AIMS Newsletter no.65, August 2017

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Photo by PEXELS licensed under CC0 License


This issue is pleased to provide you with a quick update on the Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture (ASIRA) online course.
Additionally, AIMS free monthly e-newsletter highlights several mission-related initiatives and events – in Information, Knowledge and (Research) Data Management Sectors (in Agriculture and beyond) – mainstreaming impact through shared knowledge about projects, good practices, services, infrastructures, at a global level. 

Table of Contents


"FAO promotes education systems sensitive to the needs of agricultural and rural communities ... Yet, equitable access to quality education and lifelong learning are key to ensuring sustainable agricultural development and inclusive rural transformation, - Sustainable Development Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all



The free online course on Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture (ASIRA) for Low-Income Countries was launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in February 2017, as part of the Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) Program, in collaboration with Research4Life. The goal of the ASIRA course - delivered through Moodle software - is to provide a channel to enhance the visibility, accessibility and usability of agricultural data and science, particularly in low-income countries. 

In July 2017, the course concluded its 3rd edition [each edition lasts 4 week and consists of three units including eight lessons]. Since its first round, the course gathered 329 enrolled users from 66 countries. To ensure effective user engagement in the course environment and unlocking new knowledge base on the subject matter, - combination of lessons, webinars, activities, assignments and online tutorials was used.

The following is a list of recorded webinars provided during the course: 

"Emerging themes in agricultural research publishing" (& slides) by Thomas Ingraham.

"How libraries have changed their role in the last decades" (& slides) by Chenjerai Mabhiza.

”Using AGRIS as a portal of choice to access agricultural research and technology information” (& slides) by Thembani Malapela.

"Introduction to Using TEEAL to Access Agricultural Journals" (& slides) by Joy Paulson.

"AuthorAID: Supporting Developing Country Researchers in Publishing Their Work" (& slides) by Jennifer Chapin.

“Publishing Open Data in Agricultural Research" (& slides) by Sander Janssen.

“How to Foster Openness from an Academic Library” (& slides) by Ignasi Labastida.

As a result of course evaluation survey overall satisfaction rate of ASIRA alumni was 100% and they all recommend the course to their colleagues both in their local institutions as well as their professional networks. 

The participants expressed that they found the ASIRA course very interesting, as they were exposed to many topical issues that are helpful in scientific research, writing and publishing. ASIRA's alumni enjoyed meeting other colleagues and sharing experience nationally and internationally in the online course environment. 

Here you can meet some ASIRA alumni who were shortly interviewed on what they think about the ASIRA's online course and how it can be important not only for them but also for their colleagues and organization.

Building on the continued success of the past three course rounds, the fourth enhanced (in terms of content and design) course edition will be launched in the autumn 2017. New version will be provided again before the end of the year.

Anyone working in agricultural science related institution or studying in agricultural and related sciences is eligible to apply for the course. Priority is given to anyone from Research4Life eligible countries, group A and Group B respectively.  

Stayed tuned* for more announcements on AIMS and on AGORA channels as to when the registration process will be open. We are already looking forward to the many interesting and creative activities that will then surely be registered and shared !

For more information about ASIRA online course, please contact: [email protected].


"All FAO courses are designed for self-paced learning, and offered free of charge. A mixture of rich content, targeted learning strategies, dynamic screens, interactive tests, exercises with reinforcement feedback and illustrative case studies make often complex topics accessible to novice learners while meeting the needs of experienced professionals wishing to update their skills", - FAO E-learning Centre.


Below you will find a selection of news published on AIMS. The full news listing can be read HERE*. 

Data Management and Data skills training with Data Carpentry and ELIXIR 

find out more

Towards Digital Object Cloud (DOC) compliant with the FAIR principles

find out more

Digital Skills and Digital Literacy : European Union policy actions

find out more

Open Data : tools for facilitating its implementation and sharing

find out more

The role of AGROVOC and other LOD vocabularies in architectural models of interoperability

find out more




BUZZWORDS are actively fragmenting into different mission-related initiatives and events mainstreaming trend impact through shared experiences and lessons learned, projects and programmes, services and infrastructures, implementation strategies and capitalization of good practices … and much more, at a global level.

