The use of standards in agriculture allows scientists to share useful information without having to deal with problems of interoperability

Tell us something about yourself... what is your background and role in the organization you are working for?
I studied mechanical engineering, hold a master's degree in telematics and am currently studying political philosophy. I have been working for 5 years now as a senior developer for Infoandina, the office of communication and information of the Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN). We develop content management systems for our partners and support them on the use of standards to ensure syntactic and semantic interoperability of their contents.

How did you get in contact with AIMS?
In 2009 I met at the Meeting of Librarians and Agricultural Information Specialists (RIBDA) Valeria Pesce and Imma Subirats of AIMS. They were seeking technical support for the development of the Agridrupal platform. Thanks to their coordination, CONDESAN signed an agreement with AIMS to support each other in developing Agridrupal. I have worked 6 months at the FAO headquarters in Rome where I learned a lot about AGROVOC, information management standards and the semantic web.

What is your opinion on AIMS?
The AIMS team is very dynamic and always up to date with the newest technologies and standards to improve the dissemination of agricultural information of which they keep their members up to date through RSS feeds, tweets and Facebook posts. The tools AIMS offers are constantly evolving, for example, I witnessed how the thesaurus Agrovoc was migrated from a hierarchical to an ontological framework in order to expose data as Linked Data and facilitate its decentralized management. AIMS team members also travel a lot looking for new partnerships to promote local capacity building.

According to you, what is the most important benefit that AIMS provides to the agricultural information management community?
AIMS fullfils a key role in the agricultural information management community. If you want to know what is happening in the world of agricultural information management, you should subscribe to all information services provided by AIMS. If you need a place to share your concerns, you should become a member of one of the many communities that is hosted by AIMS. If you need technical advice on which standard or tool you need to manage your agricultural information then you should contact the AIMS team.

How do you think that information management standards can contribute to agricultural research for development?
The use of standards in agriculture allows scientists to share useful information without having to deal with problems of interoperability. This aspect is fundamental since it accelerates the process of generating knowledge. Agricultural information management standards are equally important from the other side: the users, in the sense that they can easily consume information from different sources in a simplified way.