Marine research is by nature multi-disciplinary, combining physical, geological, chemical and biological knowledge and data. High quality and efficient marine research requires easy and rapid access to marine data across institutions and disciplines. At p resent Norway lacks an integrated system for exchange of data between institutions, hampering operational and efficient marine science. Specific problems include a lack of a general overview of available datasets, lack of common data formats, lack of a mo dern technical infrastructure for data sharing, and the absence of inter-institutional agreements.
Successful accessibility of all marine data in Norway can only be accomplished through close cooperation between data originators. During the last century huge amounts of marine data have been gathered and stored in different formats at the originators site. In order to realize the considerable potential synergies that are hidden in historic data, the pre-project will develop a concept for data sharing amon g Norwegian research institutions. The full project aims to implement this concept.
In preparation of the pre-project main Norwegian research institutions and universities where contacted at top management level to ensure ownership for the initiative. M ore than 15 institutions and universities are now ready to set out on the same mission to share and exchange marine research data agreeing on one common objective.
The national infrastructure will be organised in three main activities, data acquisition, data products and data exchange. The OECD's principles for free and unrestricted access to research data will act as an underlying principle for data access. User friendly search facilities will help the end users to be able to develop products efficientl y.