AIMS Newsletter no.41, June 2015

Focus on the SIDALC Alliance

The SIDALC Alliance is an international alliance of information services through which a group of institutions from 22 countries in the Americas share their agricultural, livestock, forestry and environmental information and work online. SIDALC was created in 1999 as an information system, however, today SIDALC is one of the most important channels for exchanging agricultural knowledge on a global level.

The initiative was launched by countries in the Americas and is led by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). This initiative provides access to information produced in the region, duly organized in libraries and other information centers. Users have at their disposal close to three million reference materials and over 250 thousand full-text documents, including books, magazines, theses, reports and gray literature. SIDALC is also a community of agricultural information specialists interested in providing access to knowledge openly around the globe. Thanks to this community, a virtuous circle of collaborative networks has been created, in which “each one shares a little so that everyone can have more.” [cada una comparte un poco, para tener mucho entre todas] . Each participating institution preserves its identity and policies on content organization and dissemination, as well as its processes for providing and charging for specialized information services.

Access to the information resources of the SIDALC Alliance is open: the databases are for public use, and users do not require a subscription, and can be accessed at Close to 14,000 online searches are carried out daily through the web search engines, benefitting over 2 million people annually, which increases the exposure of the collections and participating institutions.

SIDALC’s success lies in the fact that it houses the intellectual capital of approximately 175 national institutions, including ministries, universities, and research institutes, among other important partners. Acting as intermediaries in the management and dissemination of information, these institutions continually expand and modernize their services in light of the new paradigms of the knowledge society. The integration of information systems and networks containing agricultural, livestock, forestry and environmental information, promoted in various American countries, allows stakeholders in agriculture and rural territories to have access to timely and pertinent information in those areas. The management model of an international alliance like this one has been useful in broadening the reach of knowledge management in agriculture, which, in the short term, would means new services or systems focusing on linking agricultural professionals, an intensive use of open data as part of the GODAN movement, and access to open learning resources.

The following link includes statistics on the use of and access to SIDALC over the past 15 years of collaboration, since its creation in 1999 up until 2014.

Highlights from the community

  • The GODAN Discussion paper is publicly available. The GODAN initiative published a Discussion Paper entitled, "How can we improve agriculture, food and nutrition with open data''? More info
  • The EUDAT Call for Data Pilots is OPEN. The EUDAT invites research communities and research infrastructures to test, integrate and/or further develop on or multiple components of the EUDAT service suite through concrete data collaboration pilots.More info
  • Applications to attend OpenCon 2015 are now open. Applications to attend OpenCon are open until June 22nd, but applicants are encouraged to apply early.Applicants can request a full or partial travel scholarship, which will be awarded to most of those accepted. More info
  • AGRIS enriched with data from FAO. AGRIS partners are pleased to announce that 4,526 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) records have been included in AGRIS. This recent FAO collection covers bibliographic data from reports, books, papers and manuals held by FAO. More info
  • Forum on Open Data and Open Science in Agriculture, Kenya. The following institutions KAINET,KARLO, MoA-AIRC, KEFRI and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations held the Forum on Open Data and Open Science Workshop on the 15th to the 18th of June 2015. More info
  • ASIS&T Webinar:Implementing Linked Data in Low-Resource Conditions. Dr. J. Keizer and Dr. C. Caracciolo will provide an overview of bottlenecks that institutions typically face when entering the world of open and linked data, and will provide recommendations on how to proceed. They will also discuss the use of standard and linked vocabularies to produce linked data, especially in the area of agriculture. More info
  • Which DuraSpace repository Platform or Cloud Service is Right for Me? Two new, simple comparison tables are available at to help you think through selecting a repository platform or a cloud service that will work for your institution or organization from among DuraSpace project and service offerings .More info
  • agINFRA EC project successfully concluded and .. continuing. The agINFRA project was successfully completed and it aimed at developing a shared infrastructure and computationally empoered services for agricultural research data, with a strong focus on achieving a higher level of interoperability. More info
  • Text and data mining (TDM) in agri-food research.This blog explains the role of the OpenMinTeD project to provide solutions that allow the identification and retrieval of different information pieces and components available in research publications. More info
  • Call to Action: Be part of the European map of big data in agriculture and food.Are you working with Big Data in the agri-food sector? Share the information of your research project & institution and be a part of the European map of big data in agriculture and food. More info

Conferences and Workshops

More upcoming conferences can be reviewed on AIMS Calender of Events, a selection is available below

Upcoming Webinars

The following webinars are on schedule,specific announcement to follow on AIMS

  • TBA. AGROVOC Webinar  by Caterina Caracciolo ( and AGROVOC Team)
  • TBA. VocBench Webinar by Armando Stellato ( and VocBench Team)

For a glimpse of the webinars on plan see here


What is Semantic Search? Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results.

More info: 


"A further insight into the SIDALC Alliance " an interview with Manuel Hildago

Manuel Hildago is the information technology specialist at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.The AIMS Editorial team invited Manuel  to share the SIDALC's story and experiences with the AIMS Community.

Read the interview "A further insight into the SIDALC Alliance" found in the AIMS Interviews section.

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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