AGROVOC country report - Republic of Moldova

FAO/Buletin Dorin Goian

Outreach activities delivered in 2020

In 2020, the Republic of Moldova collaborated actively with FAO on AGROVOC, several new Romanian terms and concepts were added to AGROVOC, and several activities dedicated to AGROVOC were carried out:

  • organization of information and awareness-raising activities for the agricultural community of the Republic of Moldova on the value and importance of the AGROVOC thesaurus;
  • translation and adaptation of about 16 000 terms and concepts in Romanian;
  • and translation of two official FAO publications into Romanian and elaboration of promotional materials about AGROVOC.

Online meetings, November 2020

SAUM in collaboration and with the support of FAO organized in November 2020 two AGROVOC online meetings with the purpose of enhancing knowledge sharing and improving visibility and access to agricultural research from the Republic of Moldova worldwide.

Meeting 1. 3 November 2020

Round Table: “How can we work together to integrate national agricultural information in the global information space?” The online round table was organized on 3 November 2020 using the Google Meet video conferencing application.

Target audience: Over 80 attendees participated in the event, including professors and researchers active at SAUM, journal publishers, researchers from scientific institutions in the field of agriculture and librarians from various academic and specialized libraries.

Round table purpose: The basic purpose of the round table was to strengthen the capacities of institutions and researchers in order to integrate the results of scientific research achieved in the Republic of Moldova in the global information space.

Opening session: Ms. Imma Subirats, senior information management officer for the FAO, who leads the AGROVOC, AGRIS and AGORA programmes, greeted the participants highlighting the importance of this event for the Republic of Moldova, as well as the role and importance of the information products AGRIS and AGROVOC for the development of agricultural science and technologies. She also discussed the role and importance of the activity of SAUM as an AGRIS data provider and an AGROVOC editor. Another welcome message came from Ms. Liudmila Costin, the director of RSAL SAUM, who thanked Ms. Imma Subirats for the collaboration, support and assistance provided to the library in carrying out the activity within the AGRIS system and the AGROVOC editorial community.

Key topics: AGRIS, a portal for accessing information and research data in the fields of agriculture and food industry; AGROVOC, a tool for agricultural information indexing and retrieval.

Round table content: The agenda of the round table included discussions on the aspects and issues concerning AGROVOC use, translation and adaptation of the thesaurus in Romanian and collaboration on AGROVOC dissemination in the Republic of Moldova.

The following main actions were identified:

  • Using AGROVOC for multiple purposes. Attention was drawn to the importance and potential roles that AGROVOC can play in supporting the educational and research process in the Republic of Moldova. Also mentioned was the way AGROVOC can help researchers and students to discover digital contents in various languages, evaluate and use agricultural information and produce quality research results. It additionally highlighted the importance of the thesaurus in content indexing and professional communication.

"AGROVOC is an efficient and beneficial space for learning agricultural terminology, where we can learn the agricultural lexicon not only in Romanian, but also in many other languages.” - Oleg Horjan, PhD in technical sciences, SAUM associate professor

“AGROVOC proved to be an indispensable tool for agricultural research infrastructure, in particular, for [the] scientific approach and argumentation of terminology in doctoral research” - Valerian Balan, doctor habilitatus in agriculture, professor and director of the SAUM doctoral school

Action: SAUM plans to organize awareness-raising and information activities in order to enhance the relevance of using the AGROVOC multilingual thesaurus in the Republic of Moldova. The SAUM Department of Science and Innovation and the Doctoral School of the Partnership of Agricultural Education and Research Institutions came up with a proposal to include AGRIS and AGROVOC topics in the PhD programmes for doctoral students and researchers.

Elucidation of terminological problems when translating and adapting the thesaurus in Romanian. The degree of maturity of the scientific and practical agricultural activity is determined by the state of the conceptual and terminological system, which currently faces important tasks both to improve the terms already created and to introduce new terms and concepts for new branches and disciplines. When translating and constructing terms, linguistic and terminological expertise is needed in order to establish maximum accuracy and eliminate ambiguities and uncertainties in defining terms.

Action: Attract and actively involve experts in the field in order to solve difficult cases of translating. Adapt AGROVOC terms to the local context; clarifying the meaning, context and scope of the terms; and removing ambiguity and misuse of terms.

Partnership development. Recognition of the importance of good collaboration in the dissemination of AGROVOC in the Republic of Moldova has boosted the need to strengthen RAUL SAUM library’s partnerships both at the university level with the faculties, the Doctoral School, the department of science and innovation, and at national level with various institutions such as the Academy of Sciences, the Republic of Moldova’s research institutions in the field of agriculture, specialized libraries, and various institutions that have departments specialized in agricultural research. Round table participants were encouraged to both use FAO-generated products and to help promote them.

Action: Emphasis is put on a dynamic interaction with the partners identified during the round table, involving joint training to develop researchers’ skills in using the thesaurus and promote events dedicated to AGROVOC at International Open Access Week 2021, Science Week 2021 and information literacy programmes. The 2nd edition of the virtual round table “How can we work more closely to integrate national agricultural information in the global informational space?” was organized in June 2021.

