Global Ocean Science Report

The IOC is in the process of developing the first Global Ocean Science Report (GOSR).

It will assist local and national governments, academic and research institutions, as well as international organizations and donors, in making informed decisions, e.g. on future research investment.

In brief, the GOSR will inform of where the science capacity exists to address present marine environmental challenges.


In pursuance of Decision EC-XLVII/Dec.6.2, and Decision XXVIII, Dec.5.1, adopted by the IOC Executive Council at its 47th session (Paris, 1-4 July 2014) and the IOC Assembly at its 28th session (Paris 18-25 June 2015), the IOC has incorporated as part of its mandate the publication of a Global Ocean Science Report.

Figure 1. Recovery of a mulit-net for plankton analysis in the Baltic Sea during a cyanobacteria bloom. © Kirsten Isensee


The overall content of the report will be partly quantitative and qualitative in nature. It is proposed that for the first iteration of the Global Ocean Science Report, it should be structured around a number of thematic chapters, which will summarize information about the status of ocean research, investment in research infrastructure and human capacity, as well as potential gaps in marine sciences programmes in need of further investments. It is envisaged to provide an overview on nations’ (i) investments, (ii) resources, and (iii) scientific productivity in Ocean Science. It can be understood as a tool for mapping and evaluating the human and institutional capacity of IOC Member States in terms of marine research, observations and data/information management, as well as a global overview of the main fields of research interest, technological developments, capacity building needs and overall trends.

Draft Outline of the Report

1. Introduction
1.1. Rationale
1.2. Scope of this report
1.3 Methodology

2. Research investment
2.1. Observations
2.2. Fisheries
2.3. Other ocean sciences

3. Research capacity and infrastructure
3.1. Human resources, gender distribution
3.2. Facilities/laboratories/field stations
3.3. Equipment: e.g. research vessels, ROVs, AUVs
3.4. Key time series sampling sites

4. Research productivity and science impact
4.1. Peer-reviewed publications, e.g. normalized Impact, high quality publications
4.2. International collaboration

5. Oceanographic data and information exchange

6. International supporting organizations on ocean science
6.1. Scientific organizations
6.2. Fisheries management organizations
6.3. The role of International Project Offices

7. Contribution of marine science to the development of ocean and coastal policies and sustainable development
7.1. Past examples
7.2. Current challenges
7.3. Emerging issues

8. Conclusions
8.1. Gaps in knowledge, research, capacity and technical infrastructure
8.2. Findings and opportunities
8.3. Capacity building and transfer of technology
8.4. Opportunities for international collaboration

Figure 2. Discover Ocean Time Series Map – IGMETS (click on image for higher resolution)

For more information

Related IOC documents:


  • Decision EC-XLVII/6.2 IOC Executive Council at its 47th session (Paris, 1-4 July 2014)
  • Decision XXVIII, Dec.5.1  IOC Assembly at its 28th session (Paris, 18-25 June 2015)

Presentations (given at the 28th Session [18-25 June 2015] of the IOC Assembly):

Circular letters:

Related documents:

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