NERC Data Catalogue Service

Earth has no boundaries between environmental data
Earth has no boundaries between environmental data ©

The Natural Environment Research Council's Data Catalogue Service allows you to find data resources held within the NERC catalogue. The catalogue makes data discovery easier as it connects data held in managed archives and by individual research groups.

The catalogue is populated with 'discovery' metadata (information about data sets) harvested on a regular basis from the NERC data centres.

These include

  • Marine sciences — British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC)
  • Atmospheric sciences — British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC)
  • Earth sciences — National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC)
  • Earth observation sciences — NERC Earth Observation Data Centre (NEODC)
  • Polar sciences — Polar Data Centre (PDC)
  • Terrestrial and freshwater sciences — Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC)

Using the NERC Data Catalogue Service

You can search for data sets in the way that best fits your needs. You can use one or more of the options available to build searches, combining specific words or phrases with a particular time or place. Alternatively, a shortcut search offers relevant International Organization for Standardization (ISO) topic categories to allow you to easily find all records for a particular theme.

You can insert simple text searches which operate on the whole record or build complex queries which target specific metadata fields. An example of an advanced targeted search is:

  • Find all data sets that contain pollution in the atmosphere but NOT in the stratosphere and only return those with an online resource.

This would result in the user interface building a query to increase the power of your search. Within the advanced search you can select criteria from approved lists of agreed terms (controlled vocabularies). This has an advantage over free text entry as it removes the need to guess the wording or phrase that might have been used to describe a particular item.

Your search will generate a list of data sets that match your criteria and the information presented will enable you to locate data of interest. If you wish you may opt to refine your search to include broader or narrower terms than the text you entered, for example meteorology — precipitation — hail, rain or snow.

Further information and access to the data may be obtained by clicking on the available options within each listing. However, it should be noted that not all data providers will provide the same data services.