Meeting 2. 13 November 2020

Training: “AGROVOC – multilingual thesaurus and center of data concepts interconnected in the field of food and agriculture” The online training was organized by RSAL SAUM using the Google Meet video conferencing application.

Target audience: The training brought together over 40 attendees from the Republic of Moldova, including researchers and didactic staff of SAUM, researchers of scientific institutions in the field of agriculture, and librarians and information specialists from academic and specialized libraries.

Training objectives: The main objectives of the training were focused on raising the awareness of the agricultural community of the Republic of Moldova on the role, value and benefits of AGROVOC for agricultural education and research, increasing the use of thesaurus and developing searching skills in the thesaurus.

Opening session: The event was honored by the presence of FAO representatives: Ms Imma Subirats, Senior Information Management Officer, FAO Partnership and UN Collaboration Division, AGROVOC, AGRIS and AGORA Programme Coordinator and Ms Kristin Kolshus, FAO Information Management Officer and AGROVOC Curator. FAO representatives welcomed the participants to the event, mentioned the importance and multilingualism of AGROVOC – available in 40 languages, including Romanian – and highlighted the contribution of SAUM as part of the AGROVOC editorial community. They also expressed their conviction that the training will enhance the level of the AGROVOC thesaurus used in the Republic of Moldova.

Key topics: What is AGROVOC? Advantages of using AGROVOC, thesaurus structure, search principles in AGROVOC, functionalities and facilities.

Training content: The training presentations were focused on different aspects of AGROVOC. This included the importance, advantages and benefits of the thesaurus as a tool for indexing, retrieval and translating information in the field of food and agriculture; the structure of the thesaurus (concepts, terms, relationships, definitions); the ways of navigating and making searches in the thesaurus; and the specific search principles regarding the scientific and common names of plants, animals and geographical entities.

As a result of the training, the need for the following actions was established:

Developing AGROVOC use skills. In its capacity as editor, the RSAL SAUM considers the knowledge, promotion and development of thesaurus use skills as priorities both for the library specialists and for the members of the agricultural community. The training allowed the participants to understand how they can apply AGROVOC, implementing the content of the training into their own didactic and research activity.

Action: The library understands the process of developing AGROVOC skills as an organized and systematic process, which will focus on expanding the number of trainers. Increased attention will be paid to the integration of AGROVOC topics in the training programmes for researchers and PhD students. Emphasis will also be placed on the segment of users among students in the information literacy lesson programme.

Materials for developing AGROVOC use skills. In order to develop and consolidate the skills of using AGROVOC, it is necessary to ensure a friendly and accessible learning environment and to provide adequate teaching materials in order to facilitate the learning process. During the training, the organizers disseminated AGROVOC promotional material and the brochure titled AGROVOC: The linked data concept hub for food and agriculture.

Action: The library will develop and disseminate instructional materials, user guides, brochures and tutorials in order to assimilate searching strategies and techniques, apply the thesaurus for multiple purposes and translate into Romanian official FAO publications on AGROVOC.

Another public awareness campaign on AGROVOC included the translation of official FAO publications on AGROVOC into Romanian (guidelines, brochures) and the development of promotional materials (leaflets).

The translation of the AGROVOC editorial guidelines was determined by the need to facilitate the access of the Romanian-speaking publishing and scientific community of the Republic of Moldova to the FAO official documents. This is to ensure a better understanding of how to add content to AGROVOC, how to achieve consistency and coherence in the selection of concepts and terms, and how to valorize the rich links between AGROVOC concepts. As a result, this community will be able to benefit from better agricultural resource discovery services.
Figure 1. Liniile directoare editoriale AGROVOC 2020

​​​​​The AGROVOC Editorial Guidelines 2020, Rome (FAOd, 2021)



The guidelines mark an important stage in the editing and maintenance of AGROVOC, providing support and guidance to publishers who want to make progress both in developing language versions and in specific areas. The guidelines include very helpful recommendations, detailed practical suggestions on the use of scientific and common names, geographical names, chemical elements and compounds, as well as considerations to be taken into account when drawing up explanatory notes and adding definitions. As AGROVOC represents a set of linked open data, the guidelines describe AGROVOC alignments using over 20 thesauri and vocabularies, which allow for transitions between data using AGROVOC and data using other knowledge organization systems related to it.

Figure 2. AGROVOC: Centrul conceptelor de date interconectate pentru alimentaţie şi agricultură”, FAO, 2020


The translation of the brochure facilitated the promotion of AGROVOC in the Republic of Moldova, presenting the recent innovative features of AGROVOC: online, free, multilingual knowledge organization system, linked open data set about food and agriculture concepts available for public use, and semantic web technologies. The brochure introduces to the public the editorial network of national and international stakeholders, which directly contribute to the development of the thesaurus in various languages. This material provides information about AGROVOC structure and its benefits as an indexation, retrieval and translating tool, highlighting its importance and usefulness for agricultural research. All these materials were disseminated on the FAO repository, RSAL SAUM website, AGROVOC directory, social networks (Twitter, Facebook) and within the academic community.

Figure 3. Promotional material “Thesaurus ⦁ Multilingual Vocabulary ⦁ SKOS-XL concept scheme ⦁ Linked Open Data set”, in English and Romanian, 2020












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