Background: This paper presents an overview of the capacity-building activities and science-enabling services of the Inter-university Upper atmosphere Global Observation NETwork (IUGONET) project. This Japanese program, which started in 2009, is building a metadata database (MDDB) of ground-based observations and is developing an analysis software to handle the data linked to the MDDB system for use by the solar-terrestrial physics community. Because the institutional members of the IUGONET are mainly universities in Japan, we explore tools that can contribute to advanced education as well as promote research activities. Findings: In this paper, we describe the utilities of the IUGONET for education, including our capacity-building activities in developing countries. We have regularly facilitated training seminars for Japanese students on the use of our tools (IUGONET MDDB and the software), and we have held capacity-building seminars for young scientists in developing countries. In addition to the MDDB, we have prepared various 'gateway' tools for users who are unfamiliar with 'keywords' to search for data. One of these is a geographical display tool that uses Google Earth (KML file), which is included as supplemental material to this paper. The usefulness of the IUGONET has been proven over its first 5 years of operation by the increasing number of its users, which has led to the production of approximately 500 scientific papers, including 42 thesis papers. Conclusions: The IUGONET community collaborates with the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics program, not only in its scientific activities, but also in the establishment of E-infrastructure and capacity building.
- Capacity building
- Ground-based observation
- Interdisciplinary studies
- Solar-terrestrial physics (STP)