Data Management


The Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS) is a digital network of freely accessible marine data resources. The CIOOS Asset Map and Metadata Catalogue are the main portals for discovering and accessing CIOOS data.

CIOOS is accepting open ocean data.  

If you want to see your data on CIOOS, please complete the Data Integration Intake Form and a staff member of CIOOS Atlantic will respond.


A brief overview of CIOOS standards, data management, and the contribution process is outlined below. Please contact CIOOS Atlantic Executive Director, Shayla Fitzsimmons ( to learn more about how to share your data with CIOOS Atlantic. 

CIOOS Standards

Metadata is information about data that assists users in finding, assessing, accessing, and re-using relevant data. Ocean data that is integrated into CIOOS must follow CIOOS metadata standards.

CIOOS has developed a CIOOS Metadata Profile modified from the ISO 19115-2:2019 and ISO 19157:2013. These standards were selected to ensure interoperability with the national and international ocean data community, including the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). This profile includes required, recommended, and optional fields that provide users with basic understanding of that resource.

Metadata may be harvested from contributors via CKAN or ERRDAP remote servers. 

Contribution Overview

The back-end technical process for contributing ocean data to CIOOS is illustrated in the below infographic. Additional materials are in development. For more information, please contact CIOOS Atlantic Technical Director, Jeff Culls (

Conditions of Use

An important goal of CIOOS is to promote open access and reuse of ocean data. As such, CIOOS accepts only non-sensitive open marine data. The CIOOS Data Policy will supply additional details, and will be released once it is complete.

CIOOS believes in the FAIR data principles (Wilkinson et al. 2016) to promote maximum reuse of research data. FAIR data is:

  • Findable: Data and supplementary materials have sufficiently rich metadata and a unique and persistent identifier.
  • Accessible: Metadata and data are understandable to humans and machines. Data is deposited in a trusted repository.
  • Interoperable: Metadata uses a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation.
  • Reusable: Data have clear usage licenses and provide accurate information on provenance.

CIOOS supports a limited number of open data license agreements, and imposes no restrictions on the data beyond those required by said licenses. The standard license agreement employed is CC-BY, which requires that users i) provide attribution, ii) provide a link to the license, and iii) indicate whether changes were made. Users are expected to confirm the license and its requirements prior to utilizing a dataset. For more information, please see the CIOOS Data Licencing & Acknowledgement Agreement (forthcoming).

While every effort is made to quality control the data available on the CIOOS portal through our metadata standards, data users assume all risks and responsibilities associated with the direct or indirect use of the data and or associated information. If you have concerns related to a dataset on CIOOS, please contact the data contributor directly.