26 April 2010

InfoAccess Marketplace: How to make agricultural research information available and accessible

On Monday 26 April, in the run-up to the IAALD 2010 Congress in Montpellier, an InfoAccess Marketplace was held by the partners in the the CIARD initiative.

Several organizations took part in the event, showcasing different tools and approaches to make agricultural information more accessible.

According to Stephen Rudgard: "research information is often 'locked away' and is not truly accessible." CIARD - Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development - is a global movement that is working to make public domain research information truly accessible to all. The CIARD agenda has been developed over the past two years with the involvement of different stakeholders and partners; the IAALD Congress represents an ideal occasion to share the CIARD agenda with wider public of information professionals in the agricultural sector so that they can understand and promote this initiative.

Specifically, the CIARD initiative comprises a Manifesto, a set of values, as well as a checklist and a series of pathways to achieve the checklist items. The pathways are quite complex, and the idea of the Marketplace is to bring together different service providers from across the world who can help people with information and research to share them more effectively and make them truly accessible.

Stephen Rudgard explains the CIARD initiative:

One of the most interesting tools presented at the Marketplace was Mendeley, a social academic software for researchers to manage and share their research papers. It also a research network to manage research papers online and, more important, to discover research trends and build connections to other researchers. Online for 15 months now, Mendeley already has 300,000 users, most from top universities such as MIT and Cambridge.

Jan Reichelt introduces Mendeley:

Another interesting project was Organic Edunet, presented by GRNET, the Greek Research and Technology Network. Organic Edunet is an EU-unded project that aims at making content on organic agriculture publicly available and accessible. It comprises a multilingual online federation of learning repositories, populated with quality content from various content producers.

Nikos Palavitsinis explains more about this project:

Post by Pier Andrea Pirani, EUFORIC Services

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