AIMS Newsletter no.66, September 2017

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Photo by PEXELS licensed under CC0 License


After having introduced the multilingual agricultural thesaurus AGROVOC within the context of a knowledge management strategy of the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this issue is pleased to share with you an update on some AGROVOC technical aspects emerged from the interview held with Andrea Turbati who is currently responsible for managing the maintenance of AGROVOC technical facilities.

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


Knowledge Management is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organisation and is a big responsibility for this latter as it affects ist decision-making capacity. 

The Knowledge Strategy of the FAO of the UN has two objectives which aim to shift FAO from its traditional role as a knowledge provider to a one where it facilitates access to, and flow of, information and knowledge. The FAO has a mandate to "collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information relating to nutrition, food and agriculture" ... further to the Organization's role in global monitoring of all aspects of food and agriculture and of progress towards the achievement of food security for all.

Knowledge creation, capture and sharing - as part of the Knowledge Management process - can be facilitated by knowledge management systems and tools that can help you manage, for example, important terms, words or concepts, names, topics, persons, organizations or places in a custom thesaurus. FAO's multilingual agricultural thesaurus AGROVOC is a system of terms and relations that presents knowledge in all areas of interest of the FAO, including food, nutrition, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, environment etc. AGROVOC is published by FAO and edited by a community of experts.

The structured data of AGROVOC can be used for structuring faceted search and analysis or text mining of indexed documents and is helpful to find more by semantic search by considering alternate spellings or synonyms.

Constructing and updating thesaurus involves knowledge and technical experts, materials, equipment and space. To remain an effective, essential tool for information retrieval in the era of the Semantic Web, it is imperative that a thesaurus is technically maintained, mapped and linked to other Knowledge Organistion Systems (KOS), as well as allows the addition of new and replacement of some terms/concepts in its structural hierarcy. A highly qualified technical staff should undertake an upgrade of a thesaurus to a new version and to take care about all other related technical tasks.

For more information about AGROVOC: (1.) contact the AGROVOC team at: [email protected]; (2.) join AGROVOC mailing list.


READ HERE our first EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Andrea Turbati (PhD, AI Research Group,  Dept. of Enterprise Engineering, University of Roma, Tor Vergata):
WHAT and WHY TECHNOLOGY is important to push the development of AGROVOC Thesaurus ? "


" The challenge is to continue to be proactive in the development of information management and dissemination, while also adapting the Organization's tools to the different levels of communications infrastructure in member countries and tailoring information outputs to clients' needs" - The Strategic Framework for FAO of the UN.


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

AGRIS data release with 190,193 new records !

find out more

GODAN Action Trainers’ Network : Call for Membership

find out more

CDAIS : Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems Project

find out more

Tanzania workshop on Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA)

find out more

AgroTagger : JAVA software to index your documents with AGROVOC thesaurus

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: DATAVERSITY , 2017 Trends for Semantic Web and Semantic Technologies :
The role of the Semantic Web and Semantic technologies is essential, if more subsidiary and contributory, to the development of true knowledge-based Artificial Intelligence, where what things mean and how people understand what they mean is critical".

The current trends - or rather strategic thematic areas - in the Semantic Web, Open Science, Information-, Knowledge-, and Research 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:

Fact Sheet on Creative Commons & Open Science (Creative Commons UK, ZENODO).

Closed or Protected -  as necessary:

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) : what is it all about?

Interested in anonymizing your data? (OpenAIRE)

FAIR - whenever possible:

 The High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) recommends “framing the EOSC as the EU contribution to a future, global Internet of FAIR Data and Services underpinned by open protocols”.



is the property of systems, as being able to process information originally generated by and for third party applications. SEMANTIC INTEROPERABILITY refers to the ability to understand the meaning of the data to reuse. In particular, it assumes that one is able to automatically detect : (a) if similar items from distinct datasets or information systems actually refer to the same objects of the world, and if not  (b) in what they differ, and (c) how they relate to each other.


1. (meta)data use a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation.
2. (meta)data use vocabularies that follow FAIR principles.
3. (meta)data include qualified references to other (meta)data.


The RDA Agricultural Data Interest Group (IGAD) promotes good practices in research with regard to data sharing policies, data management plans, and data interoperability, and it is a forum for sharing experiences and providing visibility to research and work in agricultural data. The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative supports its partners to join IGAD and participate actively to work on open data, data interoperability and capacity development. The The Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group has produced "Wheat data interoperability guidelines".

The RDA/CODATA Legal interoperability Interest Group defines legal interoperability of research data and articulates why it is important for data interoperability and reuse in interdisciplinary and international contexts. The group has recently published “Legal Interoperability of Research Data: Principles and Implementation Guidelines,” designed to help the research community expand access to and reuse of research data.

Data Description Registry interoperability Working Group has addressed the problem of cross-platform discovery by connecting datasets together on the basis of co-authorship or other collaboration models. The group has produced "Data Description Registry Interoperability Modelproviding researchers with a mechanism to connect datasets in various data repositories based on various models such as co-authorship, joint funding, grants, etc.

RDA/DWS Publishing Data Services Working Group has delivered "An open, universal literature-data cross-linking service" recommendations to improve visibility, discoverability, re-use and reproducibility by bringing existing article/data links together, to normalize them using a common schema, and to expose the full set as an open service. External Services using the cross-linking service:  The Scholix initiative a high level interoperability framework for exchanging information about the links between scholarly literature and data, and thDLI Service, the first exemplar aggregation and query service fed by the Scholix open information ecosystem. ICSU/WDS has also endorsed the outputs of this group. 

