The IODE Associate Data Unit is inteded to bring in the wider ocean research and observation communities as key stakeholders of the IODE network, taking into account the growth of ocean research and observation programmes and projects, and the ability of these projects to establish data systems.It is important for these communities to share, provide access to and preserve all ocean research and observation data.

By joining IODE as an ADU projects, programmes, institutions or organizations will get the following benefits:

  • Receive information on, and contribute to, IODE standards and best practices related to ocean data management,
  • Be welcomed to participate in ocean data and information management training, organized within the framework of the IODE OceanTeacher programme
  • Receive assistance, upon request, from IODE, on matters related to ocean data management,
  • Be invited, as observers, to participate in Sessions of the IODE Committee,
  • Participate in IODE workshops and projects,
  • Share expertise with other ADUs and NODCs,

In return the global community, through the IODE National Oceanographic Data Centres, will benefit from the ADUs as these will be invited to share their data and information on their data collection (metadata catalogue), and this should be through their NODC (in the case of national projects, programmes, institutions or organizations), or through another IODE data facility (in the case of regional or international projects, programmes, institutions or organizations) or, in the case of biogeographic data, through iOBIS.

Applying to become an ADU

Any project, programme, institution or organization that wishes to join IODE as an IODE Associate Data Unit should contact the IOC Project Office for IODE (email to and provide the following information:

  1. name and contact information of the ADU contact point(s);
  2. name and contact point of the head of the applicant entity;
  3. description of the national, regional or international project, programme, institution or organization;
  4. brief description of data services/products provided by the entity;
  5. for projects: expected lifespan of the project and indication of plan for the archival/preservation of the data, data management plan;
  6. letters of support;
  7. required expertise, training that IODE could contribute;
  8. data policy (if identified) of the applicant entity;
  9. of the existing relationship with a NODC.

An application form can be downloaded here . It should be filled and signed. When submitting please send us the MS-Word version (with signature) as well as a scanned version (with signature). Please also discuss your application with your NODC (if existing) as well as with your IOC national contact as the ADUs should work closely with the NODCs (if existing).

Applications shall be reviewed by the IODE Officers (by email or during IODE Officer meetings) in consultation with –  and in the case of national projects, programmes, institutions or organization, subject to approval by the relevant NODC (if existing) –  SG-OBIS (for biogeographic information) or other relevant recognized international programme.