VOA3R is the research project for digital libraries and stands for: Virtual Open Access Agriculture & Aquaculture Repository: Sharing Scientific and Scholarly Research related to Agriculture, Food, and Environment. The general objective of the VOA3R project is to improve the spread of European agriculture and aquaculture research results by using an innovative approach to sharing open access research products. That will be achieved by carrying out, using  a federated approach, innovative experiments with open access on scientific agriculture and aquaculture contents, and by developing and providing services that integrate existing open access repositories and scholarly publication management systems.

Under a strict open access policy, the VOA3R service will connect libraries, archives and other publication systems by providing advanced search interfaces that include the specific aspects of research work (methods, variables, measures, instruments, techniques, etc.) that are distinctive to the particular domain. The users of the VOA3R service are academics and researchers but also students and practitioners who either want to search for or want to publish scientific research results (for these roles, learning material related to the application of scientific outcomes is also considered as a sub-product of research). The project is targeted to the domain of Agriculture & Aquaculture, as it re-uses previous domain models of these domains, but the technology and models integrated are to a large extent transferable to other academic disciplines.

The VOA3R working team during the kick-off meeting in Athens (Greece), June 2010

The VOA3R platform aims at reusing existing and mature metadata and semantics technology to deploy an advanced community-focused integrated service for the retrieval of relevant open content and data that includes explicit models of the scholarly methods and procedures used and of the practical tasks targeted by applied research (which represent a principal information need expression for practitioners). The service will enable researchers to formulate their information needs in terms of elements of the scientific methods established in their field (variables, techniques, assessment methods, kinds of objects of interest, etc.) combined with topical descriptions as expressed in metadata.

The community approach will enable the enhancement of information seeking with extended evaluation elements (as for example, ratings, public reviews, social tagging and links to supporting or conflicting reports) that complement and go beyond the traditional, anonymous peer review process which results are not made available openly.

The technology used will itself become open source, so that the model of the service can be adopted by enterprises (including SMEs) or other kinds of institutions as a value-added, community-oriented model for open access content.

Project type

European Research Consortium Project (ICT-PSP Programme of the European Commission)

Project partners

Organisation Country
Universidad de Alcalá Spain
Universiteit Hasselt Belgium
Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment    Cyprus
Ceska Zemedelska Univerzita v Praze Czech Republic
Aarhus Universitet Denmark
Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique France
Association de Coordination Technique Agricole France
ACTA Informatique France
Universitaet Duisburg-Essen Germany
Technological Educational Institution Of Athens Greece
Greek Research and Technology Network  Greece
Agricultural University of Athens Greece
Consorzio Interuniversitario - CINECA Italy
Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet Sweden

Project duration

03.2010 - 02.2013

Project website


Project manager and contact person

Miguel Ángel Sicilia


European Commission

Project budget