AIMS Newsletter no.59, February 2017


focus on: building synergies in capacity development at igad pre-conference meeting, rda-9, barcelona  

Dear Reader!

Welcome to the February 2017 Newsletter, brought to you by the AIMS team. This issue focuses on a new Research Data Alliance (RDA) / Agricultural Data IG (IGAD) Discussion Group, and highlights recent blog-posts published on AIMS. The current Newsletter also provides insights into some mission-related initiatives – in Information Management Sector (in Agriculture and beyond) – mainstreaming impact through services, infrastructures, products and points of view, at a global level.

Meanwhile, plans are in high gear for the upcoming 9th RDA Plenary Meeting, which will take place on April 5-7, 2017, in Barcelona. 

On this occasion, RDA Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD),  Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), the organizing and local committees are looking forward to the IGAD pre-conference meeting that will be held on April 3-4 2017, at the Faculty of Library and Information Science of the University of Barcelona. 

More than 100 data experts from more than 35 countries have already registered to the IGAD pre-meeting where the participants will be briefed about ongoing activities of IGAD Working Groups (WGs) and will convey new ideas through the proposals for future work. 

Among many points of discussion, the IGAD pre-meeting will be also the springboard for the official launching of the Joint Building Synergies in Capacity Development Discussion Group,  in the context of research data in agriculture and their potential contribution to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The objective of this new group is to explore ideas for closer collaborations between RDA/IGAD - RDA/Geospatial IG - GODAN Capacity Development - CODATA and synergies to set up a Joint Curriculum WG with regard to education and training on open data in food and agricultural sciences.

This event will be a unique opportunity for all participants to provide multidisciplinary inputs about best practices into the curriculum development process with the objective to expand the societal impact of open agricultural research. A particular focus will be on sharing knowledge about training programs and platforms reducing digital divides so that researchers in developing countries can also benefit.

Jonathan Rans (DCC):

“What counts depends on data’s value for purposes it has served or may serve, so consider these as first step” (Good practice in managing data - Supporting Open Research in Horizon 2020, Amsterdam, 26 January, 2017)

When we are talking about channels it helps to think both about what stakeholders or systems need to be connected and how systems can be designed to promote engagement with these channels” (Making the case for RDM services, Developing Research Data Management Services, Amsterdam, 25 January, 2017).


The way forward : Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data …

 find out more

How the Sustainable Development Goals will help us achieve Zero Hunger …  

find out more

Publish and link your vocabularies in LOV. Reuse Linked Open Vocabularies …

 find out more

Calls for Linked Research : Enabling Decentralised Scholarly Communication … 

 find out more

AgriProfiles : Global Networking for Agriculture through metadata and standard vocabularies … 

 find out more

OPEN DATA’, ‘CAPABILITIES / CAPACITY’, RESEARCH DATA’, OPEN SOURCE’  buzzwords are actively fragmenting into different mission-related initiatives mainstreaming impact through activities, services and products, at a global level.  

Actually, the current trends in Information-, Knowledge-, and (Research) Data Management are inextricably tied and one shouldn't take precedence over the other. AIMS continues to encourage the Information Management communities to build solutions with 'open' and 'FAIR' in mind from the outset, as this is key in creating interoperability among distributed trusted information infrastructures.

By the way…

Why Open Data?

Did you know that from January 2017, research data is open by default, with possibilities to opt out?

Learn also how Open Data is being re-used in Europe (European Data Portal report, 2017).  

GODAN Open Data 

GODAN has pulled together some Open Datasets which relate to agriculture and nutrition that you may want to consider. This is a result of the GODAN Open Data Challenge 2016 which has provided an opportunity for creating innovative solutions to use, create, and/or collect data in a way to improve our food system.

Creating Impact with Open Data in Agriculture & Nutrition

The 3rd Workshop on Creating Impacts with Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition co-orginized by GODAN will take place at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague, 13-15 February, 2017.

Building Capabilities for Research Data Infrastructure and Services

On 20 and 23 February 2017, the DCC with partners will be running a number of workshops – focused on Building Capabilities for Research Data Infrastructures, DMP, FAIR data, Open Research Data and more - in Edinburg that might be of your interest.

GODAN Capacity Development Working Group

GODAN invites all interested to join the GODAN Capacity development Working Group and expand AgriGIS opportunities for all.

Open Source Seed Initiative

The Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) - inspired by the free and open source software movement - was created to free the seed, i.e. to make sure that the genes in at least some seed can never be locked away from use by intellectual property rights.


Learn about the SDG Knowledge Hub that has been developed to start exploring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, global objectives expected to guide the actions of the international community over the next 15 years (2016-2030).


This online Portal on seeds, biodiversity & food  is a unique, interactive online tool – developed by USC Canada  - to explore where agricultural biodiversity originated, is threatened, and where people are working to safeguard it. 


Visit FAO-AQUAMAPS – a global spatial database on water and agriculture. It makes accessible through a simple interface regional and global spatial datasets on water resources and water management considered as a standard information resource, produced by FAO or by external data providers.


This global map of standards - relevant to the exchange of agriculture and nutrition data - is the continuation of the FAO VEST Registry under the GODAN Action umbrella.  

Search/browse and contribute on the AIMS portal.


These GODAN documentary web series are created with farmOS: open source web-based application for farm management, planning, and record keeping.

The Land for our Food is a documentary movie produced by the Access to Land network and distributed under Creative Commons Licence Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 2.0View here this film also in: 

French Romanian - German Italian 

Spanish Catalan Czech.

Eifrem, E. (2017) In praise of graph databases. Analysis & Opinion, Research Information. [The author looks at how researchers can generate insights from vast datasets with the fast-emerging SQL alternative].

Biel, R. (2016) Sustainable Food Systems: The Role of the City. Open Access Book. ULCPress

Arnaud, E.; Castaneda, N.P.; Ganglo Cossi, J.; et al. (2016) Final report of the Task Group on GBIF Data Fitness for Use in Agrobiodiversity. CGSpace

Global Alliance for the Future of Food. 2016. The Future Food: Seeds of Resilience, a compendium of Perspectives on Agricultural Biodiversity from Around the World [to ensure a resilient food supply, farmers need to be able to access, exchange and improve seeds, and have a voice in shaping seed policies]

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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]. You received this message because you are subscribed to the AIMS Newsletter.