Image Source: Software Carpentry @swcarpentryThe Open Research Glossary [a crowdsourced glossary of terms, acronyms, tools and concepts in and around Open Science] : "'Open' is unsurprisingly the top word ! ".

The current trends - or rather strategic thematic areas - in Open Science, Information-, Knowledge-, and Research Open Data Management are inextricably tied and one shouldn't take precedence over the other.  As science becomes more data-intensive and collaborative, AIMS continues to encourage Information-, Knowledge-, and Research Data communities to build solutions (in mind from the outset): 

Open - as possible:

 A clear guide to open licenses from

 "HowOpenIsIt" Open Access Guide standardizes Open Access terminology in an easily understandable, comprehensive resource. 

LIBER has signed an open letter urging European lawmakers to put EU copyright reform back on track. [EC Proposal for a Copyright Directive].

Closed or Protected -  as necessary:

 Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives (IFLA).

 Shapes Constraint Language (SHACL) - W3C Recommendation.  Since RDF allows anyone to add statements about any resource, triples may modify the originally intended semantics of shape definitions or nodes in a data graph and thus lead to misleading results. Protection against this scenario can be achieved by only using trusted and verified RDF sources.

FAIR - whenever possible:

 The report of the BlueBridge Workshop “FAIR Friendly Research Data Catalogue: how far are we?”.


 "Research Data are the evidence that underpins the answer to the research question, and can be used to validate findings regardless of its form (e.g. print, digital, or physical). 
They may include, for example, statistics, collections of digital images, sound recordings, transcripts of interviews, survey data and fieldwork observations with appropriate annotations, an interpretation, an artwork, archives, found objects, published texts or a manuscript", - Concordat on Open Research Data.

 Open Research Data are those research data that can be freely accessed, used, modified, and shared, provided that there is appropriate acknowledgement if required", - Concordat on Open Research Data.
 The Open Research Data Task Force Report (30.06.2017) provides a thorough overview of the Infrastructures that support open research data in the UK and abroad. 

SPOTLIGHT ON FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship :

The FAIR Data Expert Group (FAIR - Data - EG) is requested by the European Commission to develop a plan how ... 

... the FAIR principles and other similar principles:

* the OECD principles, the Royal Society concept of ‘intelligent openness’ and the RDA Global Digital Object Cloud *

can finally be put into action and change our data (documentation and sharing) practices to fully support the Research and Innovation policy development on Open Science. See the FAIR - Data - EG guidelines and examples on how to contribute.

Members of the FAIR - Data - EG will be present at the European Open Science Cloud summit at the Estonian Presidency event in Tallinn on 13th October 2017 (see: European Open Science agenda: - progress - next steps). 

 Dutch Techcenter for Life Sciences (DTL) actively promotes FAIR Data Stewardship ...

... of life science information:

Consult our list of FAIR data knowledge and expertise.
Use ‘FAIR Data principles explained’ as a guide when publishing your data.
Make your research data FAIR at a Bring Your Own Data workshop.
Make your research tool FAIR at a FAIR hackathon.
Join one of our FAIR data trainings.
Read more about FAIR Data or about FAIR Data projects and initiatives in which DTL is involved: Personal Health TrainFAIRdICT, and GO FAIR.

The DCC’s “Data Asset Framework” (DAF) ...


... supports institutions in making curation decisions around FAIR research data. DAF is a set of survey methods to enable data auditors to gather this information. DAF helps with planning a strategy to ensure research data are preserved and remains accessible in the long term.

 Take a look at a range of resources cited in the July 2017 AIMS Newsletter that might be useful to explore futher information about Open (Research) Data Management and FAIR principles.                                                                                                                  


... running a global awareness-raising and advocacy campaign aiming to put core trends in Information-, Knowledge- and Data Management Sectors at the centre of the adaptation agenda at international level.  So be invited to get the story told :

[filtered through AIMS core topics] 


RDA 10th Plenary Registration - Early Bird ends August 14, 2017 ! Keep an eye out for all the updates at : "Better Data, Better Decisions" ! 

