IAALD XIIIth World Congress
organized by Agropolis International

26-29 April 2010, Montpellier, France

Scientific and Technical Information and Rural Development

Information scientifique et technique et développement rural

Highlights of Innovative Practices / Eclairages sur des pratiques innovantes

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Semantics / Sémantique

Semantics, metadata, taxonimics, thesauri -emerging approaches to share information and data accross communities

Chair and rapporteur :Johannes Keizer (FAO)

Contribution of standards to networks, ontology and portals to provide access to plant genetic resources information

Adriana Raquel ALERCIA, Michael MACKAY

Bioversity International, Italy;

The world is continually faced with the need to increase crop productivity, and to develop new varieties better adapted to face environmental and biological challenges or to meet the needs of local communities. To meet these needs and challenges, farmers and breeders must have access to a wide range of plant genetic resources and to the essential information about those resources and traits they possess to facilitate their utilization.

The value of genetic resources is dependent upon the information available. Accurate characterization and evaluation data promote its use, especially if it is available in a standard format. Through the production of standards, the so called ‘descriptors’ in collaboration with National Agricultural Research Systems, CGIAR centres, and crop research institutes and networks, Bioversity International aims to stimulate the characterization and evaluation of germplasm collections by providing uniform and unambiguous guidelines for the description and exchange of information on germplasm.

Crop descriptors and derived standards are essential for the scientific documentation of plant genetic resources. They are an important tool that permits the international community to find and exchange information in a ‘common’ language. These standards have been adopted by the semantic community such as the Trait Ontology and the GCP ontology. They are also being promoted by global portals such as the Crop Knowledge Genebank Base (System-wide Genetic Resources Programme) and the Germplasm Information on Germplasm Accessions Portal (Bioversity International). These standards in turn, also contribute to develop active networks dealing with plant genetic resources because data exchange is easy and enhances collaboration. Furthermore, these networks can be assembled into a global partnership whereby access to information and use of germplasm are further facilitated, which supports the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).

ALERCIA-2010-Contribution of standards to networks, ontology and portals to provide access to plant genetic resources_b.pdf

A data standard to integrate farmers' knowledge and science

Adriana Raquel ALERCIA, Frederik van OUDENHOVEN, Pablo EYZAGUIRRE

Bioversity International, Italy;

Bioversity International and its partners have developed descriptors to provide a standard format for the gathering, storage, and exchange of farmers’ knowledge about plants. The descriptors document key characteristics, uses and (cultural) values of cultivated and wild plants as described by farmers and other people in farming communities and are designed to complement the agro-morphological and agronomic data gathered with more conventional descriptors developed by Bioversity and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). The novelty, and challenge, of this effort lies in its attempt to combine a documentation system used in controlled environments (genebanks, breeding institutes) with an approach that involves people and their knowledge ‘in the field’. Although the descriptor list is primarily targeted at the plant genetic resources community, its goal is to create a lingua franca among farmers and scientists that enables the documentation and sharing of information and the integration of biological and traditional knowledge. Expected benefits of this tool include uniformity and consistency of documentation, increased visibility and use of farmers’ knowledge in plant genetic diversity conservation, and a better ability of scientists and farming communities to work across geographic and knowledge boundaries.

ALERCIA-2010-A data standard to integrate farmers-' knowledge and science-IAALD-Congress-142_b.pdf

The Internet and the agricultural world – What interactions between scientific knowledge and pragmatic know-how about the environment?

