14 November 2008

The WUR WaY makes agricultural knowledge accessible

Yesterday's meeting on aginfo accessibility was a good opportunity to hear more about experiences in this area of Wageningen UR.

Hugo Besemer shared experiences with two projects: ‘Wageningen Yield' (see also earlier story) and ‘Groen Kennisnet’ – or ‘green knowledge net.’

It seems that the Wageningen repository is now rather complete – they collect and index all resources created by WUR staff, even if they can’t yet make them all publicly accessible (due to license restrictions etc). For some other organizations, like the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, whose web site content management system changes often, WUR maintains an accessible ‘e-store’ of full text documents, giving them each a permanent address on the web.

According to Besemer, the key to success so far is the way the data collection process is embedded in the institution’s science reporting systems. The reporting cycle requires that outputs are submitted to the system and an individual in each science group is tasked to submit information to the database (the library does quality and consistency checks).

This reporting ‘stick’ is also complemented by ‘carrots’ or incentives offered back to the science groups and their staff. The idea is to make it easier for them to do other things with their own content. As examples:
  • individuals and groups can generate their own publication lists, with full text links etc, from the database;
  • they can also use the system to generate other required reports of outputs they need to submit for annual reports etc.
  • the library also ensures that the research outputs be found elsewhere, in other repositories and systems, via rss feeds, etc. The scientists and groups can count on their outputs getting maximum dissemination and exposure.
See Hugo's WaY presentation:

More from the 13 November meeting

Story by Peter Ballantyne

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