Our Mission


Geochemical data have applications in many disciplines including geology, cosmology, environment, resources (groundwater, minerals, energy), geohealth, ocean and agriculture. As such, geochemical data play an important role in at least six of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To support these disciplines and goals, there is a growing need to provide advice and support the implementation of data quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) validation methods for laboratories, repositories, publishers and policy makers. When provenance, methodology and a measure of data quality are consistently documented others will be enabled to trust, interpret and reuse data. In enabling and simplifying the (re)use of geochemical data, OneGeochemistry will help to facilitate acceleration of the generation of new geoscientific knowledge and discoveries.

As OneGeochemistry organises collaboration and coordination of data reporting standardisation efforts that are non-unique across the diverse geochemistry communities, this initiative fills a niche previously unoccupied. Standardisation efforts have always focused on national, programmatic or less centralised levels. The formalisation of OneGeochemistry and endorsement by societies and associations will enable the initiative to develop and promote influential, community-driven data conventions and best practices necessary to build a global network of high-quality, trusted geochemical data. These actions will enable FAIRer geochemical data, simplifying data (re)use which will both contribute to many UN Sustainable Development goals and accelerate the generation of new geoscientific knowledge and discoveries.

Starting OneGeochemistry

As of December 2022, the OneGeochemistry initiative is acting as the OneGeochemistry CODATA Working Group under the International Science Council to bring together the disparate geochemistry initiatives across Scientific Unions, Associations, Societies and Commissions. Over two years, this Working Group will be utilised to recruit a larger membership base to the initiative that will then be able to vote on a long-term governance structure for OneGeochemistry. The OneGeochemistry initiative invites you, other researchers, data groups and initiatives to help make the OneGeochemistry vision come true, by making geochemical data more standardised and interoperable between institutions and nations creating a global network of geochemical data resources. For more information please visit the Participate section.

OneGeochemistry seeks to create a global geochemical data network that facilitates and promotes discovery of, and access to, geochemical data through coordination and collaboration among international geochemical data providers by:

The proposed structure for OneGeochemistry; where it receives input for standards and best practices from various stakeholders working with geochemical data. Expert committees within OneGeochemistry formally check and accept these with goal to making them available in machine actionable formats as well as publications in the IUPAC brown book and on the OneGeochemistry webpage as recommendations for the various stakeholders to be implemented.

  • Developing internationally endorsed best practices for FAIR geochemical data.
  • Defining requirements for data documentation (method, samples, data quality, etc.).
  • Developing and implement interoperability standards for geochemical data to enable machine-to-machine exchange and integration of geochemical data.
  • Aligning with modern technology, e.g. semantic web standards.
  • Using, where possible, internationally endorsed vocabularies.


Secretary & Coordinator:
Alexander Prent

Interim Board Members:
Kerstin Lehnert, Columbia University, representing the Astromaterials Data System,
Marthe Klöcking, University of Göttingen, representing DIGIS for GEOROC 2.0
Kirsten Elger, German Research Centre for Geosciences, representing GFZ Data Services and EPOS Multi-Scale Laboratories
Lesley Wyborn, Australian National University, AuScope Virtual Research Environments
Dominik Hezel, Goethe University Frankfurt, representing NFDI4Earth and MetBase
Lucia Profeta, Columbia University, representing EarthChem
Angus Nixon, University of Adelaide, representing the AuScope Geochemistry Network

