IMMANA funds agriculture for improved nutrition & health: Open access/data requirements


IMMANA_logoAndTextThe Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) is coordinating a new research partnership funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), called Innovative Metrics and Methods for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA).

The aim of IMMANA is “to accelerate the development of a robust scientific evidence base needed to guide changes in global agriculture to feed the world’s population projected to hit nine billion by 2050 in a way that is both healthy and sustainable“. In order to achieve this, IMMANA is working on four different but closely related activities:

1) Develop scientific evidence to inform effective policies and investments in agriculture for improved nutrition and health;

2) Engage with the research community to stimulate development of innovative methodological approaches and novel metrics;

3) Train young researchers in developing and applying cutting-edge methods;

4) Strengthen international interdisciplinary research collaborations for evidence-based policy making and programme design.


There are three different types of opportunities for getting involved (and hopefully funded!) by the IMMANA actions:

1) IMMANA GrantsCompetitive Research Grants to Develop Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions – the call for applications will be open until 21 November 2014;

2) IMMANA Fellowships (Postdoctoral Fellowships on Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions): Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Emerging Leaders in Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health Research; the call for applications (PDF) will be open until 10 January 2015

3) Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy: a global research network in agriculture for improved nutrition and health to serve as a platform for learning, including an annual conference.


Dissemination, Data Sharing and Intellectual Property

What is very interesting is that following the Open Data movement, the call for applications includes a section that refers to the intellectual property and data sharing aspects of the outcomes produced in the context of the IMMANA framework. It is obvious that the call will require from researchers who wish to be funded for their research, to put significant effort on the following:

a) Dissemination of their research outcomes in the related research communities;

Grant holders will be expected to promote the dissemination of the results of their research as widely as possible, based on the premise that publicly-funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest

b) Proper organization of their research data and provision of open and unrestricted access to them (even after an embargo period set by the publisher or funder, e.g. in the case of a publication in a non open access scientific journal or a patent application);

“…the results of their research should be made openly available to other researchers in a timely manner to the maximum extent possible”

The investigators’ institution(s) will grant to the funders of the programme, if requested, a world-wide, non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use all such material. However, if investigator(s) wish to apply for a patent for a particular application arising out of the information, they may request that publication of data is withheld until the patent has been applied for. After that time, the data must be made freely available. The funders should be consulted about any request of this kind at an early stage, and any license(s) granted must be managed in a way that is consistent with the core principles of Global Access, i.e. that the findings of the research would be disseminated promptly and broadly, and that products and technologies arising from the knowledge gained would be made available and accessible at reasonable cost to people most in need in developing countries.”

c) Building the appropriate tools for collecting research data in such a way that will allow them to explain how they resulted in specific metrics (as they are required by the call);


How can applicants benefit from the Agro-Know Data Framework?

Responding to the call, this is exactly the area were AK is specializing. With the Agro-Know services and products, Agro-Know offers a set of “magic” to help researchers share the data. The magic, or the Agro-Know Data Framework, is an open and scalable system used for the storage, curation, organisation,enrichment, analysis, exposure & discovery of data.


Agro-Know Data Framework: From data cultivation to blossom


More specifically, the Agro-Know Data Framework can support those who wish to receive an IMMANA grant by :

a) Data dissemination & discovery: The Agro-Know Data Framework’s data discovery solutions can help in finding publications, reports, educational resources, projects, people, events and research datasets that an organization holds and combine it with relevant agricultural content from other relevant sources. The data discovery solutions include search & data visualization mechanisms.


Organic.Edunet: The example of a web portal /user interface for a federation of metadata repositories

Organic.Edunet: The example of a web portal /user interface for a federation of metadata repositories


b) Data organization & sharing: The Agro-Know Data Framework’s sharing solutions can help in optimising the management and the sharing of data in order to increase the visibility and impact of a researcher’s and a research organization’s work. In this case, the Framework can help in:

– Setting up a system for the organisation of data even in large scale that will fit to any organisation’s requirements and needs;

– Providing a data management and sharing system as a service (SaaS);

– Making an existing system interoperable so that related data can be re-usable and interoperable.


Domain-specific classification options though the metadata authoring tool

Domain-specific classification options though the metadata authoring tool


c) Data collection and authoring: The Agro-Know Data Framework’s authoring and publishing solutions can help researchers in presenting their research processes, best practices and training activities on the web based on their data and other existing high quality agricultural data.


AgLR: An open-source metadata authoring & repository tool

AgLR: An open-source metadata authoring & repository tool


d) Open access: Agro-Know has the expertise to design and implement plans related to the opening up access to research outcomes, from the identification of requirements specific to each case, to the development of the technical infrastructure needed for the establishment of an open access repository with clearly defined open licensing schemas.


Defining the access rights of a digital object in AgLR

Defining the access rights of a digital object in AgLR


You can learn more about the Agro-Know Data Framework and its modules at the Agro-Know website.


We at Agro-Know are always exploring opportunities for collaboration in the context of data-powered processes and we are more than glad to share our expertise by getting involved in related projects.


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