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Semantics, technology and linked data in open access repositories on agriculture and related sciences
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Semantics, technology and linked data in open access repositories on agriculture and related sciences


This presentation provides a practical overview of current practices in creating vocabularies and linked data in the area of agriculture and related sciences and also on authority control of …

This presentation provides a practical overview of current practices in creating vocabularies and linked data in the area of agriculture and related sciences and also on authority control of bibliografic data practices. Finally the survey carried out by FAO in December 2009 - January 2010 on the state of the art of the use of semantics and technology in open access document repositories in the field of agriculture and related sciences is presented.

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  • In the last years, use of AGROVOC has considerably expanded to the point where is now a tool for organization of explicit knowledge and development of ontologies and multilingual search functionality
  • Develop in FAO within the FAO Open Archive project context
  • Develop in FAO within the FAO Open Archive project context
  • For the user this means: reliable search results; easy retrieval of documents.   For the cataloguer this means: use of consistent terminology/unique forms; standardization in record creation; record maintenance is simplified; quicker and more logical cataloguing process.
  • (15 = 0.9%) Fedora Commons
  • (15 = 0.9%) Fedora Commons


  • 1. Semantics, Technology and Linked Data in Open Access Repositories on Agriculture and Related Sciences [email_address] [email_address] IT-Enhanced Organic, Agro-Ecological and Environmental Education September 16-17, 2010 Budapest (Hungary)
  • 2. About ourselves…
    • Imma Subirats & Sarah Dister
      • Information & knowledge management specialists at FAO
      • Actively involved in the promotion of open access in agriculture and related sciences, assuring the quality of repository content through implementing metadata standards, thesauri, and other forms of authority control
  • 3. … about FAO of the UN
    • It is the specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger
    • acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy
    • is also a source of knowledge and information.
  • 4. Semantics & Technology in Open Access Document Repositories
  • 5. Short introduction about…
    • What linked data is and its benefits
    • What the authority control content model means and its benefits for the open access repositories in the agricultural domain
    • Overview of the current situation of the use of technology and semantics in open access repositories in agriculture
  • 6. What can we say about Linked Data?
  • 7. What is linked data? Data which contains URI’s as identifiers for concepts described in the data and URIs to identify the relationships between those concepts A richer linking mechanism for the web that takes us from hypertext links (document to document) to hyperdata links (across things that documents are about)… A term coined by Tim Berners-Lee
  • 8. So? TALIS, 2009
  • 9. Linked Data Principles Use of URIs as names for things Use of HTTP URIs Provide useful information in RDF Including RDF links to other URIs
  • 10. What is RDF? Resource Description Framework RDF is the data format for linked data Describes relationships between things RDF uses URIs to name things, preferably HTTP http://www.w3.org/RDF/
  • 11. Graphically TALIS, 2009 Relations Literals Resources
  • 12. RDF TALIS, 2009
  • 13. What data? People Documents Photographs Places Journals Corporate bodies (Institutions) Conferences Etc...
  • 14. What vocabularies? FOAF Dublin Core BIBO SKOS Etc...
  • 15. Benefits … just listen to him
  • 16.  
  • 17. Examples in Agriculture A I M S Not much yet http://linkeddata.org/data-sets
  • 18. AGROVOC
    • What is AGROVOC?
      • Multilingual structured thesaurus for all subject fields in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and related domains
    • What is its purpose?
      • standardize the indexing process in order to make searching simpler and more efficient and to guide the user to the most relevant sources
      • Who uses AGROVOC?
      • Downloaded on average 1000 times per year, and individuals in about ninety countries regularly access AGROVOC online
  • 19. More about AGROVOC
      • It is a concept/term based system
      • Around 30,000 concepts
      • 600,000 labels in around 20 languages
      • A knowledge base of related concepts organized in relationships (hierarchical, associative, equivalence)
