ASIRA (Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture) Online Course for Low-Income Countries

About ASIRA Online Course

ASIRA (Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture) is an online course for low-income countries delivered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Research4Life. The goal of the online course is to provide a platform to enhance the visibility, accessibility and usability of agricultural data and science. It was first announced in January 2017 and performed between 13th February and 10th March.

Course Design

The course is provided in English. It consists of three units as follows including eight lessons. The course lasts four weeks having an assesment and evaluation at the end. Participants are expected to spend six-hour weekly on average to complete readings and engage in activities such as online tutorials and webinars. Attendance of certificate is provided for those who passed the end of course exam. 

  • Unit I: Scientific Publishing Landscape
  • Unit II: Accessing scientific information resources in agriculture
  • Unit III: Using search results

1st. Ed. ASIRA online course 

First edition of the course was from 13th February to 10th March, 2017. Sixty students from twenty four countries took the course including researchers, librarians and professors related to the agricultural domain. The course was enriched by webinars designed to give course participants broader perspective in the relevant areas. 

2nd Ed. ASIRA Online Course

Considering that the course is in high demand, second edition of ASIRA online course will take place from 10th April to 5th May, 2017. It will be enriched again with a series of webinars by experts within the domain.

Upcoming ASIRA webinars

How to Foster Openness from an Academic Library by Dr. Ignasi Labastida, Head of the Office the Dissemination of Knowledge, University of Barcelona.

25 April 2017, 14:00 CET (time converter)

Registration is required by April 24th.

About the presenter


Dr. Ignasi Labastida is the Head of the Office the Dissemination of Knowledge at the Universitat de Barcelona where he is also leading the Research Unit at the CRAI (Learning and Research Resource Center). From this Office he is leading different projects towards openness related with open educational resources, open access and open data within his own institution and partnering with external institutions. He has been a member of the OCW Consortium Board of Directors on behalf of Creative Commons and a member of the Administrative Council of Communia, an International Association on the Public Domain built on the eponymous Thematic Network. Currently, he is engaged in the LEARN project funded by the European Commission aimed at the implementation of the LERU Roadmap for Research Data. He is also member of the Steering Committee of the CIO Community of the LERU.
About the webinar In 2006 the University of Barcelona launched the Office for the Dissemination of Knowledge (ODK)  in order to make visible its commitment with openness started in 2003 when it joined Creative Commons as its host institution in Spain. Currently the ODK is based in the library and during these ten years has been involved in many activities, events, project and trainings to foster openness in any academic level from education to research. In this webinar, Dr. Labastida will explain how they have been developing this work and how the community has reacted.