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International Conference on Marine Biodiversity Data Management

ICES has decided to co-sponsor the  International Conference on Marine Biodiversity Data Management  and by this mail you are encouraged to participate. On  the conference  website http://www.vliz.be/obi  you will find the f irst announcement and call for papers invit ing contributors  to submit abstracts prior to 31 August 2004,  and to my knowledge a second call will be announced soon - opening up for a later deadline for abstract submission. The conference will take place in Hamburg, Germany , from 29 November to 1 December 2004 and the objectives of the conference are to:

  • Learn how and why researchers have used large-scale marine biodiversity databases to make major discoveries about the functioning and state of ocean ecosystems ;
  • Bring together biological data managers to discuss the present state, and progress, in this field since the meetings in Hamburg (1996) and Brussels (2002) ;
  • Discuss standards and protocols for data exchange. Take note of new developments such as Distributed Generic Information Retrieval (DiGIR) and OBIS, and discuss how this will influence biological data management in general ;
  • Provide an opportunity for biological data managers to find out what is happening at IODE National Oceanographic Data Centres and marine research agencies from around the world ;
  • Discuss potential gaps and overlaps in the taxonomic and geographic scope of existing data systems. How can we, as a community, ensure that we are covering the whole field, and that no taxonomic groups are left behind? How can we make maximal use of resources, and avoid overlaps?
  • How do we integrate data from separate databases into large datasets that will enable us to provide answers on the global cover and long time scales that we need?

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