Virtual Open Access Agriculture & Aquaculture Repository

Sharing Scientific and Scholarly Research related to Agriculture, Food, and Environment

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Opening Up Access to Scientific Information Recommendations for Improving Virtual Repositories and Online Communities

Opening Up Access to Scientific Information : Recommendations for Improving Virtual Repositories and Online Communities Developed and published by the VOA3R Consortium is available online. Editors Stracke/ Manouselis/ Sicilia. 2013. 95 p.


Authors: Stracke/ Manouselis/ Sicilia/ Helmstedt/ Martín-Moncunill/ Protonotarios, with contributions and support by the whole VOA3R consortium
ISBN: 978-3-922602-42-2
Cover photo: © Sabine Dertinger, Bonn (Germany)
Published by University Publisher, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany

This document is also a VOA3R deliverables D6.4 Final Recommendations.


Opening up the access to scientific information is an increasing demand and crucial need for researchers and also for all citizens, communities and societies:

VOA3R, the European initiative for the Virtual Open Access Agriculture &Aquaculture Repository, has established the online platform connecting digitallibraries and facilitating virtual communities with unique opportunities for sharing scientific and scholarly research related to agriculture, food, and environment.

This publication presents the main outcomes and recommendations of VOA3R, the European initiative for the Virtual Open Access Agriculture & Aquaculture Repository. This flagship project supported by the European Commissionfacilitated, improved and sustained the open access to all European and international digital contents, scientific information and research results as well as their online discussion and exchange.

The main recommendations derived and drawn from the selected five key tasks and activities (quality management, elicitation of the user requirements, social networking services, content population, and evaluation by experiments and trials) were presented in brief : They were also identified by the evaluation of the experiments and trials and and their relation between the two dimensions required efforts (indicated by the realization type from easy to difficult) and expected effects (indicated by the impact from short- to long-term) were indicated in a first overview. That allows also other and future initiative to benefit from the achieved VOA3R results and insights.

VOA3R has achieved successfully its objectives and went beyond them, also analysed and evaluated through the experiments and trials: VOA3R could establish the online platform connecting digital libraries and facilitate services
and social networking including virtual communities.

Thus, it can be summarized that VOA3R provided and continuously provides through the sustainability strategy unique opportunities for sharing scientific and scholarly research related to agriculture, food, and environment.
For open access to the best scientific information in Europe and worldwide!...



AIMS Newsletter. VOA3R Special Issue, Summer 2013

The Virtual Open Access Agriculture & Aquaculture Repository (VOA3R) is a 3-year European project launched in June 2010 and funded by the European Commission under the seventh framework ICT Policy Support Program.

It brings together 14 partners from 10 different countries and 27 affiliated partners. The VOA3R platform was developed and is currently evaluated by its users and the European Commission. It offers an innovative portal that brings together researchers, students and practitioners in agriculture, viticulture, aquaculture and related areas. This platform gathers 2 640 000+ open access resources from 24 repositories.

some contents

Access to the newsletter :

MTSR 2013 - 7th Metadata and Semantics Research Conference - Call for papers

"MTSR 2013 - The 7th Metadata and Semantics Research Conference will take place between 19-22 November 2013, at Thessaloniki, Greece. The conference consists of a number of special tracks, including the Special track on Metadata and Semantics for Agriculture, Food & Environment (AgroSEM'13). The 6th Edition of the Special Track on Metadata and Semantics for Agriculture, Food & Environment is hosted as part of MTSR 2013, and aims to bring together researchers and practitioners that are working on agricultural, food-related and environmental knowledge production, organization, and exchange from a Semantic Web perspective. It aims to serve as a discussion forum where interested experts will present the results of their work, and establish liaisons with other groups that are working on related subjects. In addition, it aims to outline the rich potential of these subjects as an application field for advanced metadata- and semantic-driven systems and services.  VOA3R traditionally supports the AgroSEM Special Track with the organization of related workshops and by submitting a number of papers describing the outcomes of the project. The deadline for submitting to the AgroSEM'13 is June 20th, 2013. You can find more information at the website of AgroSEM'13:

VOA3R and Semagrow joint meeting

SemaGrow have been included in the European Commission Action Plan as part of the EC's commitment to deliver open access to publicly funded agriculturally relevant data for users in Africa and around the world.  VOA3R and Semagrow joint meeting will take place on Wednesday 15th May at FAO, Roma.

ICORE will support VOA3R community and platform

VOA3R is pleased to announce the launch of ICORE: The International Council for Open Research and Open Education.

ICORE will support the VOA3R community and platform in a sustainable way, enabling the current users to continue enjoying the VOA3R experience after the end of the project.

