AGRIS: Facilitating access to scientific and technical information

AGRIS will be updating users at least once a month in 2016. This aim of these updates or blogs will be to share the recent news, content additions and connect AGRIS with its users and content providers. To break the ice, this inagural blog will detail basic information of what AGRIS is and how support is rendered. 

A brief introduction to AGRIS

AGRIS is the international System for Agricultural Science and Technology. This an initiative that was set up in 1974 by the Food and Agriculture Organization to make agricultural research information discoverable and globally available. Since then AGRIS has been collecting from more than 150 data providers located in more than 65 countries. In this way, we can say AGRIS is a ‘global public good’ since it is built and maintained by a big community of data providers, partners and users.

Since 2014, FAO, AgroKnow and the Agricultural Information Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CASS) established a collaboration for the maintenance and centralization of the AGRIS data processing. AGRIS collects and disseminates bibliographic information on scholarly and scientific publications in agriculture.

Currently, AGRIS receives more than 300,000 user visits per month. AGRIS contains more than 7 million bibliographic references on agricultural research and technology, and links to related data resources on the Web. As from December 2013, AGRIS has exposed its database as Linked Open Data, defining uniform resource identifiers (URIs) for bibliographic records and allowing anyone to reuse the database through a SPARQL endpoint.

AGRIS uses AGROVOC as the backbone for the resource discovery process where AGRIS records (which are indexed with AGROVOC concepts) are used to query external Web Services and SPARQL endpoints by using AGROVOC URIs or alignments with other thesauri related to agriculture. External data providers are carefully identified, some of the datasets linked to include, DBPedia, World Bank, FAO Geopolitical Ontology, Nature OpenSearch, Global Biodiversity Information Facility and Biodiversity International.

Support to data providers and users

As we have stated above, AGRIS serves data providers and also visitors who use the application to access scientific literature. AGRIS provides support to both classes of users. The first group- data providers are supported through the Agro-Know Stem service supported by AGRIS Data Processing unit.

This service is meant to streamline the submission of data to AGRIS and also to improve interaction between the AGRIS Data Providers and the processing unit. Data providers should get registered in the platform. In the subsequent blogs we are going to explore the features and ways of interacting with this platform.

The second group of users can send in their queries to the feedback form and these will be answered timeously. Most queries relate to article requests, how to be part of the AGRIS data providers and AGRIS interface based questions.

Further reading

  1. Celli F, Malapela T, Wegner K et al. AGRIS: providing access to agricultural research data exploiting open data on the web [version 1; referees: 2 approved]. F1000Research 2015, 4:110 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.6354.1)
  2. Celli F, Keizer J, Jaques Y et al. Discovering, Indexing and Interlinking Information Resources [version 2; referees: 3 approved]. F1000Research 2015, 4:432 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.6848.2)
  3. F. Celli, Y. Jaques, S. Anibaldi, J. Keizer. “Pushing, Pulling, Harvesting, Linking: Rethinking Bibliographic Workflows for the Semantic Web”. EFITA-WCCA-CIGR Conference “Sustainable Agriculture through ICT Innovation”, Turin, Italy, 24-27 June 2013. 

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