Contextual data collected concurrently with molecular samples are critical to the use of metagenomics in the fields of marine biodiversity, bioinformatics and biotechnology. We present here Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology (M2B3) standards for "Reporting" and "Serving" data. The M2B3 Reporting Standard (1) describes minimal mandatory and recommended contextual information for a marine microbial sample obtained in the epipelagic zone, (2) includes meaningful information for researchers in the oceanographic, biodiversity and molecular disciplines, and (3) can easily be adopted by any marine laboratory with minimum sampling resources. The M2B3 Service Standard defines a software interface through which these data can be discovered and explored in data repositories. The M2B3 Standards were developed by the European project Micro B3, funded under 7(th) Framework Programme "Ocean of Tomorrow", and were first used with the Ocean Sampling Day initiative. We believe that these standards have value in broader marine science.
Keywords: Biodiversity; Bioinformatics; Data standard; Interoperability; Marine; Microbial; Molecular; Reporting.