This is a how-to guide for collecting MBON metadata.
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The information below can also be viewed as a Microsoft Word document here.

EML Metadata

Highlighted elements are required

Dataset shortname (will be the URL in the IPT, all lower case, no spaces):
Update Frequency (pick one): Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Biannually, Annually, As Needed, Continually, Irregular, Not Planned, Unknown, Other Maintenance Period
Data License (pick one): CC-0, CC-BY, CC-BY-NC
Description / Abstract:
Resource Contacts (include First Name, Last Name, Position, Organization, Email, can link to ORCID):
Resource Creators (include First Name, Last Name, Position, Organization, Email, can link to ORCID):
Metadata Providers (include First Name, Last Name, Position, Organization, Email, can link to ORCID):

Geographic Coverage

Set global coverage: YES or NO (if NO rest is required)
West (decimal degrees):
East (decimal degrees):
South (decimal degrees):
North (decimal degrees):

Taxonomic Coverage

Scientific Name, Common Name, Taxon Rank for all species or at higher level if all part of one higher level rank

Temporal Coverage

Temporal Coverage Type (can select more than one but corresponding information must align with the type): Single Date, Formation Period, Date Range, Living Time Period


Thesaurus / Vocabulary:
Keyword List:

Associated Parties

All US MBON affiliated datasets should include, at least, one Associated Party which is affiliated with US MBON. This allows OBIS to create an institute page which reflects US MBON’s contributions (similar to SCB MBON This is possible because US MBON has an OceanExpert institution which will link the various datasets together in an institute page.

US MBON Ocean Expert Institution:
US MBON OBIS Institution:

To create an OceanExpert institution, follow the Appendix: How-to Create an OceanExpert Institution.

Associated Party (include First Name, Last Name, Position, Organization, Email, can link to ORCID):
Associated Party Role (pick one per person from table below):
Role information is also available at

Role Description
author an agent who is an author of a publication that used the dataset, or author of a data paper
contentProvider an agent who contributed content to a dataset (the dataset being described may be a composite)
custodianSteward an agent who is responsible for/takes care of the dataset
distributor an agent involved in the publishing/distribution chain of a dataset
editor an agent associated with editing a publication that used the dataset, or a data paper
metadataProvider an agent responsible for providing the metadata
originator an agent who originally gathered/prepared the dataset
owner an agent who owns the dataset (may or may not be the custodian)
pointOfContact an agent to contact for further information about the dataset
principalInvestigator a primary scientific contact associated with the dataset
processor an agent responsible for any post-collection processing of the dataset
publisher the agent associated with the publishing of some entity (paper, article, book, etc) based on the dataset, or of a data paper
user an agent that makes use of the dataset
programmer an agent providing informatics/programming support related to the dataset
curator an agent that maintains and documents the specimens in a collection. Some of their duties include preparing and labeling specimens so they are ready for identification, and protecting the specimens
reviewer person assigned to review the dataset and verify its data and/or metadata quality. This role is analogous to the role played by peer reviewers in the scholarly publication process.

Note: Abby Benson will be listed as the publisher if she loads the data into the IPT for you and publishes to GBIF and/or OBIS

Note: Mathew Biddle will be listed as the distributor with US MBON as the institution.

Project Data

If including this section Title and Project Personnel are required

Study Area Description:
Design Description:
Project Personnel (First Name, Last Name, Role):

Sampling Methods

If including this section Study Extent, Sampling Description, Step Description are required)

Study Extent:
Sampling Description:
Quality Control:
Step Description:


Resource Citation (can be autogenerated):
Resource Citation Identifier:
Bibliographic Citations:

Collection Data

Specimen Preservation Methods:
Curatorial Units:

Resource Homepage:
Other Data Formats (Name, Character Set, Download URL, Data Format, Data Format Version):

Additional Metadata

Resource Logo URL (or file upload):
Maintenance Description:
Additional Information:
Alternative Identifiers:

Appendix: How to create an OceanExpert institution

Before creating a new institution it’s always good to first do a search to make sure your institution doesn’t already exist in OceanExpert. You can search for institutions at Be sure to check various spellings and acronyms too!

To create an OceanExpert institution:

  1. Create an OceanExpert account:
  2. Once your account is created, log in and edit your profile:
  3. In the Affiliation and Address section of the profile there is a dropdown menu for Organisation/Institution/Company, select the first option Cannot find my Institute - Create New:
  4. A new window will pop up and ask you to populate a new institution record:
    1. The only required fields are: Name, Type (choose from Academic, Government, International / Intergovernmental, NGO, Private Commercial, Private non-profit, and Research), Address, Zip Code, and City.
  5. Click Add Institution.
  6. That should add the institution to the drop down list for Organisation/Institution/Company so that you can associate it with your profile.

To edit OceanExpert institution pages, send an email to with the requested changes.

Tags: metadata eml