As the rate of marine data acquisition increases, so too does the need for that data to abide by the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles. From the nation’s perspective, a coherent and assessable data source(s) enables smarter use and management of our marine estate. From a researcher’s perspective, open data can be advantageous by increasing citations, media attention, collaborations, jobs and funding opportunities. It is therefore vital that researchers and research organisations strive to release all marine metadata and data so that it is discoverable and accessible by the public.
With the development of national standards (Field Manuals for Marine Sampling to Monitor Australian Waters), it became clear that we were unable to advocate a national standard for data release for many data types (bathymetry, marine imagery, biological specimen data) because we either do not yet have suitable digital infrastructure or clear links between existing infrastructure. To meet these challenges, workshops were held in the months following the release of the field manuals, focusing on issues with data discoverability and accessibility for two major data types:
- Marine imagery was the focus of a Data Discoverability and Accessibility Workshop hosted by the NESP Marine Hub and the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN) on 6-7 September 2018 at Geoscience Australia in Canberra.
- Biological specimen data was the focus of a Data Discoverability and Accessibility Workshop hosted by the NESP Marine Hub and the AODN on -77 September 2018 at CSIRO in Hobart.
This report describes the findings of these two workshops.