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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" ( 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 with two lines "subscribe databits" and "end" as the message body. To communicate suggestions, articles, and/or interest in co-editing, send email to

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