AIMS Newsletter no.60, March 2017


(Photo credit: RENIDA | Nicaragua)

FOCUS ON: setting priorities for access to online research ... in AGRICULTURE 

Dear Reader!

Welcome to the March 2017 Newsletter, brought to you monthly by the AIMS team. This issue is pleased to provide you with a quick update of the latest activities related to Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) - one of the four programmes making up Research4Life (R4L) whose goal is to contribute to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, the current Newsletter offers some insights into several mission-related initiatives and events – in Information Management Sector (in Agriculture and beyond) – mainstreaming impact through open services, infrastructures, semantic products and points of view, at a global level...

Leveraging a number of milestones from the past year to become a Program of Excellence in providing access to online research in the development world in agriculture, in February 2017 the AGORA Team, in collaboration with the FAO Office in Nicaragua and R4L, organized an AGORA workshop in Managua, hosted by CENIDA (Centro Nacional de Información y Documentación Agropecuaria) in the premises of the Universidad Nacional Agraria.

On this occasion, the workshop focused exclusively on the use of AGORA, with a series of three one-day workshops tailored for three different kind of audiences.

On the 20th of February, workshop participants were researchers from several universities from all over the country. The day after, the workshop was targeted to researchers and policy makers from the two main government institutes devoted to agricultural and veterinary sciences research: INTA/CNIA (Instituto Nicaragüense de Tecnología Agropecuaria and Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Biología) and IPSA (Instituto de Protección y Sanidad Agropecuaria). The last day focused on the RENIDA (Red Nicaragüense de Información y Documentación Agraria) and its members, from universities and research institutes all over the country. 

Up to 70 participants were trained in these three one-day workshops about AGORA and on how to get the best results from its use.

To get more acquainted with the AGORA programme (the eligibility, the registration, terms of use, and the types of resources covered), please view: 

@ Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA on YouTube) and 

@ Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA on SlideShare).


@ "Everything else can wait, but not Agriculture", - Jawaharlal Nehru (AgriXiv Home). 

@ "The ability to access accurate, timely and representative label information for foods ... is critical for our research", - Neal Hooker.

@ " Share, don’t just like... Speak up! Ask your local and national authorities to engage in initiatives ...", - United Nations (UN).


Explore Access Agriculture : agricultural training videos in local languages…

 find out more

Love Your Data International Week 2017 …

find out more

INRA2025 : Open Science priority, Data sharing and much more …

find out more

AgriXiv Preprints for Agriculture and Allied Sciences …

 find out more

GODAG-IGAD Soil Data Working Group is launched …

 find out more




Buzzwords are actively fragmenting into different mission-related initiatives and events mainstreaming impact through shared experiences and lessons learned,  projects and programmes, services and infrastructures, implementation strategies and capitalization of good practices … and much more, at a global level.  

Actually, the current trends, or rather strategic thematic areas 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 findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) in mind from the outset as this is key in creating interoperability among distributed trusted information infrastructures.

"Openness is more than an ideal. It is a practical and critical step in increasing scholarly efficiency, quality, and inclusivity…Replicating and extending scholarship requires context. We have to move beyond open publications, data, code, etc., and start opening workflow",  -  Jeffrey Spies.


Data Management


RDA 9th Plenary: BlueBRIDGE Workshop - FAIR friendly research data catalogues: How far are we?, 3 April 2017, Barcelona

@  RDA 9th PlenaryData Management Services in the Cloud , 4 April 2017, Barcelona

@ Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020

@ FAIR Principles – review in context of 4TU.ResearchData

@ An EUDAT-based FAIR Data Approach for Data Interoperability

From the last International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC), 20-23 February, 2017:

@ Next-Generation Data Management Plans: Global, Machine-Actionable, FAIR

@ Are the FAIR Data Principles FAIR?

