoverability of ocean methods and best practices and will eventually, link them to the data and information they generate.   The software is open source and is available from the OBPS GitHub repository

SUBMIT a best practice:

Guidelines for Depositors

How can you contribute?  The repository accepts a wide range of Best Practices from the ocean operating, analysis and applications communities. Best Practices come in any of several format types – best practices, standard operating procedures, manuals (guides, handbooks, cookbooks etc) and standards. Deposits are accepted on the understanding that the document content (both full text file and metadata) is submitted by the deposit provider as a method they use or a community best practice.

All creators retain IP and copyright of deposited items and the metadata permits display of any access or re-use restrictions (Creative Commons Licenses)

Dissemination is extended by the repository which is being indexed by all the major search engines and harvested by such services as Google Scholar, Scopus, OpenAIRE, ASFA etc. To support such indexing, OBPS provides DOIs for submitted best practices.

A Help Desk is available to respond to all requests

Two user facing features:

OceanKnowledge Tagger is used within OBPS to allocate semantic tags using accepted ontologies and vocabularies, but it is also offered as a standalone function that allows depositors to parse any full text papers and receive back recommended keyword/search tags.

Metrics for overall repository downloads and individual best practice download metrics are displayed, with plans to develop a more detailed metrics dashboard. 

Best Practice Templates

OBPS is a focal point for the community and is working to harmonize the formats of best practice documents and ensure their contents are exposed to the Web.  To support BP developers, best practice document templates offering recommendations on content and format, including a Document Data Sheet, are provided here. Using these machine-readable templates will underpin the future objective to automatically ingest best practices; initially populating the repository metadata fields from the Document Data Sheet, but eventually offering a one-click deposit.

FIND a best practice:

Detailed discovery and display of best practice content is offered by semantic technology and natural language processes supported by recognized terminologies (e.g., ontologies and vocabularies).  Searches can be filtered by several predetermined parameters and there are Search Tips available on the interface:


Once a BP is located, a frequently asked question is how to decide which is best, if there are more than one methodology available for the same operation.  Working with GOOS and ocean networks, OBPS plans to implement two services:

  1. GOOS Expert Panels will provide an endorsement process for BPs dealing with EOVs….
  2. On the OBPS interface will be a community feedback option  

The OBPS-Repository applies the FAIR Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-Usable).

Additional information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

For specific questions, please contact:


Technology Development Contributors

Element 84
British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC)
Marine Institute, Ireland
Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany