Standards and Best Practice

Best Practice Documents:

Best Practices are defined as a methodology that has repeatedly produced superior results relative to other methodologies with the same objective; to be fully elevated to a best practice, a promising method will have been adopted and employed by multiple organizations (Pearlman et al, 2019).

Best Practices have always been an essential component across all areas of the observing system and the Observations Coordination Group (OCG) ocean observing networks are committed to ensuring that their best practices are comprehensive, findable and are used.

The WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems (WIGOS), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), and the OCG, are seeking increased collaboration with partner organisations towards the objective of harmonized standards, and better traceability of observations to standards. In an ongoing effort to ensure this, DBCP is working at providing best practices for the life cycle of all Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) observed under the program, for each stage of the observation life cycle.

The GOOS Catalogue of Practices and Standards is available via The WMO No.8 specifies instrumentations and observations at There are also documented standards and guidelines on the Ocean Standards website.

The DBCP is contributing to this effort by compiling this list of best practice documents available and will identify gaps in the documentation and where documents need to be updated. These best practices which have undergone community review and the network considers to be fully supported by the DBCP community will be identified as DBCP ‘GOOS endorsed’ and tagged as such in the IODE/GOOS repository. The DBCP Technical Document series makes up an important part of the standards and best practice documentation.

Drifting Buoys
Moored Buoys
Deployment techniques
Sensors and Instrument Calibration
Packaging techniques
Satellite telecomm's
Message formats


  • ATLAS - Argos, Argos-3 templates
  • FLEX - Iridium


  • Argos template
  • Argos-3 template
Quality Control

Biogeochemical QC : OceanSITES etc



Real Time
Quality Control


GTS dissemination
Metadata - platform and instrument
Archiving (ISDM, ...)
  • JCOMM Data Management Cookbook (The Oceanographer's and Marine Meteorologist's Cookbook for Submitting Data in Real Time and In Delayed Mode). Some sections of this document under construction.
Delayed mode quality control
Data (archive) sharing - Portals
Buoy Retrieval