@ Assessing the FAIRness of Datasets in Trustworthy Digital Repositories: A Proposal

@ Mobilising a nation: Research Data Management (RDM) Education and Training in South Africa (SA) – Lessons Learned 

@ Information Integration for Actionable Data Management Plans







@ Open Data Day (4 March, 2017)  is an annual celebration of open data all over the world

@ The Open Science Conference 2017 will be held in Berlin, Germany, March 21-22, and will welcome 200 participants from 33 countries

@13th Berlin Open Access Conference, March 21 - 22, 2017, Berlin

@ Open Education Week (March 27-31, 2017) is a celebration of the global Open Education Movement

@  RDA 9th Plenary:  Open research data: a gap between practice and policy?, 7 April 2017, Barcelona

@ Research data management planning: a chance for Open Science. Methods and tutorials to create a Data Management Plan

@ Label Insight’s Open Data Initiative is providing academic researchers with complimentary direct access to its unique granular food product data set & analysis tools 

Linking Open Data cloud diagram 2017

@ European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Pilot project launched!

@ Ghana Open Data Portal : unleashing the power of Open Data

@ Moving Open Access Implementation Forward

@ 2016 Open Source Yearbook

@ UNESCO Thesaurus published with Semantic Web standards and Open Source software

Open Education

Capacity Building


Athabasca University launches third offering of MOOC : Learning to Learn Online, 6 March, 2017

Open Education Global Conference 2017, March 8 - 10, 2017, Cape Town, South Africa

@ GODAN first Webinar : An overview  on GODAN Capacity Development, 13:00-14:00 (UK time), 15 March, 2017

@ Open Education Week (27-31 March) is a celebration of the global Open Education Movement

@ Building Synergies in Capacity Development at IGAD Pre-Conference Meeting, April 3-4, 2017, Barcelona

@ FAO Capacity Development: Learning Materials, Learning Courses, Practical Tools, E-Learning Centre

@ Take Open FAO e-Learning Courses

@ Upcoming MOOC : Feeding a Growing Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition and Sustainability

Big Data

@ Big Data Paris 2017 Conference, 6 – 7 March, 2017, Paris

@ Big Data Innovation Summit, 30-31 March, 2017, London

@  RDA 9th Plenary: RDA IG Big Data : Big Data Stakeholders meeting, 5 April, 2017, Barcelona

@ Big Data Europe (BDE) 2nd Platform Release



@  RDA 9th PlenaryEUDAT Semantic Working Group: How to improve the discoverability and the interoperability of multi-disciplinary scientific semantic resources?, 3 -4 April 2017, Barcelona

@ SEMANTiCS 2017 Conference (Calls for Research & Innovation Papers and Industry & Use Case Presentations are now open), 11 – 14 September, Amsterdam 2017

@ Making KO Work: integrating taxonomies into technology, 14 March, 2017, London

@ SKOS Play - a free application to render and visualize thesaurus, taxonomies or controlled vocabularies expressed in SKOS

Text & Data Mining

@ 3rd International Conference on Data Mining and Applications (DMA 2017), March 25-26, Geneva

@ Future Text & Data Mining (TDM) Workshop II, 29 March 2017, Brussels

@ Text Mining and Agriculture: AgroNLP projects (Natural Language Processing applied to AGRicultural dOmain)


"A trusted digital repository (TDR) has a mission to provide reliable, long-term access to managed digital resources ..."

1. Core certification: Data Seal of Approval (DSA)

The DSA Board has announced the availability of the new Core Trustworthy Data Repository Requirements. Applicants are now invited to apply for the new Seal.

2. Extended certification:  Nestor seal / DIN 31644: Criteria for Trustworthy Digital Archives

3. Formal certification: ISO 16363: Audit and certification of trustworthy digital repositories

European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital Repositories

RDA Interest Group - RDA/WDS Certification of Digital Repositories

LEARN Glossary has been compiled from the efforts of others and due accreditation to the various sources has been recorded throughout. The terms and definitions selected have been chosen to fit best with the LEARN Project’s own aims. Suggestions for new terms or alternative definitions for existing ones can be sent during the lifetime of the LEARN Project (until end May 2017) to [email protected]

Tell UN about your actions to achieve the global goals by using the hashtag #globalgoals on social networks...

