3rd AGROVOC Editorial Community Workshop

Since 2018, the AGROVOC editorial community has met twice to consider new technical possibilities and set priorities for the further development of AGROVOC. In June 2018, a meeting in Utrecht (The Netherlands), organized jointly with the Land Portal Foundation, brought together 25 participants from 18 institutions in 14 countries to review the status of editorial policies and prepare an upgrade of the VocBench platform. A June 2019 meeting, hosted by the German Association for Technology and Structures in Agriculture (KTBL) in Darmstadt (Germany), brought together 33 editors and stakeholders from 16 countries and 13 language areas.

The third meeting of AGROVOC Editors will be held online, in June 2020, with participants representing institutions from the AGROVOC Editorial Community and stakeholders. It’s purpose is to reinforce the AGROVOC editorial community, invite institutions to curate new languages and new topics, outline new technical possibilities, and set priorities for the next few years.


Each day has one session - in the morning Central European Summer Time (CEST) . There are  individual registration links for each virtual session. Interested participants are encouraged to register for multiple days based on interests and needs.The full schedule of presentations and registration links for the week long virtual meeting are available below in the agenda.

If you have any comment or suggestion please write to us at [email protected].



2 June 2020

15:00-16:30 CEST

Strengthening AGROVOC through engagement with expert communities

Delivered by the FAO AGROVOC Team (Imma Subirats, Kristin Kolshus and Andrea Turbati)

Webinar organized by the Ontology Working Group of Big Data Platform (CGIAR)

25 June 2020


Evolution of AGROVOC since 2017. Last developments

Status of AGROVOC activities and achievements 2019-2020 since the last AGROVOC editorial meeting

Delivered by the FAO AGROVOC Team. Imma Subirats, Kristin Kolshus and Andrea Turbati

26 June 2020


Showcase from national editors and partners 

26 June 2020


VocBench 3 v7.0: the vocabulary development tool, and what is new

VocBench is a web-based, multilingual, collaborative development platform for managing OWL ontologies, SKOS(/XL) thesauri, Ontolex-lemon lexicons and generic RDF datasets. AGROVOC uses this for content management.

Webinar delivered by Andrea Turbati and Armando Stellato, University of Tor Vergata

Target audience AGROVOC editors and technical partners

Register at https://fao.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrf-6pqzgiEtWNpfMgZF1dS782VRe3UCT0

29 JUNE 2020



Welcome and introduction

Alignments, where we are, what we want, what we can do

What partners can contribute with, what we should focus on, possibilities for development of a  service to facilitate automatic alignments.

Delivered by the FAO AGROVOC Team. Kristin Kolshus and Andrea Turbati

Target audience AGROVOC editors, users and partners (by invitation only).


Note: AGROVOC is now available as a linked open data set, aligned (linked) with several vocabularies. Alignments are links between Knowledge Organization Systems. These links allow for crosswalks between data, and help enable re-user of datasets , which improves coherence of agricultural research. How can we do this more efficiently?


Lessons learned from the AGROVOC engagement with expert communities of practice: AGROVOC becoming a semantic hub

Panel session with different key stakeholders that participate actively in the AGROVOC hub to present current status and foreseen benefits of using AGROVOC, as well as challenges and things to be improved.

Featuring Carsten Hoffmann, BonaRes Data Centre / Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF); and speakers from NALT, CGIAR, ASFA; Andres VatterRubio, FAOLEX; and Laura Meggiolaro and Carlos Tejo, Land Portal Foundation.

Moderated by the FAO AGROVOC Team: Kristin Kolshus and Imma Subirats

Target audience AGROVOC editors, users and partners.

Note: Specialized concept schemes are now possible within AGROVOC, using custom hierarchical properties. Each scheme can be viewed flexibly and independently, edited with its customized relations, or exported with a generic SKOS.  AGROVOC is interested in working with relevant specialized communities. First schemes being implemented with Land Portal Foundation, ASFA, FAOLEX. What have we learned so far?

