ODINECET (Ocean Data and Information Network for European Countries in Economic Transition) aims at assisting marine libraries in European Countries in Economic Transition. As such this is an ODIN project that focuses only (for the time being) on marine information management and not on ocean data management.

History of ODINECET

The history of ODINECET goes back to 2004 when Mr Jan Haspeslagh, EURASLIC (Eiropean Association of Aquatic Sciences Libraries and Information Centres) participated in the 8th Session of the IODE Group of Experts on Marine Information Management (GEMIM-VIII). Mr Haspeslagh had informed the Group that EURASLIC  as an organization  had  tried to assist Eastern European members but resources had been insufficient. He then suggested the establishment of an ODIN for ECET countries.

Mr Jan Haspeslagh (EURASLIC President 2004-2005) had summarized the needs of  European
Countries in Economic Transition as follows :

  • IT-infrastructure
  1. current situation :  no IT-infrastructure  or insufficient, especially  in aquatic libraries
  2. current national/institutional policy: largely focused on data management, and not on supporting information management
  3. current and  future  allocated budgets:  are  directed to the  projects, related  to data management

Status of information manager profession

  1. curriculum, job opportunities,  renumeration level:  in most cases  no  official job  description  of  ‘librarian’  or  ‘information  manager’;  in  2/3  of  ECET- countries  no  university   curriculum  available  in  library  and  information sciences;  underpaid job  opportunities,  and tendency to  allocate information jobs to underqualified personnel
  2. training  and  continuous  professional  development:  is  very  dependent  on international networking,  but due to  ‘nationalistic’ policies  in many  ECET- countries, this networking is not supported by authorities
  • Information  network-building   (ILL,  Group  cataloguing,  distributed   information services)

The  GEMIM Group  welcomed  the  proposed  establishment  of  an  ODIN  for  Eastern  Europe  to strengthen the capacity of marine libraries in Eastern Europe with the view of increasing their capacity to underpin  marine scientific research  and to enable these libraries  to fully  participate  in library network activities organized in Europe by, for example, EURASLIC.

The GEMIM Group  recommended that  national  and  regional needs assessments be undertaken in cooperation with EURASLIC (deadline: February 2005).. The Group further requested the Eastern European IOC Member States, in collaboration with EURASLIC, to prepare a proposal for submission to IODE-XVIII (deadline: February 2005).

The 18th Session of the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE-XVIII) (Ostend, 26-30 April 2005) adopted the summary report of the GEMIM-VIII Session and as such gave the green light for further studies towards the development of ODINECET.

During the IODE/EURASLIC workshop on the European Countries in Economic Transition (ECET) ODIN initiative (27-28 October 2005, IODE Project Office in Oostende, Belgium) it was decided that a Coordinating Group would prepare a concept document that describes the way the European ODIN will be started and propose a list of activities for 2006. In the first stages, this network will focus on aquatic information management mainly, building on the already existing preconditions and networks in the ECET-region, whom indicate a stronger support need for the information sector.

  • Since 1989-1990, the information management sector in most ECET-countries has undergone substantial changes. This has led in many cases to a decline of information services and existing library networks. It is felt necessary that support from international organizations is needed to re-establish information management activities, and to bring the information management sector to current international standards. The already existing ODIN-networks in other areas are a good example of the kind of support sought.
  • Preconditions (elements that are already in place)  - The EURASLIC ECET group that supports networking of a number of aquatic libraries in the region, through joint projects (BLICOP and “Union List of serials available at the EURASLIC ECET group aquatic libraries”). This group operates under the EURASLIC umbrella, an organization that addresses all issues of aquatic libraries and information centres in Europe.
  • The state of aquatic libraries and regional needs: from a preliminary assessment (October 2005), it became evident that most ECET-libraries need
    1. capacity building (also in regional languages)
    2. networking support for (mainly Russian) libraries
    3. an upgrade of the status of librarians

It was also clear that a more detailed assessment of needs should be organized, to be able to map all information issues in the ECET-region in detail.

Between 27 and 28 October 2005 the "ECET Union List of Serials Project Meeting" and "IODE/EURASLIC workshop on the European Countries in Economic Transition ODIN initiative" took place at the IOC Project Office for IODE in Ostend, Belgium. This meeting further developed the concept of an ODINECET.

A first concrete IODE action undertaken to start ODINECET was the First ODINECET Training Course on Marine Information Management which was held at the IOC Project Office for IODE between 13 and 24 March 2006. As part of this meeting discussions were held on the terms of reference of ODINECET and a working document was prepared.

Immediately following the course the ODINECET kick-off meeting was organized (Ostend, 25 March 2006). This meeting reviewed the working document mentioned above.

On 19 April 2006 a Project Proposal was prepared. More information is available HERE