Recording and slides of webinar on the Open Access experience of CGIAR now online!

If you couldn't attend the Webinar on Opening Access to Agriculture Research Products: The experience of CGIAR by Enrica Porcari, you have now the opportunity to listen to the recording and take a look at the slides.


CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. Over 8,000 scientists and staff at 15 Research Centers generate and disseminate knowledge, technologies and policies for agricultural development. They collaborate closely with hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector. Their work is organized in 15 different CGIAR Research Programs that seek to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and ensure more sustainable management of natural resources.

CGIAR is envisioning open and free access to all its research results

Over the past years, major reforms within CGIAR have begun to transform the approach how CGIAR generates and disseminates knowledge, technologies, and policies for agricultural development. In March 2012, a key milestone was achieved: CGIAR agreed upon a common operational framework with a new vision and principles on the management of intellectual assets.

In this framework, results of CGIAR research and development activities are regarded as international public goods. CGIAR is committed to widespread diffusion and use of its research products. To maximize impact and sharing of benefits, CGIAR is envisioning open and free access to all its research results and development activities, with more limited access or other restrictions becoming the exception only justifiable in well-defined circumstances.

Baseline conditions of common framework

Following an overview of the diversity of CGIAR research outputs and the special challenge represented by research data, the presentation provided examples that reflected the baseline conditions: accessibility to publications and other knowledge within CGIAR Centers, level of openness of databases, researcher attitudes towards more open research processes and outputs, and progress made to define a set of principles to increase availability, accessibility, and applicability of data and knowledge.

Principles on the Management of Intellectual Assets

The presentation then summarized the vision and principles put forward in the new CGIAR “Principles on the Management of Intellectual Assets” and highlighted five concrete collective actions to make this vision a reality within CGIAR.  The actions were proposed by representatives from CGIAR Research Programs and members of the CGIAR Consortium at a workshop in Montpellier, France in September 2012 including the following:

  • prepare guidelines that translate vision and principles on intellectual assets into norms and standards;
  • transition existing gene-banks and breeding efforts into open breeding platforms;
  • establish the architecture for open spatial data;
  • create an open knowledge commons;
  • and build open research management systems.

These five actions represent the first building blocks of a comprehensive data and knowledge management strategy that seeks to ensure that CGIAR research data and knowledge will be more available, accessible and applicable in the future.

Presentation Overview

The presentation identified the current barriers to opening access faced by the CGIAR consortium. Despite these institutional barriers,the positive developments in the general Open Access and Open Data environment were summarised (cited examples included the growing Open government data and the shift by funders and international institutions towards open access, such as - DFID , World BankUNESCO, NIH, and Wellcome Trust).

The key activities that led the consortium towards this experience included the CGIAR Principles on Management of Intellectual Assets, which provided a good legal framework and enabling environment. This policy recognised the CGIAR research outputs (including data and data sets) as international public goods. The Tripple A framework (Availability, Accessibility and Applicability of the CGIAR Research Outputs) provided a strategy of making CGIAR research available widely.

About Enrica Porcari

An Italian national, Enrica became the first chief information officer (CIO) of CGIAR in 2002, when she also started the ICT-KM Program, which aimed to support innovation in technologies and knowledge sharing. She was appointed Senior Information and Knowledge Officer, then Acting Director of Communication of the CGIAR Consortium in 2011. In CGIAR Enrica is now responsible for communications and knowledge management.

Enrica has worked in Asia, the United States and Europe, and speaks four languages. She has an extensive knowledge and experience of information technology (IT), knowledge management, and communications related to development. This was gained through working as Field Project analyst at FAO, Director of Communication at Inter Press Service, Coordinator of CGNET services to CGIAR centers, and Chief of ICT Field Services at the World Food Programme. While she was at the Programme, she was awarded a fellowship at Stanford University to develop a project to adapt IT installations from emergency to development contexts.

Enrica holds an advanced degree in Social Sciences from the University of Milan, Italy.

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