      • One-stop shop for terminological knowledge related to agriculture in general
  • 20. AGROVOC as linked data A I M S
  • 21. Concept Based Authority Control System for bibliographic data
  • 22. Authority Control for Bibliographic Data Context : library information systems Used for : access points to bibliographic records Corporate bodies, Conferences, Projects, Journal titles… Definition : Technique/process of assigning a unique form of name and the use of cross-references from obsolete and related forms Scope : To bring all the works of a bibliographical entity together in one place by selecting a single form of name
  • 23. Benefits FAO Food and Agriculture Organization Example Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    • Benefits
    • Efficient system searching
    • Exhausitive search results
    • It improves access dramatically by providing consistency in the forms used to identify corporate authors, conferences, place names, subjects, etc.
    FAO Documents Food and agriculture Organisations of the United Nations Search
  • 24. FAO Authority Control System
    • Why
    • FAO OA Repository project -> 170,000 records of legacy data managed by a flat (no cross-references) authority control system
    • Features of new Authority Control System
    • Concept based
    • Multilingual
    • URIs
  • 25. Example AUTHORIZED T ERMS English : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations French : Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture Spanish : Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación Arabic : منظمة الأغذية والزراعة للأمم المتحدة Russian : Продовольственная и сельскохозяйственная организация Объединенных Наций Chinese .... ALTERNATIVE TERMS Incomplete form : Food and Agriculture Organization Acronym : F AO Dutch form : Voedsel en landbouw Organisatie C-C RELATIONSHIPS Is spatially located in : Italy Has parts : Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension
  • 26. Methodology
  • 27. The Authority Control Content Model It is based on a concept-based system A concept is represented by all the forms, preferred and non-preferred, in all languages, associated with it A form is a word (simple term) or a multiword expression (complex term) that designates a particular concept
  • 28. Content
  • 29.  
  • 30.
  • 31. Conclusions
    • Arbitrary
    • Politically sensitive
    • Expensive
    • Sharing
    • Standardization
    • Simplification
    • Consistency
    • Reliability
    But properly implemented, the authority control provides…
  • 32. Do you have any question so far?
  • 33. What can we say about the current situation of open access document repositories in the agricultural domain?
  • 34. OA Document Repository
    • Definition
    • A digital archive to collect, preserve and disseminate scientific information in digital form
    • Benefits
    • Immediate, universal and free access to information available.
    • Increase of visibility, usage and impact of work of researchers/institutions
    • Importance
    • Making knowledge accessible -> vital to ( agricultural) development
  • 35. Survey
    • Why
    • Obtain a better understanding of the current situation
    • Identify trends and issues that need attention
    • How
    • 30 questions divided in thematic groups
    • web based survey on CIARD ring
    • mail sent to 150 institutions and 9 specialized mailing lists
  • 36. General
    • Data collection : 82 repositories compiled surveys
    • Type of Institution : Majority universities, minority governmental, international and Nongovernmental org
    • Year of foundation : Founded between 1993-2009
    • 1993 – 2000: 1/2 repositories a year
    • 2001≥ substantial increase of growth
    • promotion of OA
  • 37. OAI-PMH
    • Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting
    • Purpose: To improve interoperability of digital repositories by exposing and harvesting metadata
    • 45% no DC as metadata set to export data
    • -> 55% is not OAI PMH compliant
    • 70% not interested improving metadata
    • Promotion of OAI PMH
  • 38. Authority Control
    • Bibliographical concepts
    • 62% no use of authority control
    • when used, especially for journal titles
    • 50% would be interested in applying an authority control system
    • Promotion
  • 39. Software A I M S
  • 40. Software Comparing with other repositories
  • 41. Summary
    • OAI-PMH – interoperability
    • Authority control – accessibility
    • Software - standardization
    • CIARD Ring
    • Data collected added to repository profiles on CIARD Ring
  • 42. Thank you for your attention [email_address] [email_address] IT-Enhanced Organic, Agro-Ecological and Environmental Education September 16-17, 2010 Budapest (Hungary)