Help > Content and Submissions Policy

Content and Submissions Policy

Subject Coverage and Currency

Any items submitted to the UN Atlas should contain information relevant to sustainable development of the oceans and to the advancement of ocean science.

Information should be oriented for use by policy makers, NGOs, media needing to become familiar with ocean issues and by scientists, students, industry leaders and resource managers needing access to underlying databases, information about the oceans and approaches to sustainability.

As the primary aim of the UN Atlas is to provide up to date information on ocean sustainability, users are actively encouraged to disseminate new or recent research outputs, information and policy documents via the UN Atlas.

When substantially equivalent information exists within and outside the UN system, preferential treatment should be accorded to information obtained from the UN system.


Knowledge type or format

Knowledge of any type that is available (or convertible) in commonly used electronic formats (for example, pdf, text, html, jpeg, gif, WORD, EXCEL) can be linked to, uploaded, or referenced in the UN Atlas, where it becomes known as Related Knowledge (RK). For further details about RKs, please refer to Add Related Knowledge, in the Getting Started page.

Advertisement or advocacy of a non-UN organisation's or firm's products or services shall be minimized to the level of providing only policy-relevant information.

Text should be clear and easy to read, containing, for example, thought-provoking opinions, a useful summary or checklist, an interesting experience or case study or an example of how to do something. Writing should be crisp and to the point and without colloquial expressions.



Uploaded Files and their Accessibility

The format and size of an uploaded or linked file must be clearly stated in the reference/metadata and the format should be of a type that is generally available worldwide and platform independent, such as html and pdf.

Submitted items must be either available on a website, so that they can be linked to the Atlas, or in electronic forms so that they can be uploaded into the Atlas Program; alternatively, they should be fully referenced so that the objects can be located in a library, obtained from a publisher, or directly from the originator or issuing organisation.




The current interface of the UN Atlas is English. While users are welcome to submit items of knowledge in any language, the ability to confidently accept an item for inclusion in their topic will be very much dependent on the language capabilities of the relevant topic editor, or on those of the UN Atlas editorial staff. When items are available in multiple languages, all should be entered.

To ensure that a relevant document is not rejected by the Topic Editor due to a language difficulty, users are advised to provide reference information or metadata in English and an English abstract.

English language keywords should be used to better facilitate the retrieval of their RK in a search.




Submitters of information are responsible for the accuracy of the information, including quotations and citations against the original sources and including specific page, paragraph, table and numbers of the citation as applicable. They are also responsible for any breaches of copyright in their submissions.

It is the responsibility of the submitter of information to secure and retain permissions to link to websites and to use copyrighted materials.



Copyright and Intellectual Ownership

Any copyright or other type of restriction pertaining to a specific item of knowledge must be clearly stated in the reference/metadata, or on the uploaded or linked file.

Users may make copies for personal use or class instruction. Permission to reproduce, license, or re-disseminate copyrighted material for any other use must be requested directly to the copyright holder or to the Chief, Publishing and Multimedia Service.

Further information on copyright issues are available in the Copyright Statement.



Content Review

Periodic reviews will be carried out by the Chief Editor in conjunction with members of the Editorial Advisory Board to document progress in the development of the UN Atlas, and to ensure that the content reflects the agreed submission policy and the overall aims and objectives of the UN Atlas. There will be periodic reviews of entire sections by subject matter experts.

Users are, however, kindly asked to report any errors or deficiencies to the Project Manager.




Control over content and format resides with the Chief Editor, the highest-level content administrator for the UN Atlas of the Oceans, and a subordinate hierarchical structure of Topic and Sub-Topic editors. 
An Executive Board oversees the Chief Editor and serves as a sounding board and decision-making authority for the highest level of policy and operational issues.

The UN Atlas Technical Committee presently serves as the Executive Board and the Project Manager serves as the Chief Editor. 
The UN Agency Partners (FAOCBDIAEAIOCIMOUNEPWMO), that have developed the UN Atlas, have delegated its overall management to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).



Project Information

Anyone submitting project information should include comprehensive information about the project, its records, outputs and related information, especially the project donor organisation and lead/managing organisation, with relevant contact information or links.



Use of Materials in UN Atlas Products

Mirror and valued-added CD-ROMs and perhaps other media will be developed from the web-site material.

The UN Atlas products will be distributed either directly through the UN or through a co-publishing arrangement with a private firm. They may be provided free of charge or for a fee used to underwrite the cost of widely disseminating information about ocean sustainability and of further development and maintenance of the Atlas.

Ownership of copyrights will not change and citations of sources will be given. By inclusion of materials on the UN Atlas website, it is understood that no further permissions for these uses are needed. Model agreements are available from the Project Manager.