IT205: Data-driven Agricultural Research for Development: A Need for Data Harmonization Via Semantics

TitleIT205: Data-driven Agricultural Research for Development: A Need for Data Harmonization Via Semantics
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDevare M, Aubert C, Laporte M-A, Valette L, Arnaud E, Buttigieg PLuigi
Conference NameInternational Conference on Biomedical Ontology and BioCreative (ICBO BioCreative 2016)
Date Published11/30/16 Volume 1747
Other NumbersVol-1747|urn:nbn:de:0074-1747-1

Addressing global challenges to agricultural productivity and profitability increasingly requires access to data from a variety of disciplines, and the ability to easily combine and analyze related data sets. Innovation in agricultural research for development must therefore be mediated by reliable and consistently annotated information resources across disciplinary domains. Leveraging semantics ensures this consistency and ease of reuse, and the global CGIAR Consortium that includes 15 agricultural research for development Centers is attempting to harness this promise through efforts such as its Open Access, Open Data Initiative. CGIAR™s Crop Ontology project plays a key role in this, and will soon be enhanced by an Agronomy Ontology (AgrO). AgrO is being built to represent traits identified by agronomists and the simulation model variables of the International Consortium for Agricultural Systems Applications (ICASA). Further, it will coordinate its semantics with existing ontologies such as the Environment Ontology (ENVO), Unit Ontology (UO), and Phenotype And Trait Ontology (PATO). Once stable, it is anticipated to address one of the domains temporarily represented in the Sustainable Development Goals Interface Ontology (SDGIO), pertaining to multiple SDGs such as the elimination of hunger and poverty. AgrO will complement existing crop, livestock, and fish ontologies to enable harmonized approaches to data collection, facilitating data sharing and reuse. Further, AgrO will power an Agronomy Management System and fieldbook, similar to the Crop Ontology-based Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) and fieldbook. There is substantial interest from agronomists and modelers in such a fieldbook to standardize agronomic data collection, and the ontology itself as a means of facilitating hitherto missing linkages with breeding and other data, and enabling wider sharing and reuse of agronomic research data.