Reports from the Meeting at the 3rd plenary in Dublin

31 Mar 2014


attached two reports from participants

by Devika Madalli

Report of Meeting of the Interest group on Agricultural Data at RDA P3, Dublin 26th March 2104

.The RDA interest group on Agricultural Data met on 26th march 2014 at Dublin chaired by Johannes Keizer and Devika Madalli.

The opening remarks of Dr.Keizer summed up work of the IG so far from its inception in Gothenburg RDA. The group has laid down its objectives, charter, setup a community of mutually interested individuals, initiatives and organizations with a world wide representation.


  1.  Introduction for Newcomers (Johannes Keizer + Devika Madalli)
  2.  Reports from Areas
    1. Wheat Data Interoperability Group (Esther Dzale)
    2. Global RDF Descriptors for Germplasm (Vassilis Protonotarios)

The meeting was attended by participants of about 9 countries including agricultural scientists, information and data managers and library managers among others.

The IG solicited interest from groups and institutions with shared interest. Accordingly two presentations on germplasm data and  Geo systems were scheduled.

Vassilis Protanotarios, Agroknow, Athens, gave a presentation on Germplasm data. The talk described work accomplished under AgInfra, a EU project in collecting and organising data on germplasm initiatives, communities, standards, workflows and events.

Sucith Anand, Nottingham Spatial Institute, University of Nottingham, presented on 'Geo for all' initiative. It is a multidisciplinary initiative including Agriculture theme.

Esther Dzale Yeumo, chair of the working group on wheat data interoperability reported on the work in progress of the group.  Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group aims to provide a common framework for describing, representing linking and publishing wheat data with respect to open standards.  Th group has been working on preparing a questionnaire for conducting  survey of existing standards and recommendations (vocabularies, ontologies, formats). This survey will identify which standards are adopted in the wheat data managers community, which ones are missing and which ones can stand as references. The end objective is to identify partners willing to share data and to actively engage them.

There were discussions about data policies for Agri data and whether the IG should publish policies or RDA would do it for all RDA data.  There was also discussions to emphasize the need for training activities for use of data and tools for handling data. It was also discussed that it may be better to simply provide easy to use tools that were self explanatory and useful. It was noted that there may be several overlaps with other IGs and IGAD agreed to participate in cross IG discussions to leverage on the work of the other related RDA groups.

An announcement was made about the Godan CIARD consultancy workshop scheduled for 22nd April 14 at UNFAO, Rome

by Vassilis Protonotarios

RDA 3rd plenary meeting

Agricultural Data Interoperability IG meeting minutes (26/3/2014)


The meeting was chaired by Johannes Keizer (FAO) and Devika Madalli (ISI) and attended by the following RDA members:




Vassilis Protonotarios

Agro-Know, Greece

David King

Open University, UK

Hugo Besemer

Wageningen UR, The Netherland

Michael Ball

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK

Odile Hologne

INRA, France

Maria Esteva

Texas Advanced Computing Center, USA

ARD Prasad

ISI Bangalore, India

Cheryl Cut

Australian Government Department of Education, Australia

Meixia Deng

George Mason University, USA

Liping Di

Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University, USA

Rob Hooft

Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences, The Netherlands

Yde de Yong

University of Eastern Finland, Finland

Manjula Patel

UKOLN, University of Bath, UK

Francoise Genova

Centre de Donnees astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS), France (TAB representative)

Esther Dzale Yeumo Kabore

INRA, France


The meeting started with a short introduction of the participants. It was followed by the announcement of the joint CIARD/GODAN meeting and discussion on the background of the two initiatives and the relation of the event to the scope of the IG.


Presentation 1: Global RDF descriptors for germplasm (Vassilis Protonotarios, Agro-Know, Greece)


-       Linking germplasm with genomic data can be tricky

-       There is common ground between the work towards the global RDF descriptors (specifically the use of KOSs for the linking) and the work of other RDA WGs, which would be interested to use our work as a case study.

-       The connection between the agINFRA germplasm WG outcomes and the RDA agData IG might not be clear

-       We should take into consideration that the WG should deliver outcomes (deliverables) within 18 months

-       ….. comments by representative of RDA TAB (missing)


Presentation 2: Building Open Geospatial Science / Open Source Geospatial Information (OSGeo) (Suchith Anand, University of Nottingham, UK)

-       Workflow and tools are based on open standards

-       Information is also linked to climate information


Presentation 3: Presentation of the Wheat Data Interoperability WG (Esther Dzale Yeumo Kabore, INRA, France)



-       Presentation of the aims and objectives of the WG, timeplan etc.

-       There are several initiatives ongoing (e.g, iPlants) working on the same context

-       Funding model; there is no funding for the time being but this might change in the future. Meetings take place online, but this was still an issue, due to the allocation of the participants in different time zones.

-       Information sharing takes place through the mailing list and the wiki page at RDA; the Conference tool did not work when it was tried.


General discussion:

·       Funding question: INRA/CIMMYT currently fund the Wheat WG but this will not be enough. agINFRA is one of the users and could also contribute e.g. for covering the expenses of a face-to-face meeting.

·       Data policies: There was not enough time for a presentation on this topic. In addition, Martin Parr was not attending the meeting. Johannes had attended a related discussion which took place earlier. It was agreed that this is an important aspect and should be seriously taken into consideration.

·       A tool for facilitating agricultural was proposed by data sharing could be demonstrated after the meeting of the Wheat Data Interoperability WG, due to lack of time.

·       It was discussed that training on data management is important for researchers; in the Netherlands, Data Buzzword training in Data for plant breeders.

A discussion with iPlants would be beneficial for the RDA groups, as it is closely relevant to the work done by the two groups. It will be arranged in the next period