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Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship

The Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship (OADS) Project manages data for the Ocean Acidification Program (OAP). It is designed to make data more effective and accessible for marine ecosystem vulnerability assessments, forecasting, and other ocean acidification monitoring activities.

What We Do

Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship (OADS) is a data management project funded by NOAA/OAR/Ocean Acidification Program (OAP), and operated within NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). We're working to simplify OAP data archival by establishing best practices for submission and formatting, developing a rich metadata standard with input from the scientific community, and implementing a metadata management system to support human and machine data discovery and readability for OA researchers. OADS also conducts global and coastal synthesis efforts to improve understanding of OA.


This project was formed in accordance with NOAA Plan for Public Access to Research Results (PARR), and the White House executive order to make data open and machine readable. We are located in Silver Spring, Maryland. The project was designed to be a building block for an eventual U.S. national OA data management and integration service required by the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009 (FOARAM Act).

Policy and Approach

The principles for this collaborative data management are articulated in the Declaration of Interdependence of Ocean Acidification Data Management Activities in the U.S., resulting from the first Ocean Acidification Data Management Workshop at Seattle, WA in March 2012 and Strategic Plan for Federal Research and Monitoring of Ocean Acidification of the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification (IWG-OA). An Interagency Ocean Acidification Data Management Plan was also laid out during the Ocean Acidification Data Management Workshop in March 2012.

Contact Us

To request help or provide feedback, contact us at or directly using the following info: 

Liqing Jiang
Phone: (301) 713-4858


Funding for the OADS project comes from NOAA/OAR/Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) and NOAA/NESDIS/National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Access Methods

OCADS Portal

Search for individual ocean acidification datasets, including those published through the OCADS project.

Launch Portal

Mooring Data Viewer

Access mooring datasets with pH or carbon related measurements.

Launch Viewer

These instructions only apply to NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) funded datasets. If you have ocean carbon data that are not funded by OAP, submit them through the OCADS project.

1. Prepare Your Metadata

Before you begin

The form accommodates most types of ocean acidification data, including chemical, experimental, and model output.

Metadata Guidelines

Do not make changes to the form without direction or approval. Deleting, reordering, or otherwise altering rows 1 - 410 could interfere with the archival process and compromise data integrity. Starting from No. 411, append:

  • additional variable sections
  • non-measured variable sections
  • additional principal investigator sections (if there are more than three PIs)
  • platform sections (if there are more than 3 platforms)

Refer to the instructions for help with specific metadata elements. Use the help index numbers on the left side of the page to reference the description index on the right.

About The Form

  • The "variable metadata section" refers to measured/derived properties such as temperature, oxygen or growth rate. Predetermined descriptors like location coordinates, bottle number, quality flags, standard deviations, etc should not be included in this section.
  • For biological studies, the bounding box and geographic name fields are for the location where the organisms are collected.
  • Required sections are marked in red. Unmarked sections are optional, but we suggest including as much information as possible. Ignore sections that don’t apply to your data, even if they include elements marked as required.
  • Rows marked with "SPECIAL USE ONLY" are specifically for laboratory experiment studies. The "Measured or calculated" and "Calculation method and parameters" rows are designed for variables that are not directly measured. Examples include sigma-theta, aragonie saturation state, and carbon parameters that are calculated from any other two carbon parameters.
  • The NCEI platform (ship) codes are synced with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) ship codes in most cases.
  • We recommend using a text or XML editor to enter your metadata. XML Template files are not recommended. Do not use a rich format editor.

2. Preparation and Formatting

We recommend using ASCII character encoding (e.g., comma-separated values (CSV)) or NetCDF format, but no specific format is required. Do not use commercial proprietary data file formats.

For in situ observational water chemistry data, follow the templates below as closely as possible. Remove or add columns as needed:

We recommend using CCHDO parameters and WOCE quality control flags whenever possible.

3. Submit

Papers and Presentations

Project History

Climatological Distribution of Aragonite Saturation State in the Global Oceans

  • Li-Qing Jiang gave a presentation about the latest synthesis work on the global distribution of aragonite and calcite saturation states in the open ocean during the 4th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World. (Citation: Jiang, L.-Q., R. A. Feely, B. Carter, R. Wanninkhof, D. Gledhill, R. Key, and K. M. Arzayus. 2016. Climatological distribution of aragonite and calcite saturation states in the global oceans, 4th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, May 3-6, 2016, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)
  • A paper co-authored by OADS staff accepted by Global Biogeochemical Cycles. (Citation: Jiang, L.-Q., R. A. Feely, B. R. Carter, D. J. Greeley, D. K. Gledhill, and K. M. Arzayus (2015). Climatological distribution of aragonite saturation state in the global oceans, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29, 1656-1673)

Data Management

  • Ocean Carbon and Acidification Data Management Activities at NCEI during the Northeastern Acidification Network (NECAN) Webinar Series
  • Li-Qing Jiang visited NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL)
    • Presentation about NCEI's ocean acidification data management.
    • Discussed NCEI's recent reorganization, post-CDIAC ocean carbon data management, and some recent NOAA documents regulating data management.
  • Li-Qing Jiang was invited to talk about ocean acidification and ocean carbon data management at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, online series seminar organized by CLIVAR and Carbon Hydrographic Data Office in San Diego, CA.
  • Data Management for NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) funded data sets during the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program PI meeting in Seattle.

Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship Project

Ocean Acidification Metadata Template

  • Presentation: a poster about the OA metadata template at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California.
  • Published the metadata template that can document biological response OA data in Earth System Science Data. The template can also be used on other commonly seen OA data sets, e.g., chemical, model data, etc. (Citation: Jiang, L.-Q., S. A. O'Connor, K. M. Arzayus, and A. R. Parsons (2015). A metadata template for ocean acidification data. Earth System Science Data, 7, 117-125.)
  • This template:
    • Allows us to archive biological response OA data sets
    • Significantly improves OA data management efficiency
    • Can be used to standardize data

Ocean Acidification Synthesis

pH Distributions, Mechanisms, and Regressions in the Global Ocean

  • Global Surface Ocean pH Distributions and Controlling Mechanisms at the Ocean Science Meeting in Portland, Oregon
  • pH Distributions and Controlling Mechanisms in the Global Ocean at the 10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference in Interlaken, Switzerland
  • pH distributions, mechanisms, and regressions in the global ocean at the 2017 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, HI.