MEDIN DAC data deposit guidelines

Data types

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Choppy waves on rocks

We accept marine geoscience data in the MEDIN DAC, including geophysical data (e.g. backscatter, shallow seismic, sidescan sonar) and seabed sample data from grabs and cores (e.g. geological descriptions, particle size analysis data, geotechnical data). See BGS marine data and the Offshore GeoIndex help page for more details.

If other data types are included, such as biological data, we can forward them to our partner MEDIN DACs.

Contact us

If you have complex, large volume or recurrent datasets please contact us at Depending on the volume, type, and quality of the data, the BGS may quote a cost for archiving the data.

Deposit data

Data Deposit Portal

Deposit your marine geoscience data in the BGS MEDIN DAC using the NGDC data deposit portal (select MEDIN from the list of data sources). Data will be archived for the long term and made available.

Larger datasets can be deposited by file transfer program or hard drive. You should still use the data deposit portal to enter the details, and upload a document specifying how the data will be transferred.


  • Ensure the information entered is accurate and meaningful. This allows someone to quickly understand what the dataset is and if it is of interest to them.
  • The dataset title should be brief and precise and include the following: date, organisation/programme, location, type of survey.
  • The dataset description should be a clear and concise statement of what the dataset contains. See examples.
  • Open data are preferred and data will be made available under an Open Government Licence whereby they can be used for any purpose without restriction provided the data owner is acknowledged. If you require any other licence such as Creative Commons, please specify. See DCC's guide on how to license research data.
  • Data can be held temporarily under embargo (between six months and two years) if required. Metadata will be visible during this time.
  • If a specific acknowledgement statement is required, please include this.
  • Let us know if you require a digital object identifier (DOI) so that your data can be cited in the same manner as a scientific journal article. A DOI is persistent and recognises the value of the data and the effort that has gone into its creation.
  • See the NGDC deposit guidelines for more details.

EMODnet ingestion


The BGS is a partner in the EMODnet ingestion project, aiming to connect marine data holders not yet connected to existing infrastructures. Data can be deposited via the EMODnet ingestion portal. After data are ingested, they are passed to the appropriate expert national data centre for publishing.

MEDIN discovery metadata


Discovery metadata is information about your dataset that allows someone else to quickly understand where and when your dataset was collected and what type of data are available.

We provide metadata to MEDIN in MEDIN discovery metadata standard, which can be searched via the MEDIN portal, or metadata can be provided directly to MEDIN. MEDIN provides some tools for this.

General data guidance

  • Follow good data management practice throughout the generation of your data and ensure that any data provided are reusable.
  • Use standard open non proprietary formats, e.g. segy for seismic data or xtf for sidescan sonar. See acceptable formats and MEDIN data guidelines for more information.
  • Both raw and processed data may be deposited, provided they are clearly specified and useful.
  • Deposit final data only. Do not include duplicate, draft, interim or spurious files or empty folders.
  • Clearly label parameters and units.
  • Use unique, meaningful and consistent file names that match documentation.
  • Quality control your data.
  • Ensure your data are well organised and consistent. Data can be organised in a defined folder structure such as the BGS folder structure.
  • See the BGS survey data management handbook for more information.

Detailed metadata/documentation


Include detailed metadata/documentation with your data to enable future users to use the data with confidence. Refer to the MEDIN data guidelines. These are specific to each data type (e.g. bathymetry, sidescan sonar, seismic, grab and core), providing guidance on what information to archive alongside your data.

This also makes it easier to ingest data into the DAC. The information may be provided in a MEDIN data guideline template or survey report including the information below:

  • equipment, software, processing, methods, etc.
  • quality information and any issues
  • coordinate reference system
  • reason for any missing data
  • any other useful documents such as acquisition, processing, QC reports or logs
  • GIS information, e.g. polygons, lines and points of survey extent and data locations
  • if data/metadata are in reports, ensure that the information is easily extractable (tables)

Geological sample data

  • See the MEDIN grab and core data guideline, and geotechnical data guidelines for more details.
  • Each core or grab should have a distinct ID, which should match filenames/data.

Geophysical data

Sparker 1974
  • Processed data should be corrected with any laybacks applied.
  • Each line should have a distinct name/ID, which should match filenames.
  • Ensure positional data is available for each line.

Multibeam bathymetry/backscatter

Backscatter, Mull
  • We archive the backscatter component of multibeam data.
  • Send bathymetry data directly to the UKHO Bathy DAC.

Photos and videos

  • Photos and videos from benthic surveys with a biological component should be sent to the DASSH DAC for marine species and habitats data.
  • We can accept photos and videos from geological surveys with no biology.

Renewables and aggregates

Oil and gas

  • Oil and gas data relating to exploration should be submitted to National Data Repository/CDA.
  • We archive metadata for site surveys and publish on the MEDIN portal (the BGS does not hold the data). More information.

Physical material

Mobile racking - Keyworth
  • Physical sample material from boreholes, cores and grabs can be deposited with the National Geological Repository.
  • The possibility of depositing these will be discussed case-by-case depending on location, terminal depth and proximity to other samples. Contact to arrange to deposit associated data including a table of all cores/grabs with positions, etc. so the material can be correctly registered.

Data access

Seabed sediment data
  • Data will be made available via the deposited data search.
  • Data can also be made available via the Offshore GeoIndex if resources allow.
  • You should include a data availability statement in your publications, specifying where to access the data.


For more information contact