Submit your data

XBT data submission

BODC aims to ensure that all data incorporated into our database are adequately documented to allow long term viability and future access. Therefore, key data set information (metadata) are important for each data set we receive.

Our 'General guide to data submission' provides details of

  • Data delivery mechanisms.
  • Data file format and file naming.
  • Parameter descriptions.
  • General data set information (basic metadata)
    • Where, when and how the data were collected.
    • Who was responsible for data collection and how you refer to your data set.
    • What has been done to the data.
    • Watch points for other users (e.g. problems encountered and comments on data quality).

Information specific to XBT data are described below. Metadata may be supplied in any standard document format (i.e. Microsoft Word or text), included in file headers or by providing a literature reference. Please do not be discouraged from sending us data even if some of the information is unavailable. We fully understand that there are many reasons why the standards specified may not be completely achieved.

Instructions for other data types are also available.

Data standard

Where possible, all relevant calibrations should be applied to the data including laboratory and field calibrations. Data should be checked for quality and pre-edited or flagged for erroneous values.

Metadata specific to XBT data

Collection details

  • Ship and cruise identifier.
  • Project (if applicable).
  • XBT station identifier.
  • Date/time of the start of each profile.
  • Position of each profile and method of position fix (i.e. DGPS, GPS).
  • Water column depth. Include method — i.e. sounding and methodology, chart.
  • Ancillary meteorological information.

Instrument details

  • Instrument description, reference number, manufacturer and model, recording rate — provide a literature reference, web site reference or briefly describe.


  • Calibration reference temperature and method used to determine calibration.

Data sampling/processing

  • Editing and quality control methods.
  • Equation used for calculating fall rate.
  • Precision of methods (i.e. number of significant figures).
  • Quality control report.