Data Submission Guidelines


When submitting data to the JGOFS Distributed Data Management System (DDMS), Program P.I.'s have two options:

  1. to store data locally serving as a host node on the DDMS, or
  2. to submit data to the U.S. JGOFS Data Management Office (DMO) and we will serve the data.
In either case, data submission guidelines and/or requirements are grouped into these categories:


One of the primary elements of the JGOFS program is the synthesis of its data. In view of this requirement, and to facilitate the organization of each data set, an event log is prepared by the Chief Scientist of each cruise. This event log contains information - event numbers, date, etc. - that individual investigators need to have before they can submit data to the U.S. JGOFS DMO and is, usually, the earliest data to appear on the system. Access to these logs is by process study and cruise identifier:


Because many of the analytical procedures being used in U.S. JGOFS are "state of the art" and thus subject to change, documentation on sampling and analytical methods is essential. All data placed on the DDMS must be accompanied by an ASCII text file of documentation. This documentation should include descriptions of: shipboard sampling procedures, sample preparations, analytical procedures, equipment calibrations, data reduction techniques, etc. References to methods that appear in the journal literature are acceptable.


Parameter names/abbreviations must be fully defined. A partial list of acceptable JGOFS parameter abbreviations and definitions is available for reference. If an appropriate parameter name is not found in the list, please refer to our guidelines for choosing a parameter name.


Each parameter must be documented with its units. The units may be spelled out, such as micromoles per liter of seawater, or abbreviated, as umol/l of seawater.



High-resolution profiling and along track data sets should be bin-averaged to the most user friendly suite of data. For example, CTD data which is typically recorded at 30 hertz is routinely bin-averaged to 2 decibar increments. A five minute average value for along track data would be more useful to the average user then one second values.


Warning: Do not attempt to format your data to mimic the structure seen on the U.S. JGOFS Home Page. The DDMS reads data from simple input formats and displays it in a uniform output format on the system.

Those P.I.'s serving their data from their own workstations have two options:

  1. Use an existing translation program (see Acceptable Data Formats) and conform to its requirements.
  2. Write a translation program that handles the format of their data. No restrictions to the formatting of data exist for this option.
Those individuals placing their data with the DMO for installation on the DDMS have minimal data format requirements. The data formats displayed below are acceptable structures that the DDMS can utilize with a minimal amount of system preparation. The data must be in ASCII code and can be transmitted to the DMO via FTP or mailed on magnetic media. Those individuals having data sets that cannot be formatted to one of these should contact the DMO for guidelines.


Examples of acceptable data formats are listed for reference.


[ <-- ]To the Data Management Page