2008 IMC Meeting Evening Discussion Notes

September 8, 2008, IMC Evening Discussions:
1. How does your IMS keep track of research projects as they develop, grow and build on one another?
a. What is a project?
i. Level:
1. performed at the site, cross-site, or network-level
ii. Funding:
1. core lter or outside
2. site or student
3. define project by proposal
iii. Publications:
1. Projects should reference proposals and related publications
iv. Objective/purpose:
1. define specific research question/hypothesis based sampling
2. core monitoring
v. Thematic/domain:
1. will have lots of sub-projects
vi. Schedule:
1. long-term or short term
2. frequency of measurements,
3. oceanographic cruises
vii. Creator:
1. group of PIs or specific PI define(s) a project
2. database updated and reports out to creator(s)
3. Note many databases can be associated with a project
viii. Data and metadata:
1. Defined by data products
2. need to keep track of data ingestion
3. needs start date and end data
4. *EML related project tag?
ix. Other:
1. Lumped or split
2. Formal or informal
x. NSF related definition?
xi. LNO: a project is defined by a collaboration.
xii. IM project list
xiii. Proposed definition(s):
1. A project is a research question that will generate data and all kinds of activities with a specific structure to keep track of the data? But does this recognize how interconnected the research questions/projects are at a site or across sites?
2. Define a research project as related to dataset(s) available on the web. A project or research question may be associated with a specific dataset.
b. Project database uses and issues:
i. Should be helpful as a research tool
ii. Contain complete history of land/plot use
iii. Jurisdiction over land
iv. Organizational tensions over product rights
v. Contained (locations on land and restrictions on people on research site/station) or uncontained projects (ocean and no restrictions on open, public lands)
vi. Do all sites need to agree on what a projects is? (likely note) – need for flexibility?
vii. Hard to set up a system to track transformations as independent PIs and their projects merge and change over time
viii. Benefits of formalizing a documentation system likely outweighs the challenges in giving up control of project information to the system
ix. Increasing load on IMs to acquire the information for the system
x. Need for PIs to report research project information for the system
xi. Network-level projects may use existing personnelDB and siteDB

2. How do you envision the next decade of information management at your site in light of emerging CI implementation plan, SOA and network level CI developments?
a. Development and use of web services:
i. Split backend and frontend development, as with multiple interfaces into a single service
ii. LNO provide an environment for development, but do all the development
iii. Create registry of services and identify consistency among services
iv. Move from custom/proprietary solutions to open
v. Recognize economy of scale with shared functionality
vi. Discussion of Automation:
1. Develop articulation of how to change data practice
2. Not just automation, but rather computer assisted techniques
3. Collection of data in the field (i.e. veg data)
4. Depends on type of data in the collection
5. People have to be willing to adopt new technologies
6. People have to trust the automation
vii. Long-term perspective needs:
1. Standardization of data (i.e. sensor nets)
2. More citizen input during development
3. More plug and play of technology
4. More integration of data among and between sites, and with tabular and spatial data
5. More ontologies
6. Future we’ll see more sophisticated users
viii. Need involvement from PIs
ix. Prioritize personnelDB, all-site bibliography, and data catalog