Brief report on the outcomes of the AGRIS e-consultation

AGRIS survey graph 1

The AGRIS e-consultation survey was conducted from November 2014 (that became also the first announcement to our blog) until the 12th of February 2015 with the support of the UN FAO. The AGRIS team wanted to recive the feedback from the AGRIS web portal users in order to get useful information about their real needs and use the results for the further development of AGRIS.

We would really like to thank all the participants of this survey that spent some of their time to evaluate the AGRIS web portal and its services through the short questionnaire. Their answers gave us a really good outcome. Some significant conclusions are going to be presented below.

Meanwhile, the results will be included in a paper about AGRIS Community that is going to be submitted by FAO soon in the context of the Open Knowledge in Agricultural Development (OKAD) of F1000Research.

Some words about the process of how the results were extracted from the answers are given by 279 users. The questions were in total 19, some of them multiple choice questions and others free text. I have to admit that I met a difficulty to extract the results from the free text answers, since the replies were multiple and similar among them. The questions are grouped in four categories:

  1. demographics;
  2. needs of the users;
  3. results regarding the existing services of AGRIS portal;
  4. suggestions and recommendations of the users regarding the AGRIS portal improvement.

The report includes simple pie charts but also interesting visualizations (see below) made from my colleague Alexandros Valarakis (a new member of the Agro-Know team).

Regarding the demographics, in brief, the results showed that the main top 3 users of the AGRIS are the students, the researchers and the information managers, the majority of which come from Academic and Research Environment. The users that visit much the portal come from USA, Colombia, India and China.

Regarding the users needs, a great proportion of the participants expressed their interest to the research data, to the publications, to the projects focused on a certain domain. Furthermore, they need more information to the list of their search results like full abstracts, more info about authors, more facets and filters in order to specify more their search etc. Moreover, via the survey the users showed the preferences regarding the topics they are interested in, therefore they need more resources regarding topics like Animal production, Plant diseases, Plant Protection and Pathology , Farmland, Soils, Irrigation and containerized nursery etc. The users expressed their wish to see in AGRIS, apart from articles and reports, also statistics, multimedia, price data like as daily crops prices, material of experiments etc. Over the half of the participants claimed that it is important for them to have the choice to save their favourite results. They are interested also in using AGRIS through other devices, like tablets and smartphones.

The visualization below shows the main users and their needs in additional functionalities.

AGRIS survey graph 1

Through this survey we also measured the satisfaction of the users on existing services. Regarding the mashup page, a great majority of them appreciate this function and consider it extremely useful. The advanced search satisfies in a great percentage the users even if they use it periodically. Regarding the speed in total of 73 countries seem to be good but in some specific areas it is not good at all and we need to identify which countries have the real problem.

The last question of the survey, that was asking from the users their suggestions, has indicated recommendations on six different fields: interface, services, results presentation, content, multilinguality and accessibility. All the suggestions will be taken into consideration in order for the AGRIS web portal to meet the user’s expectations.

The AGRIS team will do the best for this goal!!

Stay tuned in order to see the update AGRIS services.


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