AIMS Newsletter. VOA3R Special Issue, Spring 2013

The Virtual Open Access Agriculture & Aquaculture Repository (VOA3R) is a 3-year European project launched in June 2010 and funded by the European Commission under the seventh framework ICT Policy Support Program. It brings together 14 organizations from 10 European countries and 3 collaborators from external organizations.

The VOA3R platform was developed and is currently available in a beta-version. It offers an innovative portal that brings together researchers, students and practitioners in agriculture, viticulture and aquaculture and related areas. This platform gathers 500,000 + open access resources from 14 repositories.

Highlights

Evaluation of the VOA3R platform

The VOA3R project comes to an end. Therefore a consultation to evaluate the VOA3R platform has been launched. You are invited to fill the questionnaire to help us to improve this major VOA3R outcome. The survey questionnaire is available in English and French.

VOA3R Project Meeting collocated with LINQ 2013

The 7th VOA3R Project Meeting will take place at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on May, 14t-15t, 2013 in Rome (Italy). VOA3R will also participate in the LINQ 2013 Conference, conference for Learning Innovations and Quality, which will take place immediately afterwards from May 16th-17th. Register online.

VOA3R's presentation at LINQ 2013 will take place on the 17th of May and is entitled "Open Access and Digital Resources: Online Strategies and Communities". The main objectives of this session is to   present the results, raise interest for the portal and discuss current challenges.

Validation trials to test usability of the VOA3R platform

Validation trial of the VOA3R platform  the University of Alcala, April 26, 2013During the last months the VOA3R partners have organized several pilot trials with scholars in the following institutions:

  • University of Alcala (Spain) - April 26, 2013
  • INRA, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (France) - April 10, 2013
  • UNESCO-IODE by the Hasselt University Library (Belgium) - April 8-12, 2013
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden) - March 21, 2013

OpenAIRE, euroCRIS & VOA3R

OpenAIRE agreed with EuroCRIS on the use of CERIF-XML as the standard format by which OpenAIRE will harvest information from CRIS. As VOA3R is implementing CERIF and was the first pilot implementation of a CERIF Linked Open Data approach, this agreement opens also new opportunities for interoperation between OpenAIRE and VOA3R, at the level of exchanging information and also in the future interlinking both platforms.

Currently, the VOA3R platform uses the CERIF 1.5 model to link the social part and the content part of the platform

International Council for Open Research and Education launches new website

The International Council for Open Research and Education (ICORE) recently launched its new website divided into seven main sections: ABOUT ICORE, MEMBERSHIP, JOIN US, MEMBERS, EVENTS, PRESS, and CONTACT. The website supports to bridge both worlds of open research and open education with the goal of mutual re-usage of results and outcomes. Individuals and organizations that share and support the objectives of ICORE can become a member.

ICORE is co-initiated by the VOA3R consortium and partners and will support the long-term sustainability of the VOA3R services and harvesting.

5 Questions in 5 Minutes

with Vassilis Protonotarios, Scientific Associate at Agro-Know Technologies

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

I am an agronomist, with a MSc and a PhD in Agricultural Biotechnology from the Agricultural University of Athens. I had a previous professional experience in organic agriculture, working in the directorate of organic agriculture of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture before I got involved in organic agriculture related EU-funded research projects such as Organic.Edunet, Organic.Balkanet and CerOrganic back in 2009. In these project I was mostly supporting metadata annotation & validation tasks from the view of a domain expert as well as the production and indexing of educational courses and supporting material.

My involvement in other projects like VOA3R, Organic.Lingua and agINFRA provided me with the opportunity to work on a more advanced level with digital collections and repositories as a member of the content population coordinating team, as well as get more actively involved in (meta)data management workflows, knowledge organization systems and linked data.

I am providing my services to the Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET) and Agro-Know Technologies, as a Scientific Associate. What I find challenging in my tasks is to bridge my agricultural background and experience with the data/metadata management and aggregation requirements of the tasks of the EU projects that I am currently involved in.

2. How did you get in contact with AIMS?

I was introduced to AIMS in the context of the VOA3R project, during the dissemination of events and related activities. Since I was already publishing related information about such events using different channels, I thought that it would be great to become a registered user of the AIMS portal and contribute my part in the form of blog posts. In this way, my posts reach a much wider audience since they are published through a FAO-supported portal. Since then I became a frequent visitor of AIMS both as an information producer as well as consumer; I usually find myself browsing through the available sections of AIMS, always discovering new and interesting information!

3. What is your opinion on AIMS?

I was really glad to see that a significant amount of information related to my work, such as tools, standards and information about open access, knowledge organization systems and even registries are accessible through a single point of access. This minimized the time I needed to get the information I wanted from various sources. In addition, the layout of AIMS is simple and fresh, looking more like a blog, therefore it is really user-friendly.

Last but not least, I really appreciate the fact that the information is always up to date and new information is constantly added to AIMS. Overall, it looks like a fresh and up-to-date source of information for agricultural information management.

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

AIMS can support the VOA3R community in various ways: - Dissemination of VOA3R-related events and activities can reach a wide audience, especially various stakeholders who might not be accessible otherwise. - Providing access to information like Open Access, tools (e.g. repository tools, KOS, metadata schemas) and services that are of high interest to the VOA3R community - Bringing the VOA3R community to other related communities through exchange of information I am sure that there are additional benefits that I cannot currently think of!

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

VOA3R aims to provide a different aspect on both the exposure of research outcomes and connecting stakeholders in agricultural research. More specifically, it provides a portal which not only grants access to millions of research outcomes in various formats, but also enables users to rate and discuss about the publications as well as promote the resources through various social networking channels.

In addition, the VOA3R portal provides a virtual space for agricultural researchers, practitioners and students to share, discuss and find ways of collaboration. VOA3R also developed a DC-based metadata application profile, adapted to meet the needs of agricultural research, which is available for use by any institutional repository wishing to provide semantically-enriched metadata description for its research outcomes.

VOA3R will also contribute to the existing AGRIS network by networking an additional number of agricultural academic repositories, enriching the number of open access agricultural research outcomes available through the AGRIS network.


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 AIMS@fao.org

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