Standards and Best Practices

Ocean Best Practices have been an essential component across all areas of the observing system and the OCG ocean observing networks are committed to ensuring that their best practices are comprehensive, findable and are used.

OCG, the IOC and the WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems (WIGOS), are seeking increased collaboration with partner organisations towards the objective of harmonized standards, and better traceability of observations to standards. In an ongoing effort to ensure this OCG networks are working at providing best practices for the life cycle of all EOVs observed under their programs, for each stage of the observation life cycle. The OCG is contributing to this effort by compiling this list of relevant best practice documents available and will identify gaps in the documentation and where documents need to be updated.

Best Practices are defined as a methodology that has repeatedly produced superior results relative to other methodologies with the same objective; to be fully elevated to a best practice, a promising method will have been adopted and employed by multiple organizations (Pearlman et al. 2019). Those best practices which have undergone community review and the network considers to be fully supported by the OCG community will be identified as OCG ‘GOOS endorsed’ and tagged as such in the IODE/GOOS repository. 

How does OCG and GOOS relate to Ocean Best Practices?

Although GOOS communities have created many best practices they may not be sufficiently or broadly visible, additionally it may not be clear that they have been through a rigorous community process. The Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS) has been set up to facilitate the dissemination and archiving of best practices in an open and accessible manner. However, there are currently more than 1000 documents across all parts of ocean science available in the OBPS repository, and there is a pressing need to help identify key community tested and adopted ocean observing system best practices across a wide range of application areas. 

The need to identify GOOS ‘community’ adopted best practices within the system has been identified by the GOOS community, and users of the OBPS had also identified the importance of being able to discover best practices which are recommended and adopted by the GOOS/ OCG community. Although a number of GOOS community best practices have already successfully been submitted to the OBPS, this needs to be more consistently organised, supported and visible across GOOS and the OBPS. The process and the link between GOOS and the OBPS aims to achieve this and ensure that ALL GOOS related community adopted Best Practices can be found in the OBPS.

Through a close GOOS, OCG and OBPS collaboration, an endorsement process for GOOS community best practices linked to the OBPS, has been created and adopted by both the GOOS Steering Committee and the OBPS Steering Group. This provides an endorsement process within GOOS and a filtering mechanism within the OBPS repository, which enables GOOS community best practices to be easily identified within the OBPS. This will aid discovery and access to these key community endorsed best practices. 

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