FAO and UNESCO-IOC/IODE combine efforts in their support of Open Access

The United Nations agencies of FAO and UNESCO-IOC/IODE have announced a joint initiative to provide a customized version of DSpace using standards and controlled vocabularies in oceanography, marine science, food, agriculture, development, fisheries, forestry, natural resources and related sciences.

The Hasselt University Library produced a customized version of DSpace called OceanDocs for the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) and adapted it to the standards of the Oceanographic community. The OceanDocs Network, created in 2004, now has some 50 members. The FAO customized DSpace using the AGRIS Application Profile (AP) and is developing a plug-in for the use of controlled vocabularies for communities in food, agriculture, development, fisheries, forestry, natural resources and related sciences such as AGROVOC.

The communities supported by FAO  and UNESCO-IOC/IODE are synergistic and the standards on metadata and controlled vocabularies are similar for both. A common repository development is a logical result. Hasselt University Library will create for FAO  and UNESCO-IOC/IODE  a new version called AgriOcean DSpace which will be available from August 1, 2010. It will integrate the previous developments of both Agencies in one customized version of DSpace.

The communities of FAO and UNESCO-IOC/IODE active in oceanography and food, agriculture, development, fisheries, forestry, natural resources and related sciences will provide a bespoke repository software based on DSpace to offer Open Access to the literature. They will use the same high standards for metadata, thesauri and other ontologies ensuring advanced access to the scientific publications in the field and the possibility to create new services for their researchers.

The collaboration between  FAO and UNESCO-IOC/IODE has the following goals:

  • Promoting open access to scientific information on the topics of food, agriculture, development, fisheries, forestry, natural resources and related sciences for  FAO and oceanography and marine sciences for UNESCO-IOC/IODE.
  • Ensuring the metadata quality of repositories and the use of thesauri and other forms of authority control.
  • Contributing to the development of sustainable repositories by the use of tools to make scientific publications (and later data) more accessible and visible.
  • Removing access barriers by encouraging the creation of new service providers based on existing and mature metadata and semantics technology.

AgriOcean DSpace will be based on OceanDocs, a customization of DSpace, built starting with version 1.3. It will integrate the alternative submission module based on document type developed in version 1.4.2 . This version already supported more refined metadata formats (AGRIS AP and MODS) and integrated the ASFA Thesaurus in the submission module. Other features were a batch import module on browser level for RIS and Bibtex files.

These developments will be ported to the latest version of DSpace 1.6, and make use of new features, in the first place the authority control, statistics and harvesting modules. The developments of FAO on AGRIS AP and thesaurus integration will complete AgriOcean DSpace. Finally an easy-to-install Windows-based version of AgriOcean DSpace will be made available also from August 1 2010.

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