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How can I contribute data to the BCO-DMO data repository?

The Submission Process: Step by Step

Determine your domain-specific repository
We provide data management and curation services free of charge to investigators funded through the NSF OCE Biological and Chemical Oceanography programs and NSF Division of Polar Programs.
For those funded outside of these programs, we determine if the data would be of value to the BCO-DMO user community and negotiate a 'fee per dataset' data management strategy. See "Find a Fitting Repository" for a complete list of programs supported by BCO-DMO and for help finding another repository if BCO-DMO is not appropriate.
Register your award and related project
Before submitting data to BCO-DMO, make sure to register your award and related project using our online Submission Tool. Find out how to register your project and what information is needed when you have been recommended for funding.
Submit your data and metadata
Submitting data to BCO-DMO can also be done using the online Submission Tool ( Please make sure to have prepared the following:
  1. 1.
    Descriptive Metadata: A dataset needs to be accompanied by metadata for new users to be able to understand and reuse the datasets we hold.
  2. 2.
    Data Files: The organization of the data could vary depending on the data type. There is a distinction between data tables, genetic accessions, and Models & Code. We also have specific guidance for certain research programs or projects, such as GEOTRACES.
Once you have submitted data through the Submission Tool, expect to receive a reply from a BCO-DMO Data Manager within two business days.
If you have any questions or need help during the submission process, you can always email us: [email protected],
We strongly encourage you to submit data at least one month in advance of any pressing deadlines (e.g. NSF reports, manuscript publication) to provide adequate data processing time.
If you have trouble with the Submission Tool or don't have an ORCiD, you can submit data by email by filling out the Dataset Metadata Form (.rtf). The form and your data files can then be emailed to [email protected].

The Curation Process

After we accept your data and metadata, a BCO-DMO Data Manager will begin the process of making the data available online. We strive to develop robust metadata that will ensure data are easily discoverable and reusable. Your Data Manager will contact you with follow-up questions or requests for more information to ensure the metadata is complete. This may be an iterative process, so your patience and cooperation are greatly appreciated.
Once your datasets are online, you’ll be asked to review the data and metadata for completeness and accuracy. This validation stage is the final step in the process, and it is necessary for the assignment of DOIs and for long-term archiving. Once datasets are reviewed and approved by the contributor, BCO-DMO ensures the data are archived properly at the appropriate National Data Center (e.g. National Centers for Environmental Information, NCEI).