GWFO Data Management

Data management (DM) strategies are issues of crucial importance, as these data represent a considerable investment of time, money, and resources.  The long-term legacy of data from the program can only be assured by its careful deposit in repositories and indexing in a centralized service.

GWFO has adopted a distributed data preservation and access model that leverages existing, trusted repositories which meet GWFO data stewardship criteria and can be searched and accessed from a centralized metadata search portal.  We encourage publication of data with persistent digital object identifiers (DOIs) along with sufficient metadata and detailed descriptions.  To ensure long-term, ongoing public accessibility to large volumes of complex and disparate data and associated information, a new tool, GWFNet has been developed as a user-friendly high-level information hub specialized for relating together different forms of records on water science research. 

GWFO employs a professional data management team with staff at each of the major partner insitutions with oversight and direction from experienced faculty representatives at these universities, as well as high-level guidance from the SMC.  The DM team has prepared detailed plans and a sound strategy for DM with the following overall objectives:

1. Ensuring management of data throughout the research lifecycle;
2. Establishing data governance practices and processes;
3. Developing techniques and tools for data stewardship; and,
4. Providing input and assistance on all data-related initiatives of GWFO.  

GWFO Data Policy

GWFO has developed a data policy that both outlines our procedures and practices for data management, and specifies the terms and conditions of data use.

Guidelines and Best Practices

We have recently published an article in the international journal Hydrological Processes called “Ten Best Practices to Strengthen Stewardship and Sharing of Water Science Data in Canada” (  This is based on the GWF and GWFO experience and provides valuable information and materials to the global community.