... 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] 


FAIR Research Data Management 
Open Science

Digital Preservation

 Semantics and Interoperability

Communication Technology and Applications

Big Data 

Cloud services

Text & Data Mining

Internet of Things (IoT)


The Linking Open Data cloud diagram (updated 22 August 2017) shows datasets that have been published in Linked Data format, by contributors to the Linking Open Data community project and other individuals and organisations. It is based on metadata collected and curated by contributors to the DataHub . Clicking the image will take you to an interactive SVG version, where each dataset is a hyperlink to its entry in Datahub.
LOD Cloud Diagram Page or the detailed description here.

The Basel Register of Thesauri, Ontologies & Classifications (BARTOC) is a database of Knowledge Organization Systems and KOS related Registries. BARTOC lists as many KOSs as possible at one place in order to achieve greater visibility, highlight their features, make them searchable and comparable, and foster knowledge sharing.  FAO Glossary of Biotechnology for Food and Agriculture is indexed in BARTOC. 

PoolParty Applications: Taxonomy & Thesaurus Management -  Ontology Management - Text Mining & Entity Extraction -  Concept Tagging - Recommender System - Semantic Search - Data Analytics & Visualization - Linked Data Management - Data Integration.

PoolParty lets you design knowledge graphs at your own pace and with speed. 

SPAR (Semantic Publishing and Referencing) Ontologies form a suite of orthogonal and complementary OWL 2 DL ontology modules for the creation of comprehensive machine-readable RDF metadata for every aspect of semantic publishing and referencing: document description, bibliographic resource identifiers, types of citations and related contexts, bibliographic references, document parts and status, agents' roles and contributions, bibliometric data and workflow processes.

Have you already explored new eLearning modules available on European Data Portal 
European Data Portal experts have selected 16 short modules designed for anyone to discover more about Open Data. The modules suit all levels from beginners to experts. For best results, complete all 16 modules following their order for a solid grounding in all aspects of Open Data. Or, if you prefer to pick a specific topic, feel free to proceed straight to this module.

An Online Course on Open Science - is an open introductory course into the practices of Open Science that explains how to make the most of the existing outputs of open research. This course is suitable for anyone interested in Open Science. The university faculty are encouraged to use these course materials in their lessons. Even though most of the course is in Finnish for the time being, a number of courses and the Open Science Knowledge Test are already available in English.

LS & IT : Librarianship Studies - is a blog on library and information science, and information technology. Whether you are studying, doing research, or a working professional, this is the place for you... For librarians, i-School Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) & Ph.D. students, researchers, and LIS professionals. Free for everyone.


Open Education & Open Science. RECORDED WEBINAR 

What do Open Science and Open Education have in common? Why is it important to speak about Open Education and Open Science? What do us Open Educators need to learn from Open Scientists and vice versa? Do we need to blur the barriers and boundaries that tend to separate these areas of openness, how and why? 
To answer all these questions, and many more, the Open Education Working Group hosted a Webinar with Guido Scherp, coordinator of the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0. Reed a WEBINAR SUMMARY.

Data sharing & Reuse. RECORDED WEBINAR

Data reuse challenges include determining what data could be reused, by whom (expertise required), with whom (collaborative environments), under what conditions (issues of data quality and curation), why (needs for data integration, control and comparison), and to what effects (types of analysis).

All BD2K Guide to the Fundamentals of Data Science webinar series.

Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) WEBINAR series & 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...

Open Data in Africa. RECORDED WEBINAR (first session)

What is Open Data? Why is it important? What are some of the global and local drivers of the growing open data movement? Who is currently engaging in sharing open data in Africa and why? How can we create and share open data? Whose interests does it serve to do so? ...

Second session of the Webinar - Research on Open Education Resources for development (ROER4D).

Open - what do we value? RECORDED WEBINAR 

The Open Education Special Interest Group hosted this webinar to bring together the most active thinkers and doers in the international world of open representing many exciting projects from across the many Open Education communities in order to facilitate a discussion of shared values. The group invited representatives from organisations who adopt OPEN as a fundamental principle to join a discussion in this webinar.

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.). 


Kitzes, J., Turek, D., & Deniz, F. (Eds.). (2017). The Practice of Reproducible Research: Case Studies and Lessons from the Data-Intensive Sciences. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

York, J., Gutmann, M., Berman, F., What Do We Know About The Stewardship Gap?,  2016-07-17, University of Michigan, Deep Blue. [The Stewardship Gap Project seeks to investigate characteristics of and measure the stewardship gap for sponsored scholarly activity. There is not one stewardship gap but rather multiple “gaps” that contribute to whether data is responsibly stewarded].

Model Policy for Research Data Management (RDM) at Research Institutions/Institutes. In: Leaders Activating Research Networks (LEARN) (ed.) LEARN Toolkit of Best Practice for Research Data Management, 2017, pp. 133-136.

Boss, K., Broussard, M., Challenges facing the preservation of born-digital news applications, in IFLA Journal: Volume 43, No. 2, June, 2017.

Spellman, B.,  Gilbert, E.,  Corker, K.,  Open Science: What, Why, and How?, in PsyArXiv Preprints, April, 2017. 

Gymrek,M., Farjoun, Y. Recommendations for Open Data science, in GigaScience, Volume 5, Issue 1, 1 December 2016, pp. 1–3.

Sander J.C. Janssena, Cheryl H. Porterb, Andrew D. Moore et al., Towards a new generation of agricultural system data, models and knowledge products: Information and communication technologyin Agricultural Systems, Volume 155, July 2017.

ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook: Connecting smallholders to Knowledge, Networks, and Institutions, World Bank Group, 2017.


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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