Main objectives of ICORE are the recognition, progress and application of Open Research and Open Education: ICORE wants to bridge both worlds of Open Research and Open Education. The goal is the mutual re-usage of their results and outcomes, e.g. through the usage of digital resources from Open Research in Open Education.

Join the ICORE association and strengthen our common objectives for Open Research and Open Education and for a better future of our society worldwide!

to learn more :

Source :


Large survey launched for stakeholders and users of the VOA3R portal


A large survey is being launched for stakeholders and users of the VOA3R portal. Discover the platform, the open access resources and try the amazing social network


You are invited to fill the questionnaire to help us improving this major VOA3R outcome: questionnaire in English or in French

The VOA3R project comes to an end and your feedback is important for evaluating the platform.

Validation trails were already conducted and participants discovered the platform.

Last validation trials:

  • VOA3R Validation Trial at UNESCO-IODE, during OceanTeacher Course, Development and Management of e-Repositories,  8-12 april 2013- 22 participants. This validation trial was conducted by Marc Goovaerts (director of the Hasselt University Library) with the support of the Library Team Of Hasselt University
  •  VOA3R Validation Trial at Inra during an information meeting on collaborative tools. at Seillac France, 9-11 april 2013, 12 participants -  Conducted by Diane Le Henaff, INRA
  • VOA3R Validation Trial at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 21 March 2013. This validation trial were conducted by Ulla Ekström and Urban Ericsson from the SLU-library)
  •  VOA3R user trial at the 53rd Workshop on Learning Technologies and 13th meeting of TC 353 on “Building a Culture for Standards based, e-Research Infrastructure”. 15th of February 2013. Held in Thessaloniki, Greece


The questionnaire in english :

The questionnaire in french :

Constitution of "Agricultural Data Interest Group" within RDA: Report from the Launch meeting

The launch meeting of the Research Data Alliance took place on March 18-20, 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Program and contributions are documented at the RDA website and the presentations from the meeting are available online.

During the RDA meeting Nikos Manouselis (Greece), Odile Hologne (France), Esther Zale Yeumo, Kabore (France), Devika Madalli (India), Johannes Keizer (FAO) and Stefania Keters (RDA Secretariate) met to discuss a possible working group on Agricultural data interoperability within RDA. The results of this discussion are:

All aspects of agricultural data management is a topic too broad for a working group. To follow on such broad areas within RDA exists the instrument of Interest Group. All participants agreed to set up such an Interest Group on Agricultural data within RDA

It was discussed to set up as a first working group a group that should handle the interoperability of data and information on wheat.  This is linked to INRA’s (Esther, Odile) strong commitment to the international wheat initiative.  The task is daunting, because it tackles the problem of interoperability not of a specific datatype, but of different data types on the same issue (Germplasm data, genetic and phenotype data, statistical data, text….). The output of this working group was envisaged as a kind of “cookbook” how to produce “wheat data” that are easily sharable and interoperable.

It was decided that INRA will conduct stakeholder consultations before such a working group would be formally set up.

Next Steps:

  • ·Definition of the membership of the Interestgroup. The Interestgroup is open please feel free to invite further colleagues. Everyone, who wants to be part of it should contact Johannes Keizer to get onto the mailing list. You may find more information at the FAO AIMS web site.
  • ·Assessment of a Working Group on Interoperability of Wheat data sources. Odile and Esther from INRA will conduct stake holder consultations to clarify if this working group is feasible.
  • ·A list of topics should be created, that should be handled by the Interestgroup in the next two years.


Way of communication:

·This announcement is also posted at All stakeholders are encouraged to visit this link and to answer by using the Forum for everything what is of public interest.

·After the G8 conference on “Agricultural Open Data” we should have an online meeting to evaluate the outcomes and to decide what will be done until the next Plenary RDA in September 2013.

You can discuss this information into the VOA3R's portal community "IT in agriculture" and provide your feedback directly at the RD-Alliance Forum.

VOA3R portal Major release

The VOA3R portal  launched a major release last week.

With this update, we have exceed the barrier of 2.100.000 resources much of them complaining with VOA3R application profile level 4 or VOA3R application profile level 2. It means more metadata-rich resources, which allow us to show the user more useful information about them.

The effort done with VOA3R application profile, has lent us to start working in some new interesting functionalities for the portal, most important will be:

  •  “My research functionalities”: the vocabularies have been widely increased, which allows researchers to explain better their work.
  •  New functionalities for practitioners, for instance, the possibility to mark the resources as “Useful for practitioners”.
  •  New textual search filters: by repository, by date and by language.
  • Trials with multilingualism.

We have also made a great effort in usability issues,  fixing most of the problems reported during the pilot trials.

Access :