3rd AGROVOC Editorial Community Workshop Panel Session


29 June 2020 - 9:30 to 11:00CEST

Register https://fao.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwofuygrT0oH9WmWMeOnXGTY8atxfxEJjJK


This panel session is organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and is one part of the 3rd AGROVOC Editorial Community Workshop.

This panel session is dedicated to lessons learned from the AGROVOC engagement with expert communities of practice. It will comprise a sequence of presentations by key AGROVOC stakeholders about lessons learned thus far and how AGROVOC is benefiting each stakeholder’s organization or community of experts. On top of that, each panelist will discuss their thoughts for the future of AGROVOC in the context of information and data sharing in food and agricultural sciences and any recommendations for new users being part of the AGROVOC ecosystem. 

This session is open to all interested in learning more about AGROVOC. 


Community of practice: Integration of AGROVOC functionalities into the BonaRES repository by Carsten Hoffmann, BonaRes Data Centre / Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) (Germany)

The German research initiative BonaRes (“Soil as a sustainable resource for the bioeconomy”) includes 16 collaborative soil research projects and, additionally, the BonaRes Data Centre. Research data from the scientific community and its corresponding metadata (mostly with agricultural and soil background) are curated by our Data Centre and provided for free reuse in the BonaRes Repository. We provide data curation services (e.g. personal support and metadata review) for scientists and tools from data submission to metadata description and publication following the FAIR principles.

During data upload process, data owners are asked to provide keywords by the BonaRes Metadata Editor. AGROVOC thesaurus is implemented to this editor via SPARQL endpoint and enables data owners to improve their data visibility and findability for the agricultural research community. Since 2018, I am part of the German AGROVOC editors team and help to extend, improve and translate the valuable thesaurus. In 2020 we developed a project tool AgReDiT ("Agrovoc Review & Discussion Tool"), which will help us to bundle and discuss our soil-agricultural knowledge within BonaRes project to improve and extend AGROVOC concepts on a wider expert basis.



Carsten Hoffmann has been the Senior scientist in the BMBF project BonaRes Data Centre, ZALF Müncheberg, Soil-agricultural research data management, data standards since 2015. Prior to that, he was a PostDoc fellow (DAAD), Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, Synthesis of grassland ecosystem functions. Carsten has his PhD in Geo-Ecology, Matter fluxes as influenced of grazing in Inner Mongolia (MAGIM) from the University of Potsdam.

Updating ASFA's subject vocabulary through participation in AGROVOC by Tamsin Vicary, ASFA (Italy)

ASFA is an international partnership, founded in 1971, focused on promoting and making accessible aquatic sciences, fisheries and aquaculture research. As such, it has made use of controlled vocabularies for a number of years, maintaining its own subject, geographic and taxonomic lists for the purpose of indexing bibliographic records for the ASFA database. We demonstrate how participating in the AGROVOC hub has allowed ASFA to improve the hierarchical structure of the ASFA Subject vocabulary; provided opportunities for ASFA's experts to use their skills and knowledge to improve coverage and detail of the vocabulary, and expanded the use of the vocabulary, particularly by adding multilingual component.

Tamsin Vicary has worked for the ASFA Secretariat since 2017 and is focused on improving the access and use of the ASFA information system. This includes the ASFA subject thesaurus where Tamsin works with the ASFA Controlled Vocabulary Working Group to make improvements. A graduate of University College London, Tamsin has previously worked in information management roles at a Freshwater research centre and also in the private sector. Tamsin has a special interest in grey literature and improving its discovery and use.

CGIAR AgriFood Data Annotation and Ontology Development:  use and contribution to AGROVOC by Elizabeth Arnaud, Alliance Bioversity international -CIAT (France)

CGIAR stores large amounts of multi-disciplinary data sets and publications in open repositories (Dataverse, cKAN, DSpace) that are harvested by GARDIAN, global metadata repository. Data sets and publications are described with the CGIAR Core Metadata Schema that recommends the use of AGROVOC in the keywords.  CGIAR needs a robust workflow to submit missing terms to AGROVOC and want to prospect the use of specialized concepts schemas as a mean to simplify the selection of relevant keywords. Currently,  CGIAR International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) contributes to the Arabic version of AGROVOC.

CGIAR is also actively engaged in the development of semantically-rich ontologies to support the collection of FAIR agrifood data and increase its interoperability by annotating the variables in the file. Two major products are the Crop Ontology and the Agronomy Ontology. An ontology on Socio-economy (SEOnt) is currently being developed led by the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI). Current experience with mapping the ontologies to AGROVOC will be presented.


Elizabeth Arnaud holds a MSc in Biology and a Master in Scientific data management techniques and communication and is based at our Montpellier office.Elizabeth coordinated the Musa Germplasm Information System (MGIS) and the CGIAR System-wide Information System on Genetic Resources, the development of the Bioversity geospatial database for collected crop samples and since 2008, has led the Crop Ontology project of the Generation Challenge Programme developed with other CGIAR Research Centers.Elizabeth is the head of Bioversity's delegation in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) governing Body and in 2012, she was invited to join the GBIF Scientific Committee.

