In order to facilitate better collaboration between agricultural research actors and ensure more effective management of research projects and more rational funding, it is desirable to have access to comprehensive information on people's expertise, areas of activities of Institutions, existing projects in specific areas and countries, related events and publications.
An information system that aimed at giving access to such information should: a) go beyond closed communities and directories (search several communities and directories, allow to share people profiles, affiliations, competencies, projects, publications across communities); b) go beyond serendipity, gathering information systematically, organizing data by discipline, affiliation, topic, geographic scope and providing context, in order to discover what is happening and who does what through meaningful relationships.
An existing project that does something similar is VIVO, started at Cornell University in 2003. VIVO is a research-focused discovery tool that enables collaboration among scientists across all disciplines at Cornell University. It allows to browse information on people, departments, courses, grants, and publications following an ontology-based navigation.
Cornell University, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are working on an adaptation of the VIVO model for agricultural research and related sectors, funded through GFAR, called AgriVIVO. AgriVIVO customizes the VIVO model to better suit the organization of agricultural research and will integrate data relevant to agricultural research management from several Institutional or community databases, focusing on the relationships between people, organizations, projects, events, topics and geographic location.