AGRIMetaMaker : a useful tool in providing metadata to the AGRIS Database

Antonella Picarella is a Content Management System Specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where she develops and manages AgriDrupal CMS. Antonella is technically responsible for maintaining the AGRIMetaMaker (AMM) tool that is used by AGRIS Data Providers to send their records to AGRIS. The tool usage requests is administered by AgroKnow (AGRIS Data Processing Unit) - in ingesting records submitted by AGRIS data providers. The AIMS Editorial team asked Antonella (and the AGRIS team) three brief questions on AGRIMetaMaker and  below she shares her views.

What information should l include when asking for credentials to access the AGRIMetaMaker?

If you want to contribute to the AGRIS database with your metadata, you should send a request to agris@fao.org to ask for credentials. This step is very important, since it allows to validate the request and the identity of the applicant. In addition to that, the applicant is provided with a unique identifier within the AGRIS database. When the applicant sends a request for credentials, he/she has to provide the name and address of the institution/company and the reason of the request, together with a valid email address to go ahead with the registration process. After a brief evaluation, the applicant will receive an email with instructions on how to proceed with the registration.

In what situations can one be encouraged to use AMM to send records to AGRIS?

AMM is very useful to provide metadata to the AGRIS database, above all for those institutions who don't have their own digital repository or any tool to create well-formed metadata records to be added to AGRIS. It does not allow to create a personal catalogue of bibliographic resources, but if they need, they can export from AMM their data in XML format.

What are the other alternatives are there to send data to AGRIS, and any preferred metadata?

If a data provider wants to manage a personal catalogue of bibliographic resources and he/she is not yet using a repository application, a good solution can be AgriDrupal . Another option is AgriOcean DSpace : both AgriDrupal and AgriOcean DSpace are OAI-PMH compliant, use AGROVOC for indexing and the AGRIS AP XML format for exporting. For a comparative analysis see this table here.

Alternatively, Mendeley can be explored: it is a free reference manager allowing you to “easily organize your papers, read & annotate your PDFs, collaborate in private or open groups, and securely access your research from everywhere.” If a data provider uses Mendeley or other different tools, he/she has to send an email to the AGRIS team, to discuss about the metadata format and to set up a process of metadata ingestion.