How to add a concept

Before suggesting a new concept, contributors may find it helpful to be familiar with the AGROVOC structure and scope, and the AGROVOC Editorial Guidelines.  

Steps to suggest a new concept for AGROVOC

  1. Make sure that the suggested concept is in scope for AGROVOC.
  2. Consult AGROVOC to check that the concept is not already present.
  3. Consult authorities (see below for examples) to verify that the term is a commonly used technical term internationally. 
  4. Provide a concise definition for the concept, with source (URL or citation). 
  5. Suggest possible place for the new concept in the hierarchy, and provide related concepts for context.
  6. Provide terms in other languages, if possible. 
  7. Be prepared to answer follow-up questions from the curation team if needed. 
  8. Do not be discouraged if the suggestion is rejected. 
  9. If the suggested concept is accepted, look for it in next month’s AGROVOC release. 

What should not be suggested? 

Elements that should be avoided when making a suggestion: trademarked names; names of specific software, models, policies, programmes; jargon, stand-alone adjectives, and concepts not within the scope of AGROVOC (e.g. “intensive care”), concepts of only national relevance, and complex compound concepts.

What is meant by definition? 

  • Definitions are a formal explanation of the meaning of a concept and consist of a narrative and its source. 
  • Definitions help users to understand concepts and decide how to use them.
  • Good definitions are concise (1-2 sentences) and explain what a concept is, not what it does. 
  • A trusted and stable source for definitions, such as an external glossary or thesaurus of a well-known institution, is required.

What authorities should be consulted?

  • Terms included in AGROVOC must be used in relevant literature (scientific papers, books, etc.) or by relevant institutions (public sector organizations, etc.). 
    • Consult technical and terminology authorities like FAOTERM, United Nations Bibliographic and Information System (UNBIS) Thesaurus; United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library Thesaurus (NALT), CAB Thesaurus, EPPO Global Database, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and General Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus (GEMET), 
  • For organisms, indicate relevance to AGROVOC. AGROVOC may already contain the scientific names and common names of organisms. 
    • A detailed checklist for suggesting scientific names is available in the AGROVOC Editorial Guidelines.


How do I suggest a new concept? 

It is possible to suggest a limited number of new concepts using a template, available on request. 

Otherwise write to [email protected]