Newsletter. VOA3R Special Issue, Winter 2011

Agricultural Information Management Standards (AIMS)
Newsletter. VOA3R Special Issue
Winter 2011

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What is VOA3R?

The Virtual Open Access Agriculture & Aquaculture Repository (VOA3R) is a 3-year initiative that was launched in June 2010, funded by the European Commission under the CIP PSP programme. It brings together 14 organizations from 10 European countries aiming to facilitate the open sharing of scientific and scholarly research publications and outcomes related to agriculture, food and environment.

VOA3R in Action



The VOA3R team has participated in the following events


2ª Conferência Luso-Brasileira sobre Acesso Aberto

MTSR 2011

EFITA 2011

FréDoc 2011

3rd ISOFAR Scientific Conference

Green Ideas 2011

ICCS 2011

PETRA 2011

20th Agrarian Perspectives


ITOrgEd 2011

Courses & Workshops

1st Scientific National Workshop about Traditional Varieties

Zanzibar IAMSLIC Conference

Organic.Balkanet European Workshop on "Training Challenges for the Agricultural Professionals”

Data Curation for Information Professionals and Digitization (IODE)

Communication and Outreach Strategies (IODE)


Release of  version of the VOA3R platform

VOA3R has recently released its beta version. It is a social platform for researchers in agriculture & aquaculture in which the content of open access institutional repositories, the AGROVOC thesaurus and terminologies specific to research methods are integrated.

At this stage of the project, VOA3R contains 468.983 papers and allows researchers to:
  • Locate and connect with peers through the social network
  • Describe their research and get recommendations based on it
  • Find open access journals related to their profile
  • Find relevant papers or other scholarly content (e.g. datasets) using specific terminologies, like AGROVOC
  • Join groups related to specific topics to share information

What do you think of the VOA3R platform?
Participate in the VOA3R Portal Questionnaire and help us to improve VOA3R!

Your repository can be harvested by the VOA3R portal too!

The VOA3R federation is composed of open archives and digital libraries that are OAI-compliant. It offers a compilation of open access resources to researchers in the field of Agriculture, Environment, Aquaculture and Food.

Your repository can be harvested by the VOA3R portal too! To build up your affiliation, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the URL of your OAI repository and the set of your repository to be harvested if appropriate.

VOA3R's controlled experiments with 'Reviewing life cycle services'

The VOA3R project is addressing the life cycle of scientific (peer) reviews and arranges controlled experiments on 'Reviewing life cycles'. The focus is on as well the existing 'Reviewing life cycles', their advantages and disadvantages, as the development of alternative 'Reviewing life cycles'. The research team from the University of Duisburg-Essen analyzed the current status and organized experiments during the third project meeting in Bologna (May 2011) and the international EFITA conference (Prague, July 2011).

Inside the VOA3R consortium most partners appreciated the open review process presented by VOA3R and would support it. The participants of the EFITA workshop were more reserved. They liked the idea of the process, but only as a phase before the traditional peer review process. Furthermore the VOA3R team received three alternative Review Process Models in Bologna and one alternative model at the EFITA workshop. For future developments VOA3R will continue with the experiments and take all the outcomes and alternatives into consideration.

New content providers from the Netherlands, France, Greece and Turkey

VOA3R is pleased to welcome new affiliated partners that have agreed to provide access to their open access repositories through the VOA3R platform.

  • The Wageningen UR Digital Library is the second largest agricultural research institute in Europe and has provided to VOA3R more than 17.000 open access content.
  • Cemadoc is the institutional repository of Cemagref, an applied French research institute in the field of Forestry and Environment that  provides access to nearly 11.000 resources from the last 30 years. Already in 1992 Cemagref set-up an open access mandatory policy.
  • Archimer is since 2005 the institutional repository of Ifremer, an applied French research institute in the field of Oceanography with an open access mandatory policy. Ifremer made more than 8.200 documents available through VOA3R.
  • The digital library of the Greek National Documentation Centre (EKT) is operated by the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF). EKT is the national infrastructure for scientific documentation, online information and support services on research, science and technology. A total number of 1.100 records have been harvested by VOA3R from EKT until now.
  • TrAgLor, the Turkish Agricultural Learning Objects Repository (TrAgLor) is designed by the Agricultural Faculty of Cukurova University. Its goal is to promote an infrastructure for learning objects in the agriculture, food, environment, forestry and veterinary sciences. A total number of 794 records have been harvested from TrAgLor by now.

VOA3R’s vision depicted and described

The Vision of the VOA3R project is now depicted by the VOA3R Vision map and described in the living document ‘White Paper on Vision’. The map and document reflect all the outcomes of the interactive session that took place during VOA3R's Kick-Off Meeting (2010, Athens) in which all partners participated.

The paper serves as a living document that will be periodically revisited and revised - all the important decisions taken during the development of the project will be included. The White Paper can be seen as a guide and as a documentation instrument for all the partners. The software used to create the map is Debategraph, a web-based, collaborative idea visualization tool.


5 Questions in 5 Minutes with Urban Ericsson

A short interview with the repository manager of the library of  the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) Urban Ericsson on the benefit and use of as well VOA3R as the AIMS website, and the connection between both agricultural information management resources.

Tell us something about yourself... what is your background and role in the organization you are working for?

I am the repository manager of the digital repository EPSILON at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). A major task in my work is informing students and scholars about what the benefits of Open Access are. In recent years I have worked alternately in the field of Library and Information Science and in the field of Ethnology. In the future I will try to bring these fields and interests together under the field of Scientific Communication. I am very interested in how science can be communicated with the new developed tools and how researchers respond to these changes.

How did you get in contact with AIMS?

I’m not really sure. I already had subscriptions to services connected to FAO and maybe I got aware of AIMS through those channels or maybe it was in the context of the VOA3R-project.

What is your opinion on AIMS?

I think it is a very important resource for me as a repository manager managing repositories within the agricultural domain. The SLU-library aims to disseminate the research output from SLU-researchers through EPSILON and so far ;) the work that has been done at AIMS give me insights in what we need to focus on in the future work with the repository.

According to you, what is the most important benefit that AIMS provides to the VOA3R community?

It is important for the VOA3R-project/community to be aware of and connect to both upcoming standards and already established global networks. The AIMS initiative can be seen as a node in those aspects.

How do you think VOA3R can contribute to agricultural research for development?

Being a social communicative platform for sharing scientific output the portal will have the potential to connect people to each other. I hope that all the promising features of VOA3R will be materialized in collaborations on different levels, between different stakeholders, regions, students and researchers. All this is possible when you apply Open Access to research. If you like scientific knowledge to be applied, sharing knowledge is of course essential.


The research within VOA3R leading to these results has received funding from the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP), Theme 4 - Open access to scientific information, grant agreement no 250525.

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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