AIMS Newsletter no. 18, May 2013

Tell us what you think about AIMS!

The AIMS team is pleased to invite you to participate in the AIMS User Survey 2013, available in English, French and Spanish. We look forward to your feedback on the AIMS platform and input regarding:

  • content,
  • services,
  • subscription to groups of interest, and
  • the overall website design.

If you have any question, please contact us at [email protected]. The survey will be open until Friday 31st  May. Your feedback is critical and will help us to further improve the AIMS platform!


  • AgriDrupal based on Drupal 7 was released. More info
  • AgINFRA and SemaGrow present in the European Commission Action Plan. More info
  • Recorded webcasts of the G-8 Conference on Open Data for Agriculture and of the D8 - Open Data for Agriculture available.
  • Open call for new collaborators for the open repository for library and information science E-LIS. More info
  • The VOA3R project launched a questionnaire to evaluate the VOA3R platform, available in English or French. More info
  • Call for Papers for "Metadata & Semantics for Open Repositories, Research Information Systems and Data Infrastructures" (MTSR 2013) now open. More info
  • The AIMS Community reached more than 1,000 members. More info
  • Agrifeeds, a closer look at the Drupal modules. Part 1 and Part 2
  • AgriVIVO 1.0 was launched. More info
  • AIMS members can now include their profiles in AgriVIVO. More info
  • Report of third iMarine Board Meeting available for download. More info

Upcoming Events


What is Virtualization? This term refers to running multiple operating systems on a single machine. While most computers only have one operating system installed, virtualization software allows a computer to run several operating systems at the same time. More information:

5 Questions in 5 Minutes with Manuel Hidalgo

Who are the users of AIMS and what do they think about agricultural information management standards? In this section AIMS users from all around the world answer five questions on the benefits and use of the AIMS website.

This month we interviewed Manuel Hidalgo, ICT specialist at SIDALC (Alliance of Agricultural Information Services) of IICA (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture).

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

I am from Costa Rica, a computer engineer with a Masters in Computer Science with an emphasis on Telematics from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (ITCR). I also have taken some technical studies in Management, Finance and International Trade. I have 20 years of experience in the information systems area. For seven years I worked for the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica. The last 13 years I have been working for IICA as an information and communication technology specialist. I also have worked as a consultant for FAO of the UN in Rome.

My main responsibilities include the maintenance and development of technical platforms, service support to participants of SIDALC, as well as F2F and virtual trainings for colleagues from the agricultural information sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). This collaboration happens and is done because of an important group of agricultural institutions in LAC: 179 institutions managing 335 databases, 2.7 million records and more than 200 thousand full-text resources, all thanks to a large community of specialists.

How did you get in contact with AIMS?

My relationship with FAO started in 1999 with several collaborative projects in the framework of the SIDALC Alliance, specifically implementing classroom courses in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, developing and using tools for agricultural library management and online courses and Webinars for IMARK.

What is your opinion on AIMS?

I consider it an open space in which agricultural sector specialists can have access to tools and methodologies, as well as a community of sharp edge professionals to exchange ideas and knowledge with. This helps you to keep up to date with the latest developments, which helps to promote coherence among institutions.

According to you, what is the most important benefit that AIMS provides to the agricultural information management community?

The most important benefit is that through AIMS tools, our institutions can achieve a transparent exchange of data through the use of standards and protocols that enable greater coherence in agricultural information management and in turn greater access to information produced in our organizations (CIARD).

How do you think that information management standards can contribute to agricultural research for development?

Whereas the organizations and information managers can have access to tools and standards for their proper management and exchange of information, it is possible that a larger community of users, knowledgeable specialists, technicians, donors, government institutions, NGOs, among others, can improve access to those resources to enable them to support the development of agricultural research and simultaneously contribute to improving the quality of life of our nations.

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 [email protected]

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