Reporting on the Workshop on EU’s Open Science Cloud: the agri-food use case

AGINFRA as a global atlas of agri-food research

On November 13th, 2015, a community workshop on the Open Science Cloud titled “Shaping the Open Science Cloud of the Future” took place in Bari, Italy, as a part of the EGI Community Forum 2015. Agro-Know was invited as a data-powered SME in order to contribute its experience on the data- and e-infra-related needs of the agri-food research community – other communities were represented as well, including bioinformatics, cancer research and the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory (EMSO), among others.

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This provided us with excellent opportunity to present how three different user types could benefit from the envisaged Ope Science Cloud – based on our actual experience in all three cases:

Back to the 90’s and the available data storage solutions

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Open Access & Text Mining: Moving Things Forward

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Text mining refers to “the process or practice of examining large collections of written resources in order to generate new information” (source). I am not an expert in text mining, but I understand that it is about applying specialized software/algorithms/techniques on existing textual information so that it can be read and analyzed by machines in order for them to extract more meaningful information for us, humans. Of course, text mining is no news to the research community, as it seems that it all started back in the ’80s with a methodology titled CAVE (Content Analysis of Verbatim Explanations) but its background goes beyond the scope of this article.… Click to read the full post

Why Open Access matters for researchers

Image source: http://libguides.library.usyd.edu.au/content.php?pid=170766&sid=4319141

Why Open Access matters for researchers? That was the focal question to be replied in the yesterday’s Open Access seminar “Preparing new researchers for the Open Science” that was organized by the National Documentation Center in the context of Open Access Week 2015. It was an introductive seminar for researchers aiming to discuss about practices and policies on Open Access and Open Science. Additionally, it provided an introduction on the matters of open access publishing, self-archiving in institutional repositories, data management, and about the really challenging issue of copyrights and licensing.

The presentations and the discussion focused mostly on the above issues:

  • What are the benefits of Open Access publishing?
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Friends of Agro-Know: Meet Dr. Sridhar Gutam

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The Friends of Agro-Know series is a series of interviews with people that Agro-Know has either already worked with, or would like to work with in the future. Dr. Sridhar Gutam falls into the latter category; he is a person really actively involved in the field of open access to research outcomes and data as well as an active contributor to related global initiatives, such as the Agriculture Data Interest Group (IGAD) of the Research Data Alliance and CIARD, among others.

Dr. Gutam was kind enough to accept our request to a short interview for the Agro-Know blog, and you can see his responses right below:

Can you please share some info on your education and studies?Click to read the full post

Everything you need to know about the Open Access Week

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This week (October 19 – 25, 2015) is the Open Access Week, an event that celebrates its 8th year and we have every reason to celebrate, too!

Agro-Know is a long-time Open Access advocate, and this is validated through our work in various instances, such as the management and support of the FAO AGRIS network through our AKstem, in projects such as the FP7 agINFRA and the most recent Horizon 2020 OpenMinTeD, as well as through our contributions to the VOA3R ICT-PSP project under the umbrella of the Greek Research & Technology Network (GRNET) – just to name a few.… Click to read the full post

Join our Webinar@AIMS: How AKstem supports the AGRIS network

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FreeWebinars@AIMS(1)We are happy to announce, thanks to our dearest colleagues from AIMS team Karna and Thembani, the webinar dedicated to our AKStem service and AGRIS Data processing!

The aim of the webinar is to present the new online service desk powered by the AKstem service that facilitates the submission of AGRIS data provider’s collections to AGRIS, providing an improved interaction with AGRIS data processing unit. Additionally, in this webinar we are presenting the ways and methods that AGRIS data providers can contribute their bibliographic information (metadata) to AGRIS. The webinar is addressing to both new and old AGRIS data providers, as it will be an opportunity to gain a better understanding on the new service and its functionalities.… Click to read the full post

We have our privileged 5 beta testers of our new AKstem service!

Be careful. Beta testers ahead. Playing with their new AKstem-powered micro-sites (http://blog.agroknow.com/?p=3936).

The time has come to announce our 5 micro-sites beta testers!

In first place we would like to thank all the AGRIS Centers that participated in the context and warmly embraced our new service! It has been really difficult to choose between all of these great contestants, but unfortunately only five institutions could be our beta testers.

In order to select fairly our beta testers, we decided to set two main criteria: a) metadata completeness and b) the geographical distribution. Regarding the first one, we tried to select those collections that provide rich bibliographic information with high quality metadata. At the same time, we aimed at a variety of geographical coverage; therefore, we have beta testers from different regions around the world!… Click to read the full post

Investigating engagement in Research Data Alliance at a regional level

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The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a global network that aims to “build the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data“. Participation in the RDA is open to anyone who agrees to the RDA principles. Scientists come together through focused Working Groups, exploratory Interest Groups to exchange knowledge, share discoveries, discuss barriers and potential solutions, explore and define policies and test as well as harmonise standards to enhance and facilitate global data sharing. RDA Plenaries are held every six months in different places around the world, allowing participants to get involved in interesting discussions, get up-to-date with advances in their own research fields and identify opportunities for transdisciplinary collaborations.… Click to read the full post

Text and data mining (TDM) in agri-food research

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A wealth of published research outcomes is currently publicly available (mostly thanks to the really active Open Access initiatives and mandates that keep finding ways to open up even more research data); however, at the same time, researchers are still facing a challenge when seeking for specific elements of a research publication that would support their own research, such as an image, a diagram or a dataset related to a specific topic, such as crop disease, within the scientific literature. Indeed, such components are currently embedded in various types of publications and cannot be identified, described and retrieved as individual entities.… Click to read the full post

Lessons learned from working with project proposals: Lack of time

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Do you know one thing that doesn’t scale? Your time. 

No matter who you are, no matter how hard you try, we are all given the same number of hours in a day and we need to make sure that we make the best use of them.

If you plan to submit a proposal in one of the upcoming Horizon 2020 calls on Blue Growth, Sustainable Food Security & Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy with a pressing deadline on 11/6/2015 (so in less than one week!), we have been in your shoes and we can more or less describe the case:

  • You are trying to make sure that you have a good idea in your hands, which needs to be described in a way that will persuade the reviewers so that they mark it as eligible for funding (which is your ultimate goal after all);
  • At the same time you need to make sure that you have compiled a great consortium that will not only provide all the necessary documentation for the successful submission of your proposal within the deadline (!), but can prove that it is suitable for completing all envisaged tasks in a high quality and timely manner;
  • You have to keep re-calculating the allocation of the foreseen budget in work packages, tasks and deliverables, taking into consideration the different rates of each partner, each role and the specificities in reimbursing trip expenses (per diem or based on receipts) – and on top of that, include all last-minute revisions from the consortium members;
  • You need to make sure that the text you used in your proposal for describing the impact and other aspects actually reflects what you plan to do in an attractive way;
  • Last but not least, you will need to include the description of a data management plan in your proposal.
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