Associate Information Units (AIU) providing recognition and accreditation for marine science libraries and information centres is complementary to the Associate Data Unit structure for the IODE Data Management programme. Information (as usually managed by librarians and information managers) is as essential in the research process as data.

AIU’s were the final recommendation  of the Group of Experts on Marine Information Management (GE-MIM) which had existed since 1984 and initiated many of the IODE information products. GE-MIM was disbanded along with other Groups of Experts by IODE-XXIV following IODE project-based restructuring. IODE National Coordinators for Marine Information Management continue to exist and along with AIUs are the main communication channel for MIM discussions.

Global marine science libraries and information centres are encouraged to become Associate Information Units

Regarding marine information management, the IODE works closely with the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC).

What are the Terms of Reference to become an AIU:

IODE Associate Information Units (AIUs) shall:

    1. Be national projects, programmes, institutions or organizations, or regional or international projects, programmes, institutions or organizations (including academia) that carry out marine information management functions, and/or provide marine information services/products;
    2. Be staffed by at least one marine information professional (by qualification or experience);
    3. Demonstrate active digital development: online information services and products;
    4. Promote Open Access to information. In this context “Open Access” is defined as “unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse” to/of information;
    5. Display a collaborative and networking ethos through:
      1. Membership/partnership of professional library/information networks to enrich their own as well as the entire IODE community;
      2. Sharing expertise and experience with other AIUs, and IODE National Coordinators for Marine Information Management;
      3. Sharing information on new digital initiatives implemented within the AIU, with the IODE community;
      4. Encourage organization staff to submit to OceanExpert
      5. Receive information on, and contribute to, IODE standards and best practices related to marine information management;
      6. Be welcomed to participate in training activities, organized within the framework of the IODE OceanTeacher Global Academy programme;
      7. Be welcomed to participate in IODE workshops and projects;
      8. Agree to display the IODE/AIU decal logo on your webpage and on marine information products developed in collaboration with IODE;
      9. Agree to make available information management documentation (standards, practices, guides…) used by the AIU for the wider marine science library and information community.

How to become AIU ?

Any marine science related project, programme, institution or organization that is willing to comply with the above-mentioned Terms of Reference can apply to join IODE as an IODE Associate Information Unit (AIU).

An application form can be downloaded here .

Information that should be provided includes:

  1. name and description of the national, regional or international institution, organization, project or programme, include URL;
  2. name of the applicant AIU (if different from (1));
  3. URL of web presence of the applicant AIU;
  4. URL of database where AIU collection holdings are recorded;
  5. URL of Open Access document repository;
  6. brief description of information services/products/digital initiatives provided by the
    entity including any separate URLs;
  7. name and contact information of the AIU contact point(s);
    (note that this name can be different from the person signing the application.
    The AIU contact point will be contacted for all practical, technical and scientific
  8. name and contact information of the head of the applicant entity:
    (Director of institution, project coordinator, etc. This may be the name of the
    person signing the application);
  9. description of staff and skills/expertise (include IT support);
  10. opportunities provided to staff for professional
    development (inhouse training/ external training/participation in
  11. metrics (e.g. number of journal subscriptions, number of
    holdings, number of records in repositories and other databases etc);
  12. demonstrated involvement in a professional network or
    partnership (e.g. active member of library network, partner
    in funded collaborative project at regional, national, international level etc)
  13. involvement in research data management activities (e.g. RDM resources webpage or assisting with creation of a Data Management Plan (DMP))
  14. for projects: expected lifespan of the project and indication of plans for the archival/preservation of the information output;
  15. please attach letter of support from organization management;
  16. required capacity building, training that IODE should provide;
  17. information on the existing relationship with IODE (if applicable).

Applications for AIUs shall be reviewed and approved by the IODE-Management Group (by email or during IODE-MG meetings). contact details?

The Group will use APPLICATION CRITERIA documented in THIS DOCUMENT