 FAIR  Principles
Research Data Management 

Repository Fringe 2017, 3-4 August, 2017, Edinburgh, UK [The event is a gathering for repository managers and others interested in research data repositories and publication repositories].

3rd Global Summit "Explore Plant Science Research", 07-09 August, 2017 Rome, Italy [The event focuses on aspects such as plant science research aspects and plant biochemistry, molecular marker development, crop/ trait improvement...and enable successful Data Analysis and Management].

MyData 2017 Conference, August 30 - September 1, 2017, Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia. 

DKAN Open Data Summit. Washington, D.C. August 1, 2017.

Introduction to the Open Science Framework: A platform for managing, collaborating, organizing, and sharing your research projects. Johns Hopkins University. Balitmore, Maryland, August 15, 2017.

EU Call “Science with and for society” (H2020-SWAFS-2016-17) / Topic : “Putting Open Science into action” (SwafS-10-2017, Deadline August 30, 2017).

FOSTER plus project will develop a trainer hand book about Open Science. If you are interested in contributing, please do not hesitate to fill in this google form.

Join the OER Commons Team on 9 August at 1:00 pm Pacific Time to discover how educators are leading OER remixing in their schools to meet local teaching and learning needs. 

OpenSym 2017, 23 - 25 August, 2017, Galway, Ireland.

AEL 2017 : The 4th International Workshop on Advanced E-Learning. Pattaya, Thailand, August 1 - 4, 2017.

FAO Capacity Development: Learning Materials, Learning Courses, Practical Tools, E-Learning Centre.

Digital Preservation

ARA Annual Conference 2017 "‘Challenge the past, set the agenda", 30 August - 1 September, Manchester, UK.

IFLA World Library and Information Congress 83th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, 19-25 August 2017, Wrocław, Poland.

Digital Humanities 2017 "“Access/Accès”, 8-11 August, Montreal, Quebec.

CCKS 2017 : China Conference on Knowledge Graph and Semantic Computing "Language, Knowledge and Intelligence", 26 - 29 August 2017, Xihua University.

Communication Technology and Applications

Big Data 

Cloud services

Text & Data Mining

Internet of Things

HathiTrust digital library text mining capabilities. DePaul University, August 2, 2017, Chicago, Illinois.

Conference: TRANSFORMING LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: The Digital Revolution in Agriculture, 7-8 August 2017, Canberra

Join the (University of Illinois) Webinar: Using citation to provide credit for software contributions, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 (3 to 3.30 pm CEST) with a return on Monday, 14 August 2017 (3 to 3.30 pm CEST)

The international conference cycle EGOVIS 2017 focuses on information systems aspects of e-government, 28 -30 August, 2017, Lyon, France. 


learn4dev is a joint competence development network linking bilateral and multilateral organisations that are committed to more effective and harmonised development aid.  
learn4dev helps organisations offer training and share knowledge on ways to strengthen competences and achieve optimal results. 

The Development and Access to Information (DA2I) 2017 report - launched by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), in partnership with the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School - focuses on the following goals: Zero Hunger (SDG2), Good Health and Well-being (SDG3), Gender Equality (SDG5), and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG9).

The EU-FAO Partnership Programme "INFORMED" aims at strengthening resilience of vulnerable people’s livelihoods and at reducing food insecurity and malnutrition through better informed and evidence-based decision making processes. The programme includes five main areas of work which reinforce each other: * Improved quality and availability of datasets underpinning food security, nutrition and resilience analysis (FSIN) ...

FAO library and ESA have recently signed a 6-month agreement with publisher Springer Nature to get access to five e-books collections with 2016 and 2017 content.
On a regular basis, the FAO Library receives new books which can be checked out for one month. Is there a book you’d like to see in the library? Please send a mail to [email protected]

Get and compare data by browsing and downloading SDG global indicators structured by Goals and Targets.
The list includes indicators part of the official Global SDG framework, and supplementary indicators (additional disaggregation, alternative data sources, calculated trends and populations affected) complementing the official indicators. Indicators for which data are not yet available are denoted in light grey and cannot be selected.

