Knowledge Sharing : The CGIAR OA case studies

In a recent publication entitled  Agricultural Research[1] , OA initiatives case studies at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) are  presented. CGIAR prioritizes the communication of agricultural research results and incorporates the research workflows to the agricultural research. Therefore, the Triple-A framework (Availability, Accessibility and Applicability) was adopted as a framework for knowledge sharing. Most CGIAR centres have embraced knowledge sharing and have repositories , of which 7 of them are registered with OpenDoar and 11 centers participate in the FAOs AGRIS network. Within the CGIAR , two centres - CIAT and ICRISAT - have their respective mandates public. In a study of selected CGIAR centres it was discovered that articles from peer-reviewed journals were generally missing. Only 40% of peer-reviewed journal articles and 54% contributions to peer-reviewed books could be found in Google Scholar.

In order to measure how open the CGIAR data sets are, the article uses the 5 star scheme developed by Tim Berners Lee to assess the degree to which the data is available openly online. The datasets are classified in the following stars:

* Make your data available on the web (any format)
** Make data available as structured data (e.g. Excel instead of image scan of a table)
*** Use a non-proprietary format (e.g. csv instead of Excel)
**** Use URLs to identify things, so that people can point at your data
***** Link your data to other people’s data to provide context

All centers were noted to be providing their data online, except for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Indonesia. 10 centres were classed in the 1st  star category and 14 centres were classed in the 2nd  and 3rd  star category. While in the 4th and 5th category there are three centres;- Global Bioversity Information Facility , Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI) data portal and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) .The study though acknowledges that the star category cannot be used alone as a measure of openness and also that other data sets are in more than one category.

These case studies reveal that within the agricultural domain there is still  potential in making data sets more visible and accessible. In an availability study, it was discovered that Open Access journals in agriculture has a chance of 38% to be included in Scopus and 27% to be included in journal citation report (JCR).

[1] Besemer, H., C. Addison, F. Pelloni, E.M. Porcari, & N. Manning-Thomas. 2011. “Agricultural Research”, in: C. Meier zu Verl, & W. Horstmann (Eds.), Studies on Subject-Specific Requirements for Open Access Infrastructure. Bielefeld: Universitätsbibliothek, 19 - 68.


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