Land governance lost in translation: adopting semantic technologies to increase the discoverability of land data and information by Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Foundation (Italy)

We definitely live in the era of big data and a huge amount of data and information has been produced in all disciplines during the last decade. Despite the increasingly interconnected world in which we live, language and technological barriers continue to be a very serious constraint to effectively exchange and learn from the plethora of information now available to us. Land is a topic that is discussed in many languages, in different academic disciplines and in all parts of the world. Many attempts have been made in the past to find common definitions and terminologies for land issues, but a wide consensus or adoption has not yet been reached. A new "thesaurus" LandVoc hopes to change this trend.

LandVoc is a thesaurus covering a taxonomy of concepts and terms related to the land issues.  The current LandVoc version includes 310 concepts relating to all areas of interest of the land community, including land administration, land governance, land use, investment and coverage, etc. It is available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Khmer, Vietnamese, Thai, Arabic,  Hindi, Swahili and other languages. It is published by FAO and exists as a sub-scheme within AGROVOC. The Land Portal Foundation has curated LandVoc since 2012, providing concrete suggestions and feedback and actively engaging with the AGROVOC FAO team on one hand and exchanging with a community of land experts to scope, review and enrich LandVoc on the other hand.


Laura Meggiolaro is Team Leader at the Land Portal Foundation since 2011. Over the past 16 years Laura has been specialising in knowledge management for development with an increasing passion for the information ecology and data ecosystem that characterises the land governance sector where she focuses on enhancing land data discoverability and interoperability through open standards and semantic technologies. She holds a master in communication sciences and a master in economics for developments. Since 2011 Laura has been responsible for the overall management, implementation and expansion of the Land Portal contributing to the process that has seen the Land Portal evolving from a project into an independent organization and from a simple data repository into a leading knowledge broker and one of the most innovative digital resources promoting data exchange, dialogue and collaboration.

Prior to coming to the Land Portal Foundation she has been working for the development sector collaborating with UN agencies and civil society organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),  the Internal Land Coalition at the Internal Found for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and ActionAid, specialising in information and knowledge management for land rights.

Leveraging AGROVOC within FAOLEX by Andrés Vatter Rubio, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Italy)

This presentation will explore use cases for leveraging AGROVOC services across the information value chain of the FAOLEX database, one of the world's largest free online libraries of national laws, regulations and policies on food, agriculture and natural resources management.

Andrés Vatter Rubio has worked in the FAO Development Law Service since 2014 as the coordinator of the FAOLEX information hub (www.fao.org/faolex ). Andrés holds a BA in Political Science from Williams College and master’s degrees in Development Studies and Financial Management from LSE and SOAS respectively. He has over 20 years of experience in legal information and records management, having worked as para-legal and case-manager in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1995-2006) and as a database coordinator in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (2006-2013).

Status of the NAL Thesaurus by Jennifer Woodward-Greene, USDA ARS National Agricultural Library (USA)

NALT has 75,736 concepts (12,800 mapped to GACS), is available for download under license CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. It is edited with MultiTes Pro, and is currently used for indexing PubAg and AGRICOLA content, as well as for other NAL work with Ag Data Commons, and other Artificial Intelligence work within the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

M. Jennifer Woodward-Greene is the USDA ARS National Agricultural Library Indexing and Informatics Branch Chief, applying artificial intelligence for automated indexing (i.e. machine learning, natural language processing, controlled vocabularies, regular expressions, validation, etc.), and is responsible for publishing the National Agricultural Library Thesaurus. She has designed custom software graphical interfaces/applications for biological sampling and research program management automated data collection and analysis tools. She has a PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from George Mason, and a BS with honors, and MS in Animal Sciences from the University of Maryland.


Imma Subirats, Senior information management officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leading AGROVOCAGRIS AGORA programmes with the objective to enhance accessibility and visibility to knowledge, information and data produced by FAO Member Countries.

Kristin Kolshus is an agronomist and Information Management Specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and part of the AGROVOC and AGRIS teams.

The 3rd AGROVOC Editorial Community Workshop” includes participants representing institutions from the AGROVOC Editorial Community and other stakeholders. Its purpose is to reinforce the AGROVOC editorial community, invite institutions to curate new languages and new topics, outline new technical possibilities, and set priorities for the next few years.

This year's workshop is part of Information 4 Innovation in Food and Agriculture (I4IFA), a series of collaborative online classes put together by FAO and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). I4IFA (29 June to 3 July 2020) includes virtual sessions designed to pool expertise and experience from the two leading agricultural organizations and other partners and focuses on increasing the quality and impact of information, knowledge management and data exchange in food and agriculture research for development.

More information about the week-long event and sessions available during I4IFA is available here.