How to Use, Acknowledge, and Cite Data

All OOI data are freely available to everyone who has an Internet connection. The only requirement for use of OOI data is to acknowledge OOI as its source, with appropriate acknowledgement of the National Science Foundation’s support. Guidelines for how to use, acknowledge, and cite OOI data follow:


Data use, limitations, and disclaimer are detailed in the  OOI User Terms and Conditions (National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement, Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions, May 13, 2022).  


The OOI Program Management Office requires acknowledgement (in publications, conference presentations, etc.) from those who use data from OOI, as well as tools or software. Users are required to acknowledge the National Science Foundation (NSF) and 

  • the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) OOI Program Management Office when core data/infrastructure is used, and 
  • individual researchers, groups, or organizations when project specific data is used.

Please use the NSF logo if a presentation is graphical in nature, and include the NSF award number in a publication or other written material. The OOI is funded by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 2244833.

Acknowledgement in publication

“This material is based upon work supported by the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), a major facility fully funded by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1743430, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution OOI Program Office.”

Acknowledgement in social media

The National Science Foundation and the Ocean Observatories Initiative should be acknowledged in posts on social media with the hashtag #NSFfunded and a link to the OOI data, if applicable.  Additionally, please “tag” NSF and OOI, as follows:

    Facebook: @US.NSF, #NSFfunded,

    Twitter: @NSF, #NSFfunded, @oceanobserv

     Instagram: @nsfgov, #NSFfunded, @oceanobservatories_initiative

     LinkedIn: National Science Foundation (NSF), #NSFfunded, Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI)


For references/bibliography, OOI’s recommended citation format is based on the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) format, adopted by journals in relevant professional societies such as the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). For a data availability statement in a publication, consider how best to direct the reader/reviewer to the data by directly linking to the data or providing information to get to the data efficiently.

Recommended citation format: 

NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative. (date or year published). Instrument and/or data product(s) (reference designator, if applicable) data (from Platform, optional if providing reference designator) (at Array, optional if providing reference designator) from (start date) to (end date). (Repository). (URL). Accessed on (date accessed).

Guidance for citing data in this format

How to implement this recommended citation:

  • Repository can be Data Portal, Data Explorer ERDDAP, Raw Data Archive, etc., with respective URL.
  • Depending on the repository, the date published would be either the same as the date accessed (Data Portal, M2M API), the date last modified (Raw Data Archive, THREDDS, Data Explorer ERDDAP), or the date in README or filename (Cruise Data)
    • To find the date last modified for Data Explorer ERDDAP, click on the RSS button (to right of Dataset Title) to view pubDate.
  • Recommended date format YYYY-MM-DD.
  • To find the reference designator in Data Explorer: When displaying a data product, click on More information (tab near top) or on Source (tab near bottom).

Guidance for citing data from multiple instruments

How to group citations for multiple instruments:

  • First group by repository (because processing can differ by access point),
  • Then group by date accessed,
  • Then decide whether to group further if used different time frames and/or to be more specific to the instrument/platform/array.

Example for specific instrument and time frame

  • NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative. (2022). Bottom Pressure and Tilt (RS03CCAL-MJ03F-05-BOTPTA301) data from Central Caldera at Regional Cabled Array from 2015-01-25 to 2016-05-25. Data Portal. Accessed on 2022-10-26.

Example for multiple instruments (same time frame)

  • NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative. (2022). Bulk Meteorology Instrument Package (METBK) and CTD (CP03ISSM-SBD11-06-METBKA000, CP01CNSM-SBD11-06-METBKA000, CP01CNSM-SBD12-06-METBKA000, CP04OSSM-SBD11-06-METBKA000, CP03ISSM-SBD11-06-METBKA000, CP03ISSM-RID27-03-CTDBPC000, CP02PMUI-WFP01-03-CTDPFK000) data from Pioneer NES Array from 2015-05-09 to 2022-06-01. Data Explorer ERDDAP. Accessed on 2022-06-17.


The OOI program is currently developing Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to assist researchers in citing data. When these become available, we will provide additional guidance on how to include them in your citations.

We’re here to help!

If you have a question regarding how to use, acknowledge, or cite OOI data, please contact the HelpDesk