Newsletter no. 3, July 2011

Agricultural Information Management Standards (AIMS)
no. 3, July 2011

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AIMS in Action


Monthly Spotlight

AGRIS. Release of AGRIS 2.1.1

AMS. The Agricultural Ontology Services (AOS) Workshops now online

AGROVOC. At the First meeting of the Collaborative Thesaurus Working Group

CIARD Ring. Training Workshop on CIARD and Strengthening RAIS in the SAARC Countries

VocBench. At SemTech 2011

More at Communities

Upcoming Events

Greece. HAICTA 2011

South Africa. ETD2011

The Netherlands. International UDC Seminar 2011

Kenya. 6th Annual IGF Meeting 2011

Australia. 6th International Conference on Digital Information Management

The Netherlands. DC 2011

More at Events Service


Linked Open Data. LODE Recommendations for Bibliographic Data

The AIMS team has set its main goal for the last 10 years to enhance the information sharing and interoperability in the area of agricultural and rural development. This goal is based on the AGRIS experience, which FAO and its member countries started in the mid-70s. AGRIS was thought as a one-stop point to access publications in agricultural research, innovation and extension. At the beginning of the 80s a special thesaurus, AGROVOC , was developed to connect publications that were about identical or similar topics. With the advent of the Internet and its rapid development in the 90s, AGRIS partners became capable of publishing their metadata themselves. AIMS team developed the AGRIS application profile timely to give the AGRIS network the possibility to share data without being tied to any internal data standard.

With the paradigm of Linked Open Data (LOD) and the emerging technologies in the 21st Century, it has become a general strategy to liberate data from their silos that are framed by proprietary database schemas. The LODE-BD (LOD-Enabled Bibliographic Data) Recommendations are our attempt to give guidance in the use of vocabularies for the production of bibliographical data (metadata on document-like objects and beyond). Our goal is to produce recommendations that are so flexible that some partners, who have no access to controlled vocabularies or LOD datasets, still can describe their data in a machine processable way, and join other partners who have access to a wide range of vocabularies and have huge capacities to provide quality metadata to the LOD universe.

We are now publishing the LODE-BD version 1.1 that includes properties from namespaces of dc, dcterms, bibo, agls, ags, eprint and marcrel. This is based on the context of the VOA3R community. However, LODE-BD aims to be useable beyond the agriculture and VOA3R and to include more widely-adopted properties from other namespaces, after finishing a study of the usage of the properties in related bibliographic datasets. The next version, LODE-BD 1.2 is under development and will be released within 2011. Meanwhile, any comments and suggestions are welcome.



VocBench Biotechnology Glossary Training
A group of almost a dozen participants representing all 6 FAO official languages trained for 2 days at FAO headquarters in Rome. The goal? Transform the FAO biotechnology glossary into a multi-lingual concept scheme managed using VocBench, FAO's distributed, web-based ontology editing and management system.

AGROVOC linked to 10 new datasets
Recently, AGROVOC has been published as Linked Open Data (LOD) in order to connect the different knowledge organisation systems in the agricultural domain. AGROVOC has been mapped with the following 10 data resources: EUROVOC, NALT, GEMET, RAMEAU, LCSH, STW, TheSoz, DBpedia, Geopolitical Ontology, and DDC. As a result, AGROVOC has now 21,000 outlinks and 3,000 inlinks. This makes AGROVOC LOD the most versatile LOD in the world.

Preliminary results of the CIARD International Expert Consultation 2011
This discussion paper presents preliminary results from an International Expert Electronic Consultation on developing a CIARD Framework for Data and Information Sharing held online from 4 to 15 April 2011 by Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD).
The consultation has led to the consensus that the core element to data sharing is to generate “inter-operatable, linked open data”, make the data accessible and enable its effective use. Global collaboration and partnerships at various levels was also recognized as a key element to enable the sharing of and effective use of data

All OA-initiatives on a Worldmap
The Open Access (OA) Map, launched last month at OAI7, displays the locations of all types of OA-related initiatives, including funding policies, government documents, university mandates and so on. Much of this information was scattered across domains, but is now brought together in one place.
The Map can be used for OA education training and advocacy and should be extremely valuable in informing different constituencies, including policymakers and legislators, about the progress of OA. The Map can also serve as a networking tool to facilitate and catalyse OA developments across the world. A new tool to network on a worldwide scale.

More news at Of Interest

5 Questions in 5 Minutes with Diane Le Hénaff


Who are the users of AIMS and what do they think about agricultural information management standards? In this section AIMS users from all around the world answer five questions on the benefits and use of the AIMS website.

Tell us something about yourself... what is your background and role in the organization you are working for?
I have a scientific background with the added value of a Master’s degree in Scientific Information Management. For the last 7 years, I have been working for INRA on different missions. INRA is the French national research institute in the field of agriculture, environment and food but also the second largest research institute in these fields in the world for the number of its publications. I was hired by INRA in 2004 for my expertise in information systems. But in 2006, I joined the scientific information division to work on the INRA Open Archive: ProdInra.
For the last two years, I have been responsible for the INRA open access policy and the Open Archive. I have been managing a team of 7 people and being involved in 2 European Projects related to Agricultural Information Management. I have orientated my missions toward international networks and collaborations as research & open access remove geographical barriers.

How did you get in contact with AIMS?
FAO is a relevant partner for me. I have discovered similar interests with FAO people such as sharing information and ICTs. They made me know this website. As I was interested in getting selective information about technologies, standards and tools, I started to be a regular AIMS portal’s reader! As soon as the FAO_AIMS twitter account was created, I subscribed to it. It would be great to access the AIMS news through RSS as well.

What is your opinion on AIMS?
As far as I know, there is no other portal that provides information about standards & tools in the field of agriculture. AIMS content is provided by the FAO’s Office of Knowledge, Exchange, Research and Extension team. It is for me a guarantee of quality. I like reading the newsletters and the tweets for receiving news. More feedback about projects and experiments from partners involved in this community in the public part of the portal would add more value. It would also highlight some interesting ideas, experiments or projects.

According to you, what is the most important benefit that AIMS provides to the agricultural information management community?
It offers a portal for information specialists in the field of agriculture to be up to date on technologies, tools and standards. It offers also a “virtual meeting room” for this community that allows discussions on different topics: Metadata Standards, Open Access (are my favorites)…

How do you think that information management standards can contribute to agricultural research for development?
The keyword is interoperability. Using standards is the better way to maximize interoperability between data providers and service providers in the agricultural area. AIMS promotes standards and the linked data; I agree with this approach that helps building a virtual infrastructure for sharing agricultural research information.
The information provided can then contribute to increase knowledge for southern countries. It helps highlighting interesting experiments and methods for the benefice of food safety, sustainable agriculture and rural development.
Our community is not just “playing” with standards, it is really the first step for building and contributing to a global infrastructure for the benefit of end users.

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 management. If you have any contribution, suggestion, or need assistance with the newsletter, please contact us at [email protected]

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