Chantal ASPE1, Constance DE GOURCY2, Marie JACQUE3

1LPED, Laboratoire Population Environnement Développement, UMR IRD 151, Université Aix-Marseille1, France; 2LAMES, Laboratoire Méditerranéen de Sociologie, UMR 6127 CNRS, Université Aix-Marseille 1, France; 3DESMID, Dynamiques Ecologiques et Sociales en Milieu Deltaïque, UMR 6012 CNRS, Université Aix-Marseille 2;

This proposal is an overview of the questions, assumptions and first outcomes,connected with a sociological research project funded by the French PACA Region. It deals with how scientific discourse is used and received in the framework of activities carried out in an agricultural setting. The spread of knowledge and scientific breakthroughs through the web is one of the contemporaneous highlights, the impact of which is still largely to be assessed and analysed. Indeed, high profile issues are at stake in scientific discourse spread via the web, as it plays an important role in the transformation of the knowledge building into « hybrid » forms through TV, forums, blogs, and circulation lists, and by challenging the borders segregating erudite and pragmatic knowledge. This research analyzes the scope and extent of these virtual debates, using the example of the relationship between agriculture and environment. It focuses on how the questioning on issues such as GMOs, global warming, the protection of biodiversity takes place, as these are considered as the major environmental contemporaneous issues. The development of the internet has accompanied and helped the adaptations of the agricultural world but it has also partly modified the relationship between scientific knowledge, which establishes and legitimizes practical orientations followed in the agricultural area on the one hand, and how such knowledge is translated by the social actors, on the other. The «agricultural web» is characterized by the way it explicitly links the spread of scientific knowledge and breakthroughs, with the translation of these debates into professional practices. The objective of this analysis is to try to understand how the spread of scientific information about environment has led to a redefinition of the stakes of knowledge combined with a redesign of the borders between erudite knowledge and professional knowledge.

ASPE-2010-The Internet and the agricultural world-IAALD-Congress-162_b.pdf

Providing services to INRA and the international agricultural community: ProdInra & the Integrated Information System


1INRA, France; 2INRA, France;

The main benefit of open archives is to optimize the visibility of research results. Universities & research institutes have been setting up OAI compliant repositories with this aim in mind.

INRA, a French organization and also the largest agricultural research institute in Europe has set up such a repository in 2005.

INRA needs to identify and track its production because it must evaluate individuals, the labs, the departments, etc. and also to produce strategic indicators about the trends of our research activity.

These indicators help INRA to direct funding and access the most advanced projects.

In 2005, INRA planned a 5-years project to create an Integrated Information System (IIS) that combines different internal applications in order to exchange data and create services for the INRA research community. Directories of INRA people, activities and research laboratories are available in the internet.

ProdInra aims to give a large audience to INRA products. As it becomes an applicative tool of this Integrated Information System (IIS), it can also provide services to the agricultural international community based on data coming from the IIS.

This communication will present the Integrated Information System as well as the different services provided.

LE HENAFF-2010-Providing services to INRA and the international agricultural community-IAALD-Congress-127_b.pdf

The AGROVOC Concept Server Workbench System: Empowering management of agricultural vocabularies with semantics

Margherita SINI1, Sachit RAJBHANDARI1, Maziar AMIRHOSSEINI2, Gudrun JOHANNSEN1, Johannes KEIZER1, Ahsan MORSHED1

1FAO of the UN, Italy; 2The faculty of Information Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia;

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is recognized as an information and knowledge-base organization. FAO's activities comprise four main areas which are closely related to various aspects of information and knowledge: capture and analyze, disseminate and share, localize and provide. The goal of developing and maintaining tools for information and knowledge management is attributed to the Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building Division (KEC) of FAO. One of the most important resources for covering the terminology of all subject fields in agriculture domain is the AGROVOC thesaurus, which evolved into a semantic system in order to provide ontology services. This newly reengineered system is called the “AGROVOC Concept Server Workbench (ACSW)”.

This article analyzes the ACSW system based on two main areas: pragmatic and epistemic.

The pragmatic study focuses on the analysis on how the system is changing life of agricultural domain experts and information management experts from a practical point of view.

The epistemic study focuses on different cognition states. Based on the cognition states, we will analyze data, information and knowledge from the ACSW system.

SINI-2010-The AGROVOC Concept Server Workbench System-IAALD-Congress-287_b.pdf

Agropolis International publication - ISBN 978-2-909613-03-1

IAALD2010 Web Site : iaald2010.agropolis.fr - Contact : iaald2010@agropolis.fr