About this Research Topic
An immense corpus of well-tested methodology in ocean observing has been and is being amassed by national, regional, and international observatory networks. However, despite the quality of these efforts, the discoverability and sustainability of high-quality methodology is still limited by fragmented reporting and archiving. A new process, centred at the Ocean Best Practices repository of UNESCO IODE, is addressing part of these challenges by offering a persistent archive for methods and "Best Practises" (BPs). What remains is the creation of a forum to allow BP creators to describe and disseminate their developments. This Research Topic is an opportunity for BP developers to expose their methods to the ocean community at large, and for that community to discover sustainably-managed BPs to catalyze progress in ocean observation.
Ocean observing systems rely on robust and stable instrumentation integrated into an equally robust observatory infrastructure, generating raw data for conversion into information and knowledge products. The methodologies associated with large-scale ocean observing are an integral part of an elaborate, end-to-end process that ranges from observatory design and sensor handling, to the quality control, deposition, and management of data in repositories. Over time, experience gathered within organizations (e.g. universities, private and public research institutions) will show whether these methodologies can be treated as BP, suitable for adoption by the broader community. Should this be the case, dissemination and community engagement become vital.
Currently, valuable BPs are being generated at multiple scales. National and regional sources of BPs include IOOS (US; ioos.noaa.gov), IMOS (Australia; imos.org.au), FixO3 (EU; time series sites), or GROOM (EU; underwater electric glider). On a global level, BPs are being developed by international observatory networks organized in the JCOMMOPS (www.jcommobs.org), such as GO-SHIP (www.go-ship.org/HydroMan.html), DBCP (www.jcommops.org/dbcp/deployments/), or Argo (www.argodatamgt.org/Documentation). These BPs tend to be scattered on institutional or project webpages, and thus are in need of harmonization.
Scope of the Research Topic
In this Research Topic, we primarily solicit papers describing robust and high quality methodologies over the entire range of ocean observing and addressing the challenges of improving observation capabilities (including data management) and interoperability. Papers can be linked to one or more fully documented protocols archived in a repository maintained by the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE; www.iode.org). We will also accept related submissions such as recommendations to expand the usage and reporting of methods and descriptions of major obstacles to their implementation.
We will focus our Research Topic on the following domains:
• The design of observatories (and observatory networks), logistics, and operations procedures (incl. deployment/recovery, procedures for Exclusive Economic Zone, notice to mariners, and others)
• Sensor design, calibration, metrology, instrument handling and application
• Measurement methodologies
• Methods and standards for hardware interoperability
• Data and information handling, quality control, and FAIRness (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability), including real-time (RT) and delayed mode (DM) data
• Guidelines (formats, procedures, documentation) for observational and model data comparison strategies (e.g. Obs4MIPs; www.earthsystemcog.org/projects/obs4mips/)
• Knowledge transfer and capacity building
We welcome and will consider letters of interest in these and other relevant areas. Abstracts are not required.
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Keywords: ocean observing, methodology, knowledge transfer, best practices, sensors
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