Services offered by BMDC

The first service BMDC offers to the community is a free and, as far as permitted, unrestricted access to the data it holds.

Before they are made available, the data undergo a series of checks: the datasets are verified for consistency and must be fully documented. Data are checked individually against their absolute and contextual validity ranges. Meta-information must be comprehensive and sufficiently explanatory. This verification, performed in close interaction with the author of the data, must be seen as a service to the scientific community. Most of the time, it brings an added value to the original data.

BMDC is also committed to the long-term preservation and availability of the records it holds. Collecting data at sea is time- and money-consuming task. Keeping the data available for the future is a service to the whole community, as they represent a part of our knowledge of the world. This is also of the outmost importance when looking to the future with the concerns of 'Global change' and 'Sustainable development' in mind. Our understanding of the possible evolution of our ecosystem and our societies largely depends on our knowledge about the past and present situations.

Beside services directly bound to the data themselves, BMDC also provides services based on its expertise and on the specific analysis tools it develops and manages. Basic statistical analysis and visualisation tools are available online. More sophisticated tools are available internally, for thematic studies, for example. These tools and the expertise of BMDC staff are also available on request for specific studies, where expert knowledge is needed.

BMDC also acts as a 'Project Data Manager' within international research projects.