FAQs for Scientists

Which fields of ocean sciences are eligible to participate?

Ocean 180 encourages scientists from all fields of ocean science to participate in the competition, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Biological oceanography/marine biology: plankton, benthic organisms, biology and ecology of marine and estuarine invertebrates and vertebrates, ecology, taxonomy, molecular biology.
  • Physical oceanography: currents and waves, air-sea interactions, ocean modeling, near shore and coastal processes, bio-physical coupling.
  • Chemical oceanography/marine chemistry: trace elements, isotopes, nutrient dynamics, organic substances, gases.
  • Geological oceanography/marine geology: geophysics, sedimentology, paleontology, sediment dynamics.
  • Marine pollution: analysis and monitoring of pollutants, fates of contaminants, aquatic toxicology, ecotoxicology.
  • Marine policy:  regional, national, and international marine policies, management, regulation, and protection of marine fisheries and resources, conservation and use of marine resources.
  • Ocean engineering:  corrosion, biofouling, naval architecture, port/harbor design, coastal erosion, remotely operated and autonomous undersea vehicles (ROV, AUV), harnessing ocean energy resources.

 What is considered a “peer-reviewed” publication?

For the purposes of the Ocean 180 Video Challenge, a peer-reviewed article is one that has been published in a scientific journal after being reviewed by several other experts in the field to insure the article's quality, merit, and accuracy.

However, not all papers printed in peer-reviewed journals are refereed or reviewed. Thus, articles, such as editorials, letters to the editor, and book reviews, are typically not reviewed by teams of experts prior to publication and therefore are not eligible for the competition.

My paper is currently “in-press”, am I eligible to submit a video abstract?

No. All publications must have a publication date between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017. Papers that are “in-press” or “in review” are not eligible for submission.

Are scientists outside the US eligible to participate?

Yes.  Only the team leader must be affiliated with a U.S.-based institution and/or a U.S. citizen at the time of submission. However, team leaders do not need to reside within the U.S. to participate. There are no restrictions on the affiliations or nationalities of the remaining team members.

What should my video abstract include?

Your video abstract must include the 5-second video “splash” at the beginning of the video.  The splash is available at Ocean180.org.  The video abstract should also highlight the results and significance of the research presented in the paper.  While there are no additional required components, we encourage entrants to review the judging rubrics (Wave 1 and Wave 2) that will be used to select the competition finalists and winners.

How old are the student judges?

Student judges are in grades 6-8, typically 10-14 years old. Since they’ll be the final judges, your video should target and be suitable for an audience in this age range.

Are contestants (including winners) from past Ocean 180 Video Challenges eligible to submit entries this year?

Absolutely! We strongly encourage past participants and winners to submit video abstracts for this year’s competition. If you were a previous winner (1st-3rd place or honorable mention), you may not submit an entry based on the same publication, but you may submit a new video abstract on a different publication.

If you submitted a video for previous Ocean 180 Video Challenge but your video was not selected as a winner (1st-3rd place or honorable mention), you may submit a new, revised version of your video abstract this year as long as the paper was published within the last 5 years. We encourage scientists to use the comments and feedback they received from the judges to make improvements to past entries. Identical entries from past competitions will be automatically disqualified.

What is the difference between a “Category 1” and “Category 2” entry? What is a professional filmmaker, videographer, animator, or visual artist?

Category 1 entries are created by teams that include at least one author/co-author of the publication without the assistance of a professional filmmaker, videographer, animator, or visual artist.

Category 2 entries are created by teams that include at least one author/co-author of the publication and at least one professional filmmaker, videographer, animator, or visual artist.

We define a “professional” as a business or individual whose primary service, occupation, and/or career involves video production, filmmaking, animation, or the visual arts.

Can authors of a publication collaborate with non-authors to create a video abstract?

Yes, we encourage collaboration! At least one member of the team must be an author on the publication and will be listed as the team leader.  But, they may work with non-authors to create and produce an entry. All members of the team will be cited and receive attribution, although the team leader will be the main point-of-contact.

Who should I contact if I have any questions or if I’m having technical problems?

If you run into technical problems uploading your video or submitting an entry form, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When will I find out if I’m a prize winner?  If I win, how will the prize be awarded?

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top four video abstracts submitted. Winners will be announced on May 11, 2018. All finalists and submitting teams will be notified of the outcome of the judging via email. 

Prizes include: 

1st Place Category 1:    $4,000

1st Place Category 2:    $4,000

2nd Place (overall):       $3,000

3rd Place (overall):        $2,000

If I’m a prize winner, can I share the prize with members of my team?

Yes.  Although prize money will be distributed to only the team leader listed on the entry form, they are welcome to share the cash awards with members of the team at their discretion.

What will happen to my video after the competition is over?

As a condition of their entry, teams agree to license their video submission under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).  All videos will be archived on the Ocean 180 website and will be available for online viewing by teachers, students, and the public.  

By the Numbers

Over 40,000 students in 50 US states, the US Virgin Islands, and 25 countries participated as judges in the 2016 Ocean 180 Video Challenge.