Submit Ocean Acidification Data to NCEI

This page is for the submission of NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) funded data sets only. If you have ocean carbon data that are not funded by OAP, please submit them through the OCADS project.

Steps to Submit Ocean Acidification Data to NCEI

  1. Prepare your metadata
  2. Prepare your data files
  3. Send your metadata and data files to NCEI

  1. Prepare your metadata

    Please download the Metadata submission form and fill out your metadata information into the spreadsheet (Column C). Here is a filled out submission form with example contents, in case you find it useful. The submission form can be applied to most types of ocean acidification data including chemical, experimental, and model output data.
    • Please try not to change the order or delete any rows between Rows No. 1 and No. 410, as the information will be read by a computer computer program later on. Starting from No. 411, please first append the additional variable sections, then the non-measured variable sections, then the additional principal investigator sections (if there are more than three PIs), and then the platform sections (if there are more than 3 platforms).
    • If you need help with a specific metadata element, please refer to the Instructions file. You can use the help reference numbers in Column D of the submission form as a key to find their definitions in the Instructions file.
    • The main component of the template is the "variable metadata section" (check out Row #211-230 for an example). Here, a variable refers to a measured/derived property only. For example, temperature, oxygen, growth rate are variables, but date, longitude, latitude, bottle number, quality flags, standard deviations, etc. are not considered variables in this section of the template.
    • For biological studies, the bounding box and geographic name fields are for the location where the organisms are collected.
    • For a list of NCEI platform (ship) codes, please click here. The NCEI ship codes are synced with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) ship codes in most cases.
    • We encourage you to fill out as much information as possible, although only those marked with red are required. If a section does not apply to you, you can ignore the section entirely, even though some of its elements are marked red. Rows marked with "SPECIAL USE ONLY" are for laboratory experiment studies only. The rows of "Measured or calculated" and "Calculation method and parameters" 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.

    Alternatively, you could fill out the XML template file (not recommended). Once downloaded, please change the file extension from ".txt" to ".xml". We recommend to use notepad++, or an xml editor to fill out your information. Please do not use rich format editor, such as Microsoft Word.

    Tips: Want to start with someone else's metadata? No problem. First, click here to see a list of data packages that have already been published at OADS. Once you are at the main page of a specific data set, click the "Download data" button to download the metadata file (Excel spreadsheet) to your computer and start preparing your metadata from there. If you want to get the XML file instead. Right click anywhere on the page, and choose "View Page source".

  2. Prepare your data files

    No specific file format is required. We recommend using ASCII character encoding (e.g., comma-separated values (CSV), Excel, etc.) or NetCDF file format. Please avoid the use of commercial proprietary data file formats.

    For in situ observational water chemistry data, please follow the below data templates as much as you can (If there is no data in one column, please remove the column entirely, feel free to add additional columns as awell):

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

  3. When ready, send your metadata and data files to NCEI

    If your data files are small (less than 20MB), please feel free to send them to us in an email. You shall send your e-mail message to, and CC Please indicate that this is an Ocean Acidification data set in the email. If you are submitting multiple data sets, please send out one email for each submission, and be sure to use different email subject lines.

    If your data files are too big to be sent as email attachments, you have the option of sending your data via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). We have set up a dedicated ftp address for submission of NOAA OAP data to NCEI at See sample FTP data submission. When done, please send an e-mail message to, and CC to let us know that an ocean acidification data set was submitted for archival at NCEI.

Last Modified: 2021-03-02 19:21 UTC