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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.

Announcement: Alternatively, this issue will be published with the Open Journal Systems software, developed by
the Public Knowledge Project, released under GNU GPL. Since the current format of DataBits is showing its age
(retro style rainbow banner, eek!) and there are more sophisticated ways than our copy-paste editing technique, we
are test driving OJS to to see if a) meets our needs and b) the learning curve is acceptable considering our rotating
editorship. Please evaluate the OJS version of DataBits for its look and feel. A likely next step for the Spring 2008
issue would be to make use of OJS’s article submission feature and customize the settings.

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 coeditorship. 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 coediting, send email to

—– Co-editors: Sabine Grabner (MCR), Wade Sheldon (GCE)

Table of Contents

Feature Articles
About this Issue2
Professional Learning Opportunities: Conferences, Meetings, and MindsetsKaren Baker2
The Ecological Metadata Language Milestones, Community Work Force, and ChangeInigo San Gil, Karen Baker4
Auditing LTER Data AccessMark Servilla, James Brunt7
Kind Thoughts on Joint Projects of the LTERBarrie Collins15
Good Tools and Programs
YUI: An Open Source JavaScript LibraryJames Conners17
Web-Based Data Visualization with JPGraphMason Kortz18
Adding Dynamic Web Site Content – the Easy WayJohn Porter19
Good Reads
Place, Location, and Geographical ConventionsKaren S. Baker20
Managing Information, A Practical GuideSabine Grabner21
An ontology for describing and synthesizing ecological observation dataMargaret O’Brien21
Figuring on Insight through an Insightful FigureLynn Yarmey22