Data are collected from ocean sciences activities that range from a single investigator working in a laboratory to large teams of scientists cooperating on big, multinational, global ocean research projects. What these activities have in common is that all result in data, some of which are used as the basis for publications in peer-reviewed journals.
However, two major problems regarding data remain. First, many data valuable for understanding ocean physics, chemistry, geology, biology, and how the oceans operate in the Earth system are never archived or made accessible to other scientists. Data underlying traditional journal articles are often difficult to obtain. Second, when scientists do contribute data to databases, their data become freely available, with little acknowledgment and no contribution to their career advancement. To address these problems, stronger ties must be made between data repositories and academic journals, and a “digital backbone” needs to be created for data related to journal publications.