Archive for September, 2006

FAO and Wageningen International will collaborate in Project Information Management

FAO and Wageningen International are discussing how to achieve more coherence and effectiveness in Project Information Mangement. FAO is running the CARIS system for a long time now and Wageningen International has established the WISARD platform. The following Declaration is at the moment under discussion. Comments are welcome.

Wageningen International (WUR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have agreed to collaborate in the dissemination and management of scientific research project information within the new AGRIS initiative.

  • WISARD and CARIS will agree on a common Data Exchange Format that will make it easy to exchange and harvest project data from and between WISARD and CARIS partners. The new exchange format will be shared with the community for comments and will be established as a standard for Project Metadata Application Profile (Project AP).
  • FAO will use the WISARD platform to publish CARIS data from centres that presently submit their metadata to the AGRIS secretariat.
  • All AGRIS/CARIS centres will have the possibility to use the WISARD platform (managed by IAC-WUR Wageningen, The Netherlands) to manage and publish their project information. This platform holds a central database and data management tools that allow decentralized data management through organizational accounts. It is already in use by a variety of stakeholders worldwide for a number of years. (examples)
  • Besides publishing project information, information on Organization and Experts may be published as well. An introduction to the full set of functionality within WISARD will be sent shortly.
  • New CARIS information can be entered directly into the new platform and made accessible through a new CARIS interface. An administration account will be created for each of the centers who retain full data control at all times. Over the next months current central CARIS information will be moved to the new platform based on an agreed standard format and become gradually accessible.
  • CARIS partners with their own information dissemination systems can use the WISARD platform by sending XML files with the agreed data exchange format to WISARD for pubishing their metadata.
  • For a transition period historical CARIS data will still be accessible through the CARIS database at FAO, but it will link to the new CARIS platform at WISARD.
  • AGRIS/CARIS Centres can also use other software packages to manage their project and related information. FAO will keep centres up-to-date on available tools in this area. In addition, it is foreseen that functionality will become available in the first half of 2007 that will allow CARIS centers to batch upload and publish project information into the WISARD platform so that it can also be accessible from there.
  • For any further questions or inquiries regarding the new platform, write to FAO-AGRIS-CARIS@fao.org.

We consider this an initial step for more collaboration and coherence in agricultural information systems and a considerable strengthening of the International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology (AGRIS) .

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