Types of resources

Types of resources that can be indexed in AGRIS include library catalogs, institutional repositories and journals.

  • Library catalogs with books, digital collections, grey literature including reports, theses etc. may well be a treasure produced locally and made accessible at global level. 
  • Institutional repositories are vital in terms of sharing scientific outputs and learning objects openly through distributed systems. 
  • Journals published by organizations are provided great visibility via AGRIS with FAO’s trusted channels of communication.  

Organizations that become data providers can contribute to AGRIS by providing metadata from one or more of these resources. More information about metadata requirements and ways to submit the metadata is available later on this page.

Metadata quality

Metadata quality is important for accurate and complete records in AGRIS. It is highly recommended to refer to the Meaningful Bibliographic Metadata (M2B) available at the Linked Open Data Enabled Bibliographical Data (LODE-BD) 3.0 recommendations to learn about required properties to be included in the metadata records.

Requirements for metadata records are explained in the table below in detail. In the column of properties, two plus signs “++” (in red) are used for the mandatory fields; a plus sign “+” (in blue) is used for the recommended fields. The rest of the metadata properties are optional.

The minimum requirements for AGRIS metadata
The minimum requirements for AGRIS metadata

Data providers can provide metadata in various formats including Crossref, DOAJ, AGRIS AP, EndNote, MODS and Dublin Core (DC).

AGRIS is a multilingual database with resources available in up to 90 languages. Metadata can be provided in the local language, it doesn’t need to be in English unless English is the native language of the data provider. However, it is recommended to add keywords, titles and/or abstracts in English when available to increase the visibility of records on the web.

Metadata submission

Metadata can be submitted to AGRIS in three ways:

1) Data submission via email

Metadata requirements explained above, in the section on “metadata quality,” should be taken into consideration prior to the data submission. Data providers can send their metadata files to [email protected]. The files must be in .xml format. Sets of .xml files can be compressed as a .zip file if needed. 

There are tools that can be used to convert metadata files into .xml format such as Zotero, Jurism or Mendeley. To export the metadata in any format from the original source, it is possible to upload the records to one of these tools, check if fields appear correctly, and then export the library as an .xml file.

2) Data submission through Automatic Data Upload (ADU)

Metadata requirements explained above, in the section on “metadata quality,” should be taken into consideration prior to the data submission. Data providers can send their metadata by uploading it onto Automatic Data Upload (ADU). ADU is one of the login-protected back-end services that AGRIS offers to data providers in the Institutional Dashboard. Data providers can request their login credentials by submitting this online form or writing to the AGRIS helpdesk at [email protected]. Those who are using ADU service to index their metadata in AGRIS don’t need to send; file/s separately to [email protected]. To use ADU, please check Institutional Dashboard Guide.

AGRIS is indexed monthly. Data submission via email should be sent by the last working day of the month to be included in the monthly release.

3) Data ingestion via OAI-PMH 

FAO has implemented a software component called “harvester” that periodically scans a list of target OAI-PMH endpoints (base URLs) to check for new records to be ingested in AGRIS. Currently this component runs every three months.

Data providers who are using OAI-PMH-compliant systems for their resources such as. institutional repositories or  journals can provide AGRIS with their base URLs.

In addition, AGRIS requires that:

  • there be an open endpoint, with no password and no whitelist of IP addresses
  • if metadata contains characters not allowed in XML, the usage of CDATA1 sections should be considered; and
  • files should be encoded as UTF-8.

Another important recommendation is the usage of the “set”2 argument to organize records by category or subcollections. This allows AGRIS to execute selective harvesting, considering only those records that belong to the AGRIS domain or subcollections identified as pertinent for AGRIS.

OAI-PMH requires, at the very minimum, the use of Dublin Core (DC)  metadata format. Additionally, other metadata formats that provide more granularity are supported by AGRIS including Mods 3, DOAJ, EndNote XML, AGRIS AP and PubMed NLM.


Activity status of data providers

The activity status of data providers is important. Periodical metadata submission or harvesting enables organizations to have up-to-date content in AGRIS. Considering the high usage of AGRIS worldwide, this is critical in terms of providing end users the latest publications and/or data produced by members of the AGRIS Network.

Users of AGRIS can identify the status of providers on the Data Provider Registry as well as in the data provider section of the individual metadata records in AGRIS. 

Data providers who have submitted metadata in the last 12 month of a calendar year are categorised as active. The different status categories for data providers:

  • Active: Data provider submitted metadata in the last calendar year.
  • Non-active: Data provider has not submitted metadata in the last calendar year.
  • Interrupted: Data provider is temporarily inactive and has not submitted metadata for at least a calendar year.
  • Deprecated: Data provider discontinued their service in AGRIS and is not providing new metadata.