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23 Apr 2019

Summary content of Agrisemantics WG (Breakout session RDA P13)

As an Early Career Interest Group membre, I was involved in a Working Group reporting process. It was my first experience with this mission and I hope that my participation was positive for all the WG agrisemantic members. For me, it was a great opportunity to be linked with RDA agricltural researchers and I hope new collaborative projects from my participation.

The group started in Jan 2017 and is now closed. The goal of this Agrisemantics WG was to gather community-based requirements and use cases for an infrastructure that supports appropriate use of semantics for data interoperability, with special focus on agriculture.

The WP agrisemantic session (Page of the meeting was designed to be as interactive as possible, giving the attendees the opportunity to contribute their thoughts. As a result, the meeting was fruitful and enabled lively discussions. 23 persons and 4 remotely assist to this session.

Goal of the session was to wrap up on the group's activities and output, and to discuss options for the future. As per RDA, once a working group has completed its lifetime, it could either simply close or disband, or become a maintenance group, or form a new working group, or an interest group. We have also discussed other options, outside and/or in collaboration with RDA.

At the beginning of the session, Sophie Aubin (co-chair) has presented an introduction describing the scope of the group and if any previous activities:

The group gathers together researchers and practitioners at the intersection between semantic technologies and agriculture, sharing the goal of enhancing agricultural data interoperability by means of semantics. The group started its activity by producing a landscape report of how semantic resources are used in the area, then moved on to collect specific use cases around problems and bottlenecks that people dealing with semantics for agricultural data encounter in their work. The final output of the group is a set of recommendations on what should be available in order to make semantic technologies more useful and used in applications.

The discussion focussed on the need of increase the Fairness into the processes in real time. Main concern is finding problems : how to access relevant agricultural semantic resources for each domain? (domain declinaison is needed) with differents problems to solve

  • How to choose between common or community specifics terminologies? What for?

  • How to compose with differents tools?

  • How to assess fit for purpose (non semantic expert usability ?)

Good practices and guidelines step by step must be implemented by a community approved staff. That need more files and formats translation to improve interoperability but reuse of existing tools to improve quality are recommended (tools and frameworks perhaps coming from outside of agricultures communities - what to do in IGAD and in RDA new WG group on agri semantic).

To go further in this integrative approach, the lock of realistic and efficients alignment /common annotations between 2 semantic resources should be considered by resolving the following questions at communities level: What and what for in each resources in particular? How integrating them in users environments? What are the resources recommended? Which which rules? What for? What about “toy Ontologies”. And finally, how to assess the quality of reuse and quality / efficiency of alignements in ontologies.

The users evolution is also crucial: how to train people, particularly non IT people not aware with applying semantic (create course? online course? Where and how integrate them?). Additionally, for users, containers should make it easier the submitting of not-yet-semantic content (term lists (definitions or no), Excel spreadsheets), and the adding good metadata in semantic repository.

Possible next steps were also discussed as:

  • Having the recommendations reviewed by secretariat,  and commented by RDA community, rework their organisation (possibly ask help from the adoption people of RDA - Anthony Juehne) to make them more “adoptable” (remark: possible benefits and adds could be provided by next IGAD meeting in Helsinki and the possibility to organise a workshop on recommendation adoption inside IGAD is proposed),

  • Ordering recommendations to increase their usability and adoptions should be beneficial.

  • Using IGAD to test the (immediate) adoption of some recommendations, show the benefit, identify the limits

  • Becoming a maintenance group, defining its aims (for adoption, update or development of specific recommendations) and finding persons in the group to get responsibilities on identified tasks/goals, (How do we maintain our commons like agrismenatics map of standard ?).

  • Connecting output to other RDA groups (disciplinary/technical) to engage the adoption of recommendations on longer term or necessitating important investments or coordination efforts - chairs meetings (between rda plenaries) are possible places to share and connect.

  • Creating new IG or WG after previous steps if relevant

I hope to participate actively to these ext steps in the RDA context

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