Simon has been researching standards for publication and transfer of earth and environmental science data since the emergence of the world wide web. Starting in geophysics and mineral exploration, he has engaged with most areas of environmental science, including water resources, marine data, meteorology, soil, ecology and biodiversity. He is principal- or co-author of a number of international standards, including Geography Markup Language, and Observations & Measurements, that have been broadly adopted in Australia and Internationally. The value of these is in enabling data from multiple origins and disciplines to be combined more effectively, which is essential in tackling most contemporary problems in science and society. His current work focuses on aligning science information with the semantic web technologies and linked open data principles, and the formalization, publication and maintenance of controlled vocabularies and similar reference data.

Dr Cox is the author of over 40 journal articles, 30 technical specifications and international standards, and 150 conference papers.He was awarded the 2006 Gardels Medal by the Open Geospatial Consortium, and was selected to present the 2013 Leptoukh Lecture for the American Geophysical Union.