Register at https://fao.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwofuygrT0oH9WmWMeOnXGTY8atxfxEJjJK

11:00-11:10CESTShort break

AGROVOC Online Course: Semantic Technologies in Agriculture and Beyond

The AGROVOC Team at FAO of the UN has developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)  with the objective of increasing awareness of the use of controlled vocabularies and illustrating the benefits of semantic technologies by using AGROVOC multilingual thesaurus as a good practise in the field of agriculture and related sciences. This course is built on the team’s vast experience in developing curriculums and providing online capacity development activities. Overall content provides general knowledge for all vocabularies as well as specific design features and examples for AGROVOC. In this presentation, the Beta version of the MOOC will be introduced to the AGROVOC Editorial Community explaining the curriculum design, the content developed and the course structure. The presentation will also be used as an opportunity to create a discussion and collect initial feedback.

Delivered by the FAO AGROVOC Team. Ilkay Holt

Target audience AGROVOC editors, users and partners (by invitation only). 


Online social session

Target audience AGROVOC editors and technical partners (by invitation only)

Note: This is a wrap-up for the AGROVOC Editorial Community members who could not attend the sessions earlier in the day. Possibly 20 min live cooking demo, then discussion.

30 JUNE 2020

Results and next steps for the AGROVOC Editorial Guidelines working Group

The AGROVOC editorial team provided editorial guidelines in 2015 to support new editors, to lay down common practices and to ensure consistency.  In 2019, the editor’s meeting established a working group to update the editorial guidelines and clarify issues.  The group has been working since early 2020. We will present the current state of the guidelines document collection. Feedback and input during the final stages of editing is  still welcome, as is further interest in contributing to the group’s work from participants.

Delivered by KTBL. Daniel Martini and Esther Mietzsch

Target audience AGROVOC editors (by invitation only)

10:00-10:10CESTShort break

2020 AGROVOC planning

Breakout sessions (suggested: ed.guidelines, alignments, multischemes)

FAO AGROVOC Team and KTBL chairing the breakout sessions

Delivered by the FAO AGROVOC TeamKristin Kolshus and Imma Subirats

Target audience AGROVOC editors and partners (by invitation only).


Online social session

Target audience AGROVOC editors and technical partners (by invitation only)

Note: This is a wrap-up for the AGROVOC Editorial Community members who could not attend the sessions earlier in the day. Possibly 10-15 min live talk on Moldovian wine, then workshop discussions.


AGROVOC is the largest Linked Open Data set about agriculture available for public use and facilitates access and visibility of data across domains and languages. It offers a structured collection of agricultural concepts, terms, definitions and relationships which are used to unambiguously identify resources, allowing standardized indexing processes and making searches more efficient.

AGROVOC uses semantic web technologies, linking to other multilingual knowledge organization systems and building bridges between datasets. The data set is widely used in specialized as well as digital libraries and repositories for indexing content and text mining, and serves as a specialized tagging resource for content organization by FAO and third-party stakeholders.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) have joined forces to deliver a series of collaborative online classes on Information 4 Innovation in Food and Agriculture (I4IFA) on 29 June to 3 July, 2020. The virtual sessions pool expertise and experience from the two leading agricultural organizations and other partners and focusses on increasing the quality and impact of information, knowledge management and data exchange in food and agriculture research for development.

The I4IFA week-long event hosts the “3rd  meeting of AGROVOC Editors (29-30 June)”, the “2020 Annual AGRIS Community Meeting (2-3 July)”, and the SKiM workshop on “Knowledge Management and Capacity Development Best Practices: Valorization and Transfer of Research Results”. While the AGRIS and AGROVOC networks meet annually, this year FAO and ICARDA (implementer of the IFAD funded SKiM project), have combined their efforts to offer interlinked events for the entire week. This new approach will maximize learning and development of institutional capacity in knowledge management, through participatory and interdisciplinary online classes on knowledge best practices application, adaptation and scaling.