Join OTN

Joining the Ocean Tracking Network connects your project to a global community of telemeters, allowing your data to join the OTN database, where it can be cross-referenced, quality controlled, and made available to you in many highly useful formats for analysis and visualization.

OTN researchers collaborate by virtue of proximity and the cross-pollination of their target species in their study areas, but also through the development of methods and tools for data synthesis, analysis and visualization.

Animal morphology and tagging activity data stored in the OTN database is protected by a tag-based embargo per the OTN Data Policy, but the pathway exists for researchers to eventually publish and share all of their data with global biogeographic databases as well as through OTN’s open data platforms.

In order to fulfill the goals of advertising your project to potential collaborators, as well as preserving and cross-referencing your dataset, it’s OTN policy to ask for information about your project and about your tagged animals.

More information regarding providing data to the OTN Global Data Warehouse, including OTN policies, templates, and checklists for data submission.

(A) Background information.

Please use the OTN Project metadata form to answer the following questions:

  1. Title-style description of the project?
    format: < 70 words in ‘paper title’ form
  2. Brief abstract of the project?
    format: < 500 words in ‘abstract’ form
  3. Names, affiliations, and email addresses of researchers involved in the project and their role (principal investigator, point of contact, data custodian, author, owner, distributor, or resource provider)?
    format: Firstname Lastname, Employer OR Affiliation, Project Role,
  4. Project website URL – can be left blank
    format: http[s]://
  5. Species being studied?
    format: Common name (scientific name)
  6. Location of the project?
    format: (city, state/province OR nearby landmark OR lat/long points in decimal degree), one per line
  7. Start and end dates of the project, if known.
    format: YYYY-MM-DD to YYYY-MM-DD
  8. Citation to use when referencing this project
    format: Lastname, I., Lastname, I. YYYY. [Title from question 1 or suitable alternative] Will be assigned if left blank.

Click here to email OTN your project’s metadata and get started collaborating with OTN
or, mail to otndc[at] with the subject New Project Metadata

(B) Authorization allowing VEMCO to give us the technical specs on your tags.

If you use VEMCO tags, you may download and fill out the VEMCO authorization form so we can begin to attribute detections of your tags even without animal morphology. This allows us to provide you with detailed detection data even if you have not yet submitted information on where your tags were deployed.

Once we have (A) and (B), we can prefill our tagging metadata template with the specs of the tags and send it to you to fill in details about the animals.

OTN is committed to making acoustic tracking data more accessible while respecting the intellectual property rights of its collaborators. We make the background information you provide publicly accessible on the OTN Data Portal. Associated metadata and detection data remain your intellectual property. You control who has access to your data. For more information, please read the complete OTN data policy.