AIMS Newsletter no. 29, April 2014

Focus on AGORA

The AGORA programme was set up by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) together with major publishers and partners. It enables public institutions in developing countries to gain free or low cost online access to an outstanding digital library collection of major scientific journals in agriculture and related biological, environmental and social sciences.

AGORA is about providing access to otherwise commercial scholarly content and while AGORA includes many open access materials, it in itself is not an open access initiative. Over 2,400 institutions have registered for access to AGORA, which provides access up to 5,300 journals and up to 4,200 e-books. AGORA is designed to enhance the scholarship of the many thousands of students, faculty and researchers in agriculture and life sciences in the developing world.

AGORA is also part of Research4Life, a public–private partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) (approximately 200 publishers), Cornell University, Yale University, and several technical partners including Microsoft.

The partnership’s goal is to contribute to the attainment of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, reducing the knowledge gap between industrialised countries and developing countries by providing affordable access to critical scientific research.

Highlights from the community

  • Joint GODAN-CIARD Consultation on Open Agricultural Knowledge for Development. CIARD and GODAN partners held a physical joint consultation on the 22nd to 24th of April 2014. Participants who could not attend this meeting were given the opportunity on the parallel 2 week E-Consultation ending on the 2nd of May 2014.More info
  • VocBench 2.1 is released. The new version comes with the new features , for example the SKOS Cross Scheme Management will allow to be shared amongst different schems. More info
  • AGRIS runs in the "LinkedUp Vidi Competition". LinkedUp Challenge is aimed at anyone from researchers and students, to developers and businesses to come up with innovative tools and applications that analyse and/or integrate open web data for educational purposes. More info
  • V2P2, the first Italian Open Access Repository on plant-microbe interactions. The V2P2 repository is an open access platform designed to store, preserve and make accessible different types of scientific data produced by three Italian research institutes. More info
  • Cookbook for translating relational data models to RDF schemas.The ISA programme of the European Commission created a methodology for translating relational Data Models to RDF schemas and these are expressed in a Cookbook. More info
  • Map of Agriculture seeks Internships for Summer 2014 in Oxfordshire UK.Internships are sought in the following two programmes,GIS Analysis and Agriculture and Agriculture Investment Analyst. More info
  • British Broadcasting Corporation launches an Ontology page. They launched a new page detailing their internal data models which gives the ontologies the BBC is using to support its audience facing applications such as BBC Sport, BBC Education, BBC Music, and News projects. More info

Conferences and Workshops

Upcoming [email protected]

The following webinars are on schedule and registration is still open,

  • 08th of May 2014 at 16:00hrs Rome Time - "E-LIS: A disciplinary repository to support Agricultural Information Management Specialists" to be presented in Arabic.The objective of this webinar is to give an introduction to the E-LIS Repository and its functions.The webinar will be presented by Mandy Taha, University of Alexandria.
  • 22nd of May 2014 at 16:00hrs Rome Time - "KOHA the first open-source Integrated Library System (ILS): An overview of its functions ".The webinar will present KOHA open-source Integrated Library System (ILS) in managing library resources. This webinar will be presented by Patrick Jones- Director, Library Solutions and Services -LibLime. 
  • 29th of May 2014 at 16:00 hrs Rome Time -"Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA): Helping Build the Global Research Community" The webinar will present AGORA, a program to provide free or low cost access to major scientific journals in agriculture and related biological, environmental and social sciences to public institutions in developing countries. The webinar will be presented by Johannes Keizer (AGORA Programme Manager and AIMS Team Leader, FAO) and Kristin Kolshus (Information Management Specialist, FAO).

To view a list of past webinars click here


What is Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN)? It is an initiative that seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritional relevant data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide focusing on building high-level policy and public and private institutional support for open data.

More info:


"Registrations for AGORA are welcome from institutions located in eligible countries.." an interview with Kristin Kolshus

Kristin Kolshus is an Agronomist and Information Management Specialist, working on AGORA/Research4Life programme and she is a member of the AIMS Team of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. In this interview, we asked her more information regarding the AGORA programme, issues related to eligibility of benefiting institutions, eligibility of publishers, current and future developments.

Read the interview "Registrations for AGORA are welcome from institutions located in eligible countries" found in the AIMS Interviews section.

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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