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Spring 2005

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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)