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25.08.2017 01:47 Age: 91 days
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Increased collaboration from increased data access

A new collection of online tools and resources, the Marine Sciences Cloud, aims to foster best practice and increased global research collaboration by transitioning researchers to more powerful and flexible data analysis platforms.

The Marine Sciences Cloud paves the way for increased collaboration resulting from increased data access (Image credit: Lauric Thiault)

Part of The National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources project (Nectar) Australian Science Cloud initiatives, the Marine Sciences Cloud provides a framework of easily-accessible cloud-based tools and resources to support marine and climate science community research into the ocean, its habitats, ecosystems and life forms, as well as the study of coastal environments, oceanic currents and the sea floor.

The Marine Sciences Cloud is an Australian-led opportunity to conduct internally-recognised activities that are also internationally collaborative. It aims to increase engagement for the Australian and international marine and climate science community by providing access to cloud-based tools for data analysis and data manipulation.

Dr Roger Proctor, Director of Australian Ocean Data Network, part of IMOS, believes that these kinds of research cloud activities will significantly assist the advancement of Australian research.

“In order for researchers to link to more diverse data collections, it is imperative to transition away from desktop-bound tools," said Dr Proctor. 

“The Marine Sciences Cloud provides the ability to link to existing data sources such as the globally-recognised IMOS data collections," he said.

The Marine Sciences Cloud comprises two key elements – a suite of tools accessed via a Virtual Desktop hosted on Nectar infrastructure, as well as a national service for annotating and analysing underwater imagery. The annotation and analysis service includes SQUIDLE+ for analysis and classification, and GlobalArchive that provides a platform for sharing, cataloguing and exploring archived annotation data.

Sector-wide collaboration was essential when determining the Marine Sciences Cloud requirements. Feedback from several institutions, including researchers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre, Australian Antarctic Division, helped the Marine Sciences Cloud developers to address important barriers.


This text is adapted from 'Marine sciences cloud – fostering best practice',  written by Loretta Davis and published on the Nectar website. Nectar and IMOS are both funded through the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).