Skip to Content

The 'Fall 2009 Databits' publication is here and is full of great articles for your enjoyment. In this issue you will find a 'Feature Article' describing some recent revelations from a cross-site exchange among LTER information managers as well as range of 'News Bits' articles that report the progress from four key network information management working groups, reveal various site methods for handling GIS metadata, and document one sites' fallout following a hurricane. There are also 'Good Tools and Programs' articles detailing an open source plotting library program and Firefox extensions for web developers. The 'Good Reads' section showcases a number of interesting publications that may interest you. And finally, this issue has a 'Commentary' outlining one potential continuing education opportunity for information managers. Enjoy!

Browse issue | Read complete issue

The Spring 2009 Databits is here and is full of some great articles: Following the presentation of ProjectDB at the 2009 LTER Science Council Meeting Wade Sheldon provides a great introductory article for those interested in getting started with XQuery and the native-XML database eXist, the primary technologies used for that project's development. Complimenting this is an article by Margaret O'Brien on the lessons learned from the ProjectDB workshops. A contributing guest author, Sonja Palfner, shares her experiences doing collaborative work in e-infrastructure. There are 'Good Tools' articles for the rapid development of MySQL table-editing interfaces, software for managing sensor-network data, an auto-documentation tool for relation databases and an online site providing online courses in software development and management for scientists and engineers. In 'News Bits', read about some important Information Management workshops that occurred. And enjoy a great set of three reviews of articles sharing a common thread central to the work of LTER information managers. Enjoy!

Browse issue | Read complete issue

With at least one article in six of the seven categories, there's plenty to read in this issue of the LTER's Databits. This Featured Articles section contains an introductory technology guide, a review of this last year's introduction of video-conferencing practices into the LTER IM community and more. Read two reviews of papers centered on data management practices in the Good Reads section. The News section contains an update and review of a current LTER IM project, and in Commentary read an overview of a course taught by the well-known Edward Tufte. Also, there are some new useful applications reviewed in the Good Tools and Programs sections. And don't forget to take a look at the Calendar in this issue for a list of upcoming event dates. Enjoy!

Browse issue | Read complete issue

The theme of this issue is "Updating Legacy Websites", and several feature articles describe recent upgrades to LTER web sites and supporting technology. Linda Powell describes a major redesign of the FCE web site, Wade Sheldon describes the development of a web-based document and imagery archive at GCE, Hung Nguyen and Corinna Gries describe a novel approach to enhancing the effectiveness of metadata keyword searching in the CAP data catalog, and James Connors and Mason Kortz describe Application Program Interfaces designed by PAL and CCE to support web development projects. Helen Karasti also introduces The FinLTSER Network, a new I-LTER network established in Finland.

Wade Sheldon (GCE) and Margaret O’Brien (SBC), co-editors

Browse issue | Read complete issue

Featured in this issue:

Dear Reader,

As the diverse nature of this issue illustrates, DataBits continues to be a platform for exchanging wide-ranging ideas and resources for strategically and practically improving the practice of scientific Information Management.

This issue features an article on career development in the field of Information Management by Karen Baker, a longtime LTER Information Manager who also conducts theoretical research in this field.

We also hear critical opinions on the pros and cons and progress of networking in LTER, and learn of the status of a new and welcomed network project.

The "Editorial" section has been renamed "Commentary" in order to capture the experience of community participants and to suggest that observations and opinions presented are open to dialogue.

We also added a new section - "Good Tools and Programs" - for sharing experiences with third party tools and utilities, which starts off with three very handy contributions.

Finally, this issue concludes with discussions and suggestions for further reading and a far from complete calendar promoting Information Management related meetings and conferences.

Browse issue | Read complete issue

Welcome to the Spring 2007 issue of Databits!

Twenty-two authors or coauthors submitted articles for this issue, which is a testament to the committment of Information Managers to sharing information. The articles represent the diversity of interests within the LTER IM community and highlight a number of current topics. Most notably, there is a discussion about proposed changes in the organizational structure of the IM committee that would better integrate the GIS working group and the Technology Committee. Additionally in this issue, several articles focus on Ecological Metadata Language, describing recent developments and applications. Lastly, a number of LTER sites will be having their NSF midterm reviews in the coming months. The Baltimore Ecosystem Study was one of the first sites to be reviewed so Jonathan Walsh provided a list of some things to think about as sites prepare for these visits. We hope you find this issue of Databits informative and helpful and we thank all those who contributed articles. Enjoy!

DataBits continues as a semi-annual electronic publication of the Long Term Ecological Research Network. It is designed to provide a timely, online resource for research information managers and to incorporate rotating co-editorship. Availability is through web browsing as well as hardcopy output. LTER mail list IMplus will receive DataBits publication notification. Others may subscribe by sending email to databits-request@lternet.edu with two lines "subscribe databits" and "end" as the message body. To communicate suggestions, articles, and/or interest in co-editing, send email to databits-ed@lternet.edu.

----- Co-editors: John Campbell (HBR), Sabine Grabner (MCR)

Browse issue | Read complete issue

Featured in this issue:

This issue of Databits follows the September, 2006 LTER Information Managers' Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado. The IM meeting was held in conjunction with the LTER All Scientists' Meeting and included a number of Information Managers from around the world. In recent years, there has been an emphasis on establishing relationships among members of the International LTER community. This issue of Databits reflects this initiative with contributions from several ILTER participants. In addition to these contributions, there are a number of feature articles, news items, editorials, and suggested readings that we hope you find interesting and informative.

DataBits continues as a semi-annual electronic publication of the Long Term Ecological Research Network. It is designed to provide a timely, online resource for research information managers and to incorporate rotating co-editorship. Availability is through web browsing as well as hardcopy output. LTER mail list IMplus will receive DataBits publication notification. Others may subscribe by sending email to databits-request@lternet.edu
with two lines "subscribe databits" and "end" as the message body. To communicate suggestions, articles, and/or interest in co-editing, send email to databits-ed@lternet.edu.