The Briefest History of Geochemistry

By Lesley Wyborn

Geochemistry emerged as a discipline in its own right around 1838 and since then, acquisition and analysis of geochemical data have become pervasive. Initially geochemical data was acquired using manual ‘wet chemical’ techniques and only major elements and a few trace elements were routinely recorded. Results were reported in typeset tables in publications, and a publication rarely contained data on more than 15 samples. For the first 120 years little changed, but by the 1960’s a technological revolution began to take place in geochemistry: analytical systems became more automated and microanalytical in-situ techniques were progressively developed. The volumes of data generated increased rapidly and the diversity of elements and isotopes analysed soon covered the periodic table: the data tsunami began. As more and more automated techniques became available, it became very difficult to share all geochemical data through tables in paper publications, and data was reported in supplementary papers that could only be retrieved through direct contact with the author: the data were no longer part of the publication and were easily and often lost. However, as analytical technologies advanced, technologies to store and curate geochemical data over the long term did not keep up with these developments. Even with the emergence of the internet, the global geochemical community was unable to organise data in a way that it could be digitally curated, shared and even repurposed for new use cases. In the last 30 years major databases that store geochemical data emerged, and although many did not survive, EarthChem and GEOROC have been sustained over decades and continue to provide valuable online, published geochemical datasets and showcase the potential of harnessing data into authoritative sources to generate new scientific discoveries. Today, the Internet can connect multiple globally distributed databases in real-time. We now urgently need to focus on creating the digital standards and agreeing on best practices that will make any online geochemistry dataset Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) by both humans and machines. The recently formed OneGeochemistry CODATA Working Group is seeking to both harness and harmonise existing groups working towards global data sharing and promulgate best practices and standards.

OneGeochemistry Articles & Documents

The OneGeochemistry team has published a number of articles to define the goals of this initiative and its ongoing development.
Addtional technical papers and documentations are archived in our Zenodo community.

The majority of geochemical and cosmochemical research is based upon observations and, in particular, upon the acquisition, processing and interpretation of analytical data from physical samples. The exponential increase in volumes and rates of data acquisition over the last century, combined with advances in instruments, analytical methods and an increasing variety of data types analysed, has necessitated the development of new ways of data curation, access and sharing. Together with novel data processing methods, these changes have enabled new scientific insights and are driving innovation in Earth and Planetary Science research. Yet, as approaches to data-intensive research develop and evolve, new challenges emerge. As large and often global data compilations increasingly form the basis for new research studies, institutional and methodological differences in data reporting are proving to be significant hurdles in synthesising data from multiple sources. Consistent data formats and data acquisition descriptions are becoming crucial to enable quality assessment, reusability and integration of results fostering confidence in available data for reuse. Here, we explore the key challenges faced by the geo- and cosmochemistry community and, by drawing comparisons from other communities, recommend possible approaches to overcome them. The first challenge is bringing together the numerous sub-disciplines within our community under a common international initiative. One key factor for this convergence is gaining endorsement from the international geochemical, cosmochemical and analytical societies and associations, journals and institutions. Increased education and outreach, spearheaded by ambassadors recruited from leading scientists across disciplines, will further contribute to raising awareness, and to uniting and mobilising the community. Appropriate incentives, recognition and credit for good data management as well as an improved, user-oriented technical infrastructure will be essential for achieving a cultural change towards an environment in which the effective use and real-time interchange of large datasets is common-place. Finally, the development of best practices for standardised data reporting and exchange, driven by expert committees, will be a crucial step towards making geo- and cosmochemical data more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable by both humans and machines (FAIR).

Klöcking M, Wyborn L, Lehnert KA, Ware B, Prent AM, Profeta L, Kohlmann F, Noble W, Bruno I, Lambart S, Ananuer H, Barber ND, Becker H, Brodbeck M, Deng H, Deng K, Elger K, Franco GdS, Gao Y, Ghasera KM, Hezel DC, Huang J, Kerswell B, Koch H, Lanati AW, Maat Gt, Martínez-Villegas N, Yobo LN, Redaa A, Schäfer W, Swing MR, Taylor RJM, Traun MK, Whelan J, Zhou T., 2023. Community recommendations for geochemical data, services and analytical capabilities in the 21st century. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2023.04.024

OneGeochemistry is an international collaboration between multiple national and international organisations that support geochemistry capability and data production. This document describes the interim governance of OneGeochemistry that will be valid until the network is formally constituted (planned for mid 2024).

Lehnert, Kerstin, Klöcking, Marthe, Elger, Kirsten, Wyborn, Lesley, Prent, Alexander, ter Maat, Geertje, & Hezel, Dominik C., 2022. OneGeochemistry Interim Governance. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6566074

Prent A.M., Hezel D.C., Klöcking M., Wyborn L., Farrington R., Lehnert K., Elger K., Profeta L., 2023. Innovating and networking global geochemical data resources through OneGeochemistry. Elements 19(3), 136–137. https://doi.org/10.2138/gselements.19.3.136


Many of the images on these pages come from pixabay.