UN Global SDG Indicators Database  platform

provides access to data compiled through the UN System in preparation for the Secretary-General's annual report on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

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)...

FAO - Family Farming Knowledge Platform

promotes evidence-based decision making by collecting and disseminating information on policy information (in over 130 countries) through a freely accessible web-based tool. The repository presents itself as a map with the different countries coloured according to the coverage of their policies...

FAO Term Portal

has been created to store, manage and update concepts, terms and definitions related to the various fields of FAO’s activity. The idea is to offer a single search window for all glossaries, in one or several languages, as a mechanism to enhance the exchange of information and facilitate communication. FAO TERM PORTAL is indexed by – Basel Register of Thesauri, Ontologies & Classifications...

FAO-AIMS VEST/AgroPortal Map of Standards

This global map of standards - relevant to 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...


is a free and open global database for farming and gardening knowledge. Here you can find community created Guides that describe how to grow a Crop based on specific environmental conditions and growing practices. @ Open is at Our Core...


FAO Policy Series

FAO has developed a common vision and an integrated approach to sustainable food and agricultureFAO Policy Series  describe the FAO policy work, including key policy messages...

GODAN Documentary web series meet individuals around the world who are on the front line of how technology and data are reshaping agriculture to combat food insecurity and improve global nutrition.

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

A CTA video:

The big wins of open data for agriculture and nutrition

explains the potential benefits of Open Data for agricultural and rural development and the steps to deliver them. It also explains who can benefit from open data...



Open Data Portals: 9 Solutions and How they Compare (registered webinar, Safe Software).

Get a comparison of CKAN, Socrata, ArcGIS Open Data and other top open data solutions. Plus get answers to best practice questions such as: Which datasets are important to share? Which file formats should the data be shared in? How often should the data get updated? And overall, how can we ensure success with our open data portal?..

Adoption of the RDA Data Citation of Evolving Data Recommendation to Electronic Health Records

(registered webinar, Safe Software, RDA WG-DC).

The RDA Working Group on Data Citation (WG-DC) is now scheduling a series of Webinars presenting the pilots that are implementing the RDA Data Citation WG recommendations, providing an overview of the issues identified, design decisions taken, and demonstrating the implementations achieved...

Let us know about  high-quality videos created by organizations highlighting thematic areas relevant to information management (Open Data, Open Access, Open Science, Big Data, interoperability issues, FAIR data etc.), agriculture,  forestry, fisheries and related themes (food security, land use, environment, etc.). To submit your video, please send a file transfer to [email protected]


Understanding Metadata Primer: What is Metadata, and What is it For? By Jenn Riley (NISO, 2017)

Curating Research Data: A Handbook of Current Practice with 30 case studies contributed by practioners in the field (American College and Research Libraries, 2017)

Pandelis, P., Ponsati, A.,  Bernal, I. et al. OPRM: Challenges to Including Open  Peer Review in Open Access Repositories (Code4Lib Journal, 2017)

The #dataimpact eBook (ANDS, 2017)

Success stories on information and communication technologies for agriculture and rural development (FAO Document Repository, 2017)

Carbonell, Isabelle M., The ethics of big data in big agriculture (Internet Policy Review (Internet Policy Review, 2016)

Johnson, R., O. Fernholz & M. Fosci,  Text and Data mining in higher education and public research. An analysis of case studies from the United Kingdom and France (ADBU, 2016)  

Innovation systems: Towards effective strategies in support of smallholder farmers (CTA Publishing, 2016)

Uhlir, P., The Value of Open Data Sharing: A CODATA Report for the Group on Earth Observations (ZENODO, 2015)



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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.