-- Co-editors: Brian Riordan (BNZ), John Campbell (HBR)

Browse issue | Read complete issue

Welcome to a robust issue of the Spring 2006 DataBits!

We had many submittals this issue and the articles really show the diversity of this group. We hope you have as much fun reading this issue as we did putting it together. As many of the LTER sites have EML documents being generated, the focus of the IM community has shifted from generating EML to working with EML. There is a series of four articles in this issue of DataBits' that explore multiple approaches with differing timeframes that IM's are developing that will lead to better data discovery within EML. TRENDS also stops by to give an update on their progress. As data mangers, we often over-look some of the ways that we can outreach to our surrounding communities, and Chris Gardner from McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER provides a great avenue with the Children's Book Series. A pair of editorials consider MySQL and PostgreSQL as well as the usual collection of informative articles, good reads, and news bits. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy this issue of Databits'

DataBits continues as a semi-annual electronic publication of the Long Term Ecological Research Network. It is designed to provide a timely, online resource for research information managers and to incorporate rotating co-editorship. Availability is through web browsing as well as hardcopy output. LTER mail list IMplus will receive DataBits publication notification. Others may subscribe by sending email to databits-request@lternet.edu
with two lines "subscribe databits" and "end" as the message body. To communicate suggestions, articles, and/or interest in co-editing, send email to databits-ed@lternet.edu.

----- Co-editors: Brian Riordan (BNZ), Steve Bauer (CDR)

Browse issue | Read complete issue

After most of the LTER sites have produced their Ecological Metadata Language (EML) packages up to Level 3, the subject still occupies a main line in our agendas. Not only do we want to share our methods to achieve this task with other communities, but we want to study the lessons that have we learned in the process. The article Transforming HTML into EML Text presents methods to "transform HTML input by users into the XML DocBook subset required for incorporation in EML" and the article Lessons Learned from EML about the Community Process of Standard Implementation analyses the process of designing, developing and implementing a standard in our community. As we engage ourselves in this task, we evaluate the adequacy of our metadata to have an impact in future generations of scientists in the editorial Tacit Knowledge Acquisition: Approaching Replicability which give us a starting point for this kind of evaluation. On the other hand the article Baltimore Ecosystem Study Data Document, Management, and Sharing: Preliminary Findings of a Site-Specific Study gives us an insight of the envolvement of some of our scientists in complying with the sites' metadata standards. Our commitment to share our sites' information on our web sites targets the search of new methods to facilitate this task as the article Life at the Command Line exposes, and, at the same time, to examine again what lessons have we learned in the process in the article Web Communication Strategies in a Collaborative Environment: Lessons Learned. We report our outreach activities were we have the chance to give and receive knowledge with the rest of the world in the articles Site-based Interactions with Taiwan and International Workshop on Information Management, Beijing, China July 20-22, 2005.

DataBits continues as a semi-annual electronic publication of the Long Term Ecological Research Network. It is designed to provide a timely, online resource for research information managers and to incorporate rotating co-editorship. Availability is through web browsing as well as hardcopy output. LTER mail list IMplus will receive DataBits publication notification. Others may subscribe by sending email to databits-request@lternet.edu with two lines "subscribe databits" and "end" as the message body. To communicate suggestions, articles, and/or interest in co-editing, send email to databits-ed@lternet.edu.

----- Co-editors: Eda C. Meléndez-Colom (LUQ), Brian Riordan (BNZ)

Browse issue | Read complete issue

Featured in this issue:

Following years of efforts in developing a Network Information System (NIS), LTER information managers report on two of its completed components: CLIMDB/HYDRODB and Network All-Site Bibliography. More recently, the LTER sites started the process of exporting their metadata databases into Ecological Metadata Language (EML), a "metadata specification developed by the ecology discipline and for the ecology discipline" (http://knb.ecoinformatics.org/software/eml/). This task has proven itself to be a complex enterprise, whose ramifications cover a wide variety of data management activities and issues. In this article, we can perceive part of this scope as several articles cover from an EML-related tool providing a harvesting service to the development of shared dictionary template. A new harvesting service developed by the LNO that provides LTER sites with means of synchronizing metadata documents with the LNO/KNB Metacat server and EcoGrid networks is presented. A summary of the survey on the resources required by each LTER research site to implement a strategy for generating EML is given. The committee working on identifying Web best practices give their first report. A group of information managers that emerged to discuss the need and peculiarities of developing a dictionary "as a mechanism for moving toward interoperability of site data and cross-site data" give their first insights. Another feature presents a comprehensive graphical user interface (GUI) search engine application for building and managing search indices, defining queries, and managing result sets from searches as developed by GCE. Finally, as a reminder that we all belong to a wider community, constantly facing all kinds of challenges, including the most ancient in human history, facing Nature, a group from the NTL site tells us a story on how they survived a typhoon while installing wireless sensors in Taiwan's Yuan Yang Lake.

DataBits continues as a semi-annual electronic publication of the Long Term Ecological Research Network. It is designed to provide a timely, online resource for research information managers and to incorporate rotating co-editorship. Availability is through web browsing as well as hardcopy output. LTER mail list IMplus will receive DataBits publication notification. Others may subscribe by sending email to databits-request@lternet.edu with two lines "subscribe databits" and "end" as the message body. To communicate suggestions, articles, and/or interest in co-editing, send email to databits-ed@lternet.edu.

----- Co-editors: Eda C. Meléndez-Colom (LUQ), Jonathan Walsh(BES)

Browse issue | Read complete issue