Multischeme and multihierarchy management

Since 2019, and with the collaboration of the Artificial Intelligence (ART) Research Group at Tor Vergata University (Italy), the management of specialized concept schemes is possible within AGROVOC. VocBench 3 supports the use of hierarchical relation properties that are specific to a scheme. This opens for interesting collaboration possibilities with specialized communities: they can embed their controlled vocabularies within AGROVOC and benefit from the AGROVOC infrastructure and the editorial network, while maintaining options for separate displays and exports. Shared concepts used by any of the schemes are part of the AGROVOC Thesaurus and have AGROVOC URIs.  This means that expert communities can now curate a topic within AGROVOC, enriching AGROVOC with specialist knowledge, with modern infrastructure to share this as part of the AGROVOC Linked Open data structure. Through semantic technologies, their research becomes more visible and accessible. 

At present, AGROVOC includes five schemes: 

  • Land Governance (LandVoc), coordinated by the Land Portal Foundation. LandVoc is a controlled vocabulary covering concepts related to land governance, now enriching AGROVOC. LandVoc currently consists of 310 concepts and is available in up to 10 languages (Arabic, Burmese, English, French, Khmer, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili and Vietnamese) and is continuously translated into more languages.
  • Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), coordinated by the ASFA secretariat at FAO.  Founded in 1971, ASFA is an international co-operative of fisheries and aquaculture organizations that work together to record and disseminate the world’s literature on aquatic sciences and fisheries. The ASFA partnership includes over 60 partners who compile bibliographic records, searchable on the ASFA database. The ASFA Vocabulary is an indexing tool that contains aquatic sciences and fisheries, now included in AGROVOC.
  • Legislative and Policy concepts (FAOLEX), coordinated by the Development Law Service (LEGN) of the FAO Legal Office. FAOLEX is a comprehensive and up-to-date computerized legislative database, one of the world's largest electronic collection of national laws and regulations on food, agriculture and renewable energy. Now also included in AGROVOC.
  • One CGIAR. Launched in 2021, the FAO and CGIAR collaboration on increasing interoperability between food and agricultural information systems provides an opportunity for CGIAR to suggest new concepts and terms to the FAO AGROVOC thesaurus. 
  • FAO Indigenous Peoples. A subvocabulary containing concepts related to Indigenous Peoples, coordinated by the FAO Indigenous Peoples Unit. Language is a powerful tool for visibility. The language of Indigenous Peoples’ rights is evolving, and coherence of terminology is essential.  

When dealing with schemes in AGROVOC, it is important to remember that each concept always belongs to the main scheme (AGROVOC), and it must be in a specific place within the AGROVOC hierarchy. However, each scheme might want to use different hierarchy models. All schemes must follow the AGROVOC Editorial Guidelines. 

Interested expert communities are welcome to contact [email protected] for more details.