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08 Mar 2023

Enhancing awareness about open data in food and agriculture in the Republic of Moldova

The activities in this blog comes in the context of the RDA and EOSC Future open calls programme. The projects are supported by EOSC Future

In order to enhance the sustainable development of agriculture and to face climate change, it is appropriate and necessary to manage research data efficiently so that it can be discovered in a timely manner and used in the research process. As the Improving Global Agricultural Data (IGAD) Community of Practice represents the community designated to deal with all issues related to agricultural research data, it is recommended that the agricultural research community of the Republic of Moldova effectively join the international movement of research data sharing. This decision will lead to the valorization of data and knowledge obtained by research communities in the Republic of Moldova and will ensure the optimization of data flow in specific scientific disciplines.

The main objectives of the project are regarding to studying and understanding the attitudes of researchers in agriculture on open research data, encouraging to make agricultural data FAIR and raising awareness among the agricultural community members in the Republic of Moldova about the activity of the Research Data Alliance and the practices of research data management. The first step was the elaboration and conducting a survey on the opinions and attitudes of researchers in agriculture in the Republic of Moldova related to the opening, sharing and exchange of research data. 130 people participated in the survey. Respondents were recruited from agricultural faculties of the Technical University of Moldova and research institutes in agriculture from the Republic of Moldova. This study helps us to identify the problems and challenges the researchers are facing, to analyse the particularities and possibilities of the research community in the Republic of Moldova to align with the Open Data movement and FAIR principles.

Now we are in the process of analyzing and synthetizing the survey data and preparing the information for an article with the survey results. The relevant journal will be identified and the paper will be submitted for publication.

The next step is providing an online event on research data management focusing on IGAD CoP and RDA recommendations. Based on the survey results, the event will focus on the researchers’ needs and discuss how IGAD CoP could support them in the context of RDA. This meeting will be dedicated to experts in food and agriculture from the Republic of Moldova. About 50 people are expected. The agenda will be prepared based on the survey results. Invited speakers from the IGAD CoP will be delivering some of the sessions. 

Gaining experience in capacity buildings as AGRIS Country Hub and participating at IGAD Coffee Break Webinar series organized by the Research Data Alliance Interest Group for Agricultural Data (IGAD) stimulated and encouraged us to apply for the EOSC (The European Open Science Cloud) grant. The experience of our institution as AGRIS Country Hub had a positive and clear effect serving as a bridge to EOSC.

This activity focuses on expanding IGAD in the Republic of Moldova to facilitate the adoption of RDA recommendations, inviting experts to join and enrich the dialogue and encouraging researchers to share their experiences. The Technical University of Moldova will expand the current Improving Global Agricultural Data (IGAD) Community of Practice, formerly called the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD), in the Republic of Moldova ensuring an increased awareness of RDA and EOSC among experts in the country.

Connecting the agricultural community of the Republic of Moldova to the RDA will facilitate the development of relevant skills on research data management and will help to meet the evolving needs of the local scientific community by developing new innovative digital services. While aligning with EOSC and RDA policies and practices will open up new opportunities for interaction and collaboration with experts, will create new knowledge to promote an area of professional practice and will improve data sharing, exchange and interoperability.

The project implementation, events and results will be shared as much as possible on institutional web sites (university and library web sites), on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and, of course, on RDA and AIMS FAO blogs. Other related information relevant for agricultural community in the Republic of Moldova, such as RDA recommendations, will also be promoted and disseminated through these ways in order to keep in touch the Moldavian researchers with international trends in research data management.

About the author:

Viorica Lupu is working as vice-director at the Scientific Library of the Technical University of Moldova.  She holds a Bachelor degree in Library and Information Sciences and a Master degree in Communication Sciences. Viorica Lupu is a coordinating editor of “Agricultural Science” journal, with responsibilities to ensure proper functioning of the journal from receiving an article to its publication in the journal. She also worked as a volunteer in helping the local community to win a grant and open a nursing home to take care of the needs of old people from her native village. Now there are six people live in the nursing home and 35 people benefit of its services at home.

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