Best practices study groups

IAPSO Best Practice Study Groups

Starting from 2019 and every two years, IAPSO issues a call for Best Practice Study Groups to support the community in solving problems in the conduct of oceanographic research.

In carrying out oceanographic research, a choice must frequently be made between a few options for measuring data, analysing data, processing software, or modelling a system. The reasons for choosing between competing methods are often not well documented and the relative strengths and weaknesses of these routes are usually not published or well known.

Where it is thought beneficial to bring together experts in competing methods to make detailed comparison then IAPSO may be willing to fund such a face-to-face meeting. There should be a definite prospect that such detailed comparison and discussions will result in an agreed position statement or guideline that outlines the relative strengths of the methods, procedures or software. These will help oceanographic researchers to make the best choices to, for example, analyse their data.

Each IAPSO Best Practice Study Group should arrange a meeting of several days’ duration where consensus should be sought regarding the pros and cons of different techniques. Ideally, this consensus will result in a short technical guideline that will assist oceanographic researchers in making the best choices to, for example, analyse their data.

IAPSO recommends the successful groups make use of the repository of the IOC Ocean Best Practices System ( to survey existing documentation and experts related to the BP topic. We expect that the final documentation created by the group will be made accessible via the IOC Ocean Best Practices System and undergo the GOOS endorsement process.

How to Apply
A brief application of a few pages, which describes how the criteria below will be addressed by the study group, should be submitted to the next call. The application should include a list of potential attendees, as well as a budget indicating how the funding from IAPSO will enable the meeting to occur.
The next call will be released in the fall of 2023.

Criteria for selection

The following criteria will be used in the evaluation of the proposals

  • Does the proposal attempt to put forward best practices for a modelling, data collection, or data processing step or method in which researchers currently have a choice between various options?
  • Is there reason to think that a face-to-face meeting of specialists in these procedures might lead to progress in understanding the relative strengths of the options?
  • Is it reasonable to expect that a summary Guideline document will arise from such a face-to-face Study Group; a document that outlines the relative strengths of the analysis options?
  • Is there reason to expect that if such an IAPSO Best Practice Study Group did agree on and publish such an IAPSO Guideline, that most practicing ocean researchers would agree that the recommended method is preferred and would adopt this recommendation?
  • Will the use of this recommendation advance an important aspect of the physical sciences of the ocean?

Preference will be given to groups who intend to hold meetings in association with the IAPSO assemblies and/or present their results at the IAPSO assemblies.

Read the Call

IAPSO received nine proposals, and the five members of the evaluation committee felt that most of these were of a very high calibre and deserving of funding. However, we were only able to fund two in this first round and the selected proposals are:

Read the Call

A call for IAPSO Best Practice Study Groups in the period 2022-2023 has been opened on 6 September, 2021. IAPSO received five high calibre proposals and two of them were selected by the evaluation committee:

Read the Call

1) The proposal must be presented and signed by a group of researchers from different countries? Can be presented and signed by a group of researchers from one country only, or by one researcher?

The proposal must have the consent of a group of researchers from different countries. Can be presented by one researcher indicating the members (with countries and expertise) of the Study group. 

2) The proposed issue should necessarily produce recomendations that represent an advance for the whole oceanographic community or it can be produce new recomendations to be applied to some regional community?

If it is a regional problem, that's fine. Could the solution perhaps be exported to a wider level later?

3) This type of proposals for IAPSO Best Practice Study Groups will take place in further years too?

We plan to lunch a call for IAPSO Best Practice Study Groups every two years to support 2 groups during this time.



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