The SDG Academy is a virtual platform that provides free high-quality, mass online education in the field of sustainable development. The initiative brings together the world’s foremost experts on sustainable development – including health, education, climate change, agriculture and food systems, sustainable investment, and other related fields – to offer a comprehensive core curriculum, equipping the next generation of sustainable development practitioners to take on the complex challenges facing our planet. 

AGRINATURA brings its collective resources to work in partnership with international collaborators. It seeks to nurture scientific excellence through joint research, educational and training programmes and projects and advocates for greater support for agricultural research and educational programmes that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


By reviewing key areas of EOSC implementation and endorsing the EOSC statements, participants of this Summit took upon themselves to make the EOSC a reality by 2020.  In that respect, the Summit marked a clear milestone, and proved willingness to build the EOSC as an inclusive and sustainable open commons for Europe’s research and innovation system...

ISA2 (14 June, 2017) - Video Gallery.
The SEMIC event was organised by the ISA² Programme of the European Commission in collaboration with the Malta Information Technology Agency. The ISA² programme supports the development of digital solutions that enable public administrations, businesses and citizens in Europe to benefit from interoperable cross-border and cross-sector public services...

Watch the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition * GODAN Webinar series &
GODAN Documentary web series (created with farmOS: open source web-based application for farm management, planning, and record keeping). 
GODAN supports the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable...

What Is OER? Answers to 5 Questions About Open Educational Resources. OER may include everything from a single video or lesson plan to a complete online course or curriculum and also include the software platforms needed to create, change, and share the materials. What are the potential downsides of using open educational resources? ...

Open Data stories (audio-visual from ANDS).

The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) makes Australia’s research data assets more valuable for researchers, research institutions and the nation. All ANDS work is licensed under the Creative Commons 4.0 International Attribution Licence : you are free to copy, reuse and share our material as long as you acknowledge ANDS as its source...

Let us know ([email protected]) about high-quality videos created by organizations highlighting thematic areas relevant to information management (Open Science / Open Data / Open Access, Big Data, interoperability issues, FAIR data etc.), agriculture,  forestry, fisheries and related themes (food security, land use, environment, etc.). 


All the presentations of the SEMIC17 (Semantic Interoperability Community) conference

Dappert, A. et al., (2017). Connecting the Persistent Identifier Ecosystem: Building the Technical and Human Infrastructure for Open Research. Data Science Journal. 16, p.28.

Next-generation metrics: Responsible metrics and evaluation for open science. Report of the European Commission Expert Group on Altmetrics, 2017.

I.V. Pasquetto,  B.M. Randles, C.L. Borgman (2017). On the Reuse of Scientific Data. Data Science Journal. 16.

J.Bosman, B. Kramer, Defining Open Science Definitions, I&M / I&O 2.0, 2017.

D.J. Johnston (2017). Open Access Policies and Academic Freedom: Understanding and Addressing Conflicts. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 5(1).

Research Data Network (2017, Leeds University Library Blog).

Providing information and guidance on Research Data Management (2017, Research Data Reading, University of Reading).

LEARN, (Ed). (2017) LEARN Toolkit of Best Practice for Research Data Management. [Book]. Leaders Activating Research Networks (LEARN).


E-LIS (Eprints in Library and Information Science) open repository 

F1000Research OKAD (Open Knowledge in Agricultural Development) channel 

 F1000Research GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition) channel 

 Research4life AGORA (Access to Global Online Research on Agriculture) channel 
[What you need to know about AGORA]

* To receive automatically alerts about AIMS news in your mail-box :  (1) Become AIMS member (2) Sign up (3) click ‘My Page’ (4) click ‘Manage my subscriptions’ (4) check on topics of your interest.

The scope of the AIMS Newsletter is to bring under the attention of the AIMS community recent news, events and achievements in the field of (agricultural) information and data management.
If you have any contribution, suggestion, or need assistance with the newsletter, please contact us at 
[email protected].
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