ICES/IOC Workshop on

Biological Effects of Contaminants in

Pelagic Ecosystems



Guidelines for Data Reporting

Version 07Feb02



1.      Why to report


As described in the 2001 Report of the Steering Committee (ICES CM 2001/E:01), workshop participants are requested to report their data to the BECPELAG Scientific Committee for the purpose of a joint analysis of several methods simultaneously. The scope of these analyses is outlined below (see section 5). Workshop participants will receive the basic oceanographic and chemical data which will be provided by the workshop organization (only) after having reported their data to the Scientific Committee.


2.      Confidentiality, publication


The data submitted by workshop participants will be not be distributed to third parties, neither inside nor outside the workshop.


Results from the joint analysis of the workshop data will be published in the Workshop Proceedings, with proper reference to the parties involved. Also, results from the joint analysis will be presented during a Theme Session at the ICES Scientific Conference 2002, and at the Result Presentation of the workshop. Beyond that, each workshop participant is expected to describe his/her method and findings in an individual contribution to the Workshop Proceedings.



3.      What to report


As the various methods used in the workshop generate very different types of results, it is hardly possible to provide a unique template file structure suitable for all methods. The basic rule is that all information relevant for statistical analysis must be reported. However, a typical basic record in a report file refers to



In cases of doubt concerning what or how to report, please contact the Scientific Committee (see section 6).


Aggregated or derived quantities like means, standard deviations, percentages, ECxx etc. can only be accepted as additional information for plausibility checks. They cannot replace the basic records described above.


Each basic record must contain a unique identification and a description of what the record refers to. This requires among others the following information




project identification

BE 015

date (containing year, month, day)

270301 for 27Mar01

sampling location (in geographic coordinates, ie latitude and longitude down to seconds)

60° 35.75’ N for 60° 35’ 45” N

(three separate fields)

station identification (to be given by the cruise leader)


sample number

(one sample comprises all measurements referring to one location, one time point)

same number for all cod taken at 27Mar01 at 60° 35.75’ N, 02° 15.07’ E

replicate number

(identifies sampled object)

(could also be pool number)

5 (for cod number 5)

subreplicate number

(if replicate was split up to determine analytical variance

2 (for liver part no.2 from cod no. 5)

number in pool

1 (for non-pooled measurement)

matrix description

(may contain several components. If so, use one field in the record for each component)

cod (field 1)

liver (field 2)

description of measured quantity


measurement technique


detection/determination limits





liver fat

additional information

measurement technique,

fish size, weight, age, condition index…

measurement (the result of the method)


Quality control procedures

present? which?


Data describing concentration-response information will at least need an additional field for the concentrations used.


4.      How to report


Accepted technical formats are


For the use of other formats please contact beforehand the Scientific Committee (see section 6).


Files must be organized with horizontal rows referring to records/measurements and vertical columns referring to fields containing all entries for one parameter/quantity. All files must be accompanied by a description of their contents. A descriptive head as top of each column may serve for this purpose.


Files should be sent as soon as possible.


Send your files as e-mail attachments or on disk to




You will get a statement of receipt (immediately). Your data will be transformed into a standard form for statistical analysis, and a safety copy will be made (see the statement of confidentiality in section 2). You will get a copy of the transformed data, with the request to check the transformed structure, just to make sure your data description has been correctly understood. Together with the copy of your transformed data you will receive the basic oceanographic and chemical data that is supplied by BECPELAG to the participants.


5.      Scope of analysis


The aim of the intended comprehensive analysis is



For the contaminant concentrations, the information as measured during the workshop will be used as well as results from the DREAM model (for Statfjord) and backward trajectory calculations (for the German Bight) provided by the BSH, Hamburg.


A variety of statistical methods will be needed to pursue these aims. Emphasis will be on multivariate and nonparametric approaches which are necessary to express the results of the methods on a common scale required for a simultaneous consideration. It should be noted that the outcomes of the various methods are of different type (yes/no information, rank orders, continuous measurements, response curves) so that the raw results are not a priori suitable for a joint analysis. However, statistical methods exist which allow to overcome this problem to a certain extent. If the structure of the final database allows so, also methods from what is sometimes denoted as "artificial intelligence" will be used to uncover relationships (regression/classification trees, neural networks, self organizing maps).


6.      Contact


Contact person for questions concerning data reporting and statistical analysis is


Werner Wosniok

Universität Bremen

Institute of Statistics, FB 3

PO Box 330440

D 28334 Bremen



phone              +49  421 218 3471

fax                   +49  421 218 4020




Last update: 07Feb02 by WW