If time-dependent environmental data are lost, this information can not be regenerated. It is therefore essential to reliably archive such data rather than having their location stored in a researcher's head. For this reason, NERC requires that all data arising from the Indian Ocean AMBITION cruise, M&FMB studies at Priest Pot in Cumbria (UK) and any future M&FMB sea-going activities are submitted to a NERC designated data centre.
BODC has the job of archiving data produced by M&FMB projects to enable easy and reliable access to a comprehensive information resource.
- BODC has been appointed by NERC to play the lead role in managing M&FMB data. This does not mean that BODC must hold all M&FMB data (for example, freshwater environmental data will initially be held at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Lancaster) but we must be aware of the extent of all M&FMB data and where they are located.
BODC must ensure the quality and completeness of marine environmental data collected during the M&FMB main oceanographic fieldwork and assemble a fully integrated, quality controlled and documented data set.
BODC will provide information management support to the M&FMB programme by collating information related to other data collection activities (eg freshwater, molecular) being carried out within the frame of the M&FMB thematic.
BODC also has a role in organising genetic data collected during the M&FMB programme in such a way that it is easy for researchers to put genetic information into the context of the environment in which it was found.
BODC will publish a CDROM containing a comprehensive and easily-searchable M&FMB data set by October 2005.