“First AGRIS Workshop on Open Access in Agricultural Sciences and Technology”.

On 6-7 November 2006 Food and Agriculture Organization and International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics organized the “First AGRIS Workshop on Open Access in Agricultural Sciences and Technology”. The main objective of workshop was to promote the concepts and principles on which the open access movement is predicated, and build awareness of the importance of Open Access for users of agricultural information and knowledge in India and the world at large.

It was great opportunity to learn more about open access, AGROVOC and metadata technology. During the workshop many issues were discussed, for instance whether the literature should be uploaded with full access or only the abstract can be provided to user. People from different organizations were having different opinion on this issue and every one presented their view with different perspectives.

Gauri Salokhe from FAO made a nice seminar on Metadata and AGROVOC. She explained the limitation of Dublin core standard and how one can overcome the limitation by AgMES (Agricultural Metadata Element Set) standards that are designed for agriculture. She also described the use of semantic web and AGROVOC for agriculture education and research and how agriculture vocabulary can be designed in Indian languages so that anyone can search different meaning in different language.

At the end I conclude that a part of the full text document (abstract) can be provided to open access but remaining part should be subscribe. Consequently literature that is not available into digital form can be converted into soft material and in future we can look forward to bring heads of agricultural academic and research institutions and information professionals, computer professionals and publishers for exchange information under open access with some limitation or the other solution I found for the open access issue is that at least full access can be provided to limited number of people who belong to a particular university or academic institute.

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