AgriDrupal offers an integrated environment where several types of contents can be managed, searched and browsed on one website, like:
- documents or bibliographic records, using standardized descriptive metadata and controlled subject-indexing based on AGROVOC;
- news, events and vacancies;
- institutions and experts.
For all the contents managed in the system, AgriDrupal offers import and export functionalities based on widely used formats (Dublin Core, AGRIS AP, CSV or RSS). AGROVOC can be used to index any contents.
For documents, an OAI-PMH interface is implemented, with two available metadata sets: Dublin Core and Agris AP.
Drupal installation with customized configuration and special modules
AgriDrupal is a normal Drupal installation with a customized configuration and special modules, it is not a software tool that the community maintains or gives assistance for: it is a normal Drupal installation with a customized configuration and special modules, and support for Drupal and its modules can be found directly in the Drupal community. This is one of the reasons why AgriDrupal is a sustainable project. Indeed the focus of the project is on sustainability: beside minimizing maintenance issues by leaving the bulk of maintenance to the community of Drupal developers, the adoption of AgriDrupal does not involve writing code in house or contracting a company, it leverages the open source approach and the wide community behind the tool, therefore benefitting from continuous improvements and upgrades to the latest technological developments. In addition, the features are not just developed ad hoc: the tool allows to handle all common needs of information management and is easily customizable to specific needs: the definition of metadata models, display criteria and browse/search functionalities can be done through an administration panel, and consequently it doesn’t require highly skilled IT capacities.
Document repository features
The AgriDrupal reference tool has advanced features for managing open access repositories in compliance with widely adopted library standards and the OAI-PMH protocol. The document repository features include:
- a cataloguing interface that out of the box provides the most commonly used metadata elements in bibliographic databases, in particular those defined by the AGRIS AP, but is easily extendable to include any other element;
- internal authority lists for authors (personal and corporate), journals and conferences;
- special input interface for subject indexing with the AGROVOC thesaurus;
- search and browse functionalities;
- exposure of records through the OAI-PMH protocol;
- exposure of records also as RDF feed and XML file: the XML file is compliant with the above mentioned AGRIS AP, while RDF feeds can be customized in order to include properties from any vocabulary, thus making the repository fully interoperable - the use of Agrovoc URIs also linking it to a published Linked Open Data (LOD) triple store;
- extensible import and harvesting functionalities that also facilitate the exchange of information with other Institutions and the building of networks.
RDF and linked data
Since it can be very easily extended to manage any information type according to any metadata standard, AgriDrupal allows to easily integrate a document repository with a website and more in general with an integrated information system. AgriDrupal manages documents, news, events, vacancies, institutions, experts and of course web pages. The resulting integrated information system exposes RDF feeds for each type of information managed in the system, and the vocabularies and properties used in the RDF output can be customized, thus making an AgriDrupal installation a potential Linked Data provider.
Existing AgriDrupal installations
The Centro de Información y Documentación de la Autoridad Nacional del Agua (CIDANA) in Peru is part of the Ministry of Agriculture and has the objective of collecting and organizing relevant information resources for water resources management.
The Ghana Agricultural Information Network System (GAINS) was established as a component of the erstwhile Government of Ghana/World Bank supported National Agricultural Research Project (NARP) in 1991 to revitalise the library and information system in the agricultural sector of the economy. The rationale was to make information more accessible to research scientists, policy makers, extension agents, etc. to support sustainable agricultural development.
The Zambia Agricultural Research for Development Information Network (ZAR4DIN) is a network of Institutions and Individuals involved in AR4D information/knowledge generation, management, dissemination and exchange, and learning in order to facilitate access to AR4D information and knowledge, including metadata and full-text documents, through interlinked institutional repositories linked to a national AR4D portal.