A lot goes a long way: data quality improvement at DOAJ

DOAJ News Service

Since 2012, DOAJ has been on a path of data quality improvement. DOAJ metadata is used all over the world and all over the Web. Improving and fixing the quality of our metadata can be painstaking work but the effort goes a long way as changes propagate across the Web via search engines, aggregator databases, library portals and other databases.

Along these lines, the largest publisher (in terms of the number of journals) in DOAJ recently added missing abstracts to over 100,000 articles and fixed broken special characters in approximately 2000 more. This was a huge effort on their part and DOAJ is grateful for the work that has gone into this project. It is an achievement that will be welcomed by DOAJ metadata consumers.

To date, Hindawi has 161,334 articles loaded to DOAJ and until recently was the largest contributor of metadata to our index. That title was taken…

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Presenting the DOAJ Ambassadors

DOAJ News Service

Further to our announcement of the start of our IDRC-funded project focussing on the improvement of open access journals in the global south, I am delighted to present to you the list of 15 DOAJ Ambassadors. These Ambassadors will be working on behalf of DOAJ until April 2017 and will be operating in 11 regions or sub-regions across the globe. DOAJ is very lucky to have such a great list of names: people who have a wide-ranging set of skills and will bring huge amounts of experience to the DOAJ organisation.

After two members of DOAJ were invited recently to present at the NEICON/ASEP conference in Russia, we are very lucky to be able to extend the program’s work to the Russian Federation.  Three volunteers, led by Olga Kirillova, have also joined the list of DOAJ Ambassadors, extending the work of the program outlined to IDRC but on a…

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E-Agriculture: New lawless farming frontier?



The ongoing transformation of agriculture to E-agriculture, which uses data, information and ICTs (Information and Communications Technologies) much more intensely in farming, has undoubtedly brought about new opportunities for farmers. But should we not be cautious that the rights of farmers are not tread upon in this new terrain?

Many proponents of e-agriculture claim that data from their farms and farming is the new golden harvest for farmers. E-agriculture at the farm level brings a new degree of precision and, in turn, efficiency to farming by using data gathered from sensors, machinery, automated weather stations, remote sensing and photometry by drones, aircraft and satellites and that collected and collated by farmers. This data about processes carried out on farms and the information gleaned from this data can be used further for transporting, packaging, storing and marketing of all farm produce. This makes not only farming but entire agricultural market and…

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It’s Time to Change the Way We Discover Research

Science and the Web

On May 1, I submitted an application for a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowhip. Started by Mark Shuttleworth in 2001, the Shuttleworth Foundation has enabled many amazing open knowledge initatives, including  ContentMine (Peter Murray-Rust) and Hypothes.is (Dan Whaley). The foundation has expressed the following vision:

“We would like to live in an open knowledge society
with limitless possibilities for all.” (Shuttleworth Foundation)

This vision aligns strongly with my own goal to enable everyone in society to benefit from scientific knowledge. My belief is that if we turn discovery from a closed, solitary activity into an open and collaborative one, we can bring the fruits of the open content revolution to everyone. To make this change possible, I want to create Open Knowledge Maps: a large-scale, collaborative system of open, interactive and interlinked knowledge maps for every research topic, every field and every discipline. For all  details, please see my application…

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Sexual harassment at international ICT events: a call for action

Tim Unwin's Blog

I have become increasingly saddened and dismayed in recent years at the level of sexual harassment, and what I see as inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a surprising number of men at international ICT conferences and exhibitions.  This ranges from generally loutish actions by some groups of young men, to what can only be called predatory behaviour by older and more senior figures in the sector.  Until the last couple of years, I had thought that such behaviour had largely disappeared, but from what I have witnessed myself, from what I have heard from women in the sector, and from what I have read, it is clear that action needs to be taken urgently by all those in the sector, and particularly those who are organising conferences and events.

ITU maleThe ICT industry has for far too long been dominated by men, much to its disadvantage, and it is good that…

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Prospective Quinoa Cultivation in Ranchi

Quinoa in a field at Ranchi, Jharkhand

Three years after the year 2013 was declared as the Year of Quinoa, a woman farmer in a village adjacent to the Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, called Hundru village had harvested about 50 kg of quinoa grain from a small plot of land. She had tried to cultivate quinoa a high nutrient value crop in December 2015 on her farm land and got success. On invitation, we visited her farm and to us she had informed us that, except farm yard manure she had not applied any other external inputs and is happy with the produce she got. Now she is exploring the possibility of marketing the grain and approached us. When the organic labelled quinoa produce is available at Rs. 500 per 500 g packet, she is not able to fix up the price of her product but would like to sell it at half of the price. More than marketing of the product, she would like to go to seed production and make it available to her fellow farmers in the next season. Seeing her enthusiasm, we decided to support in marketing her produce using the social media and other websites. The interested persons who may wish to buy the produce may contact us. The information available on the internet says that overnight soaking and through rinsing with running water would remove the water soluble saponins and can be cooked like rice but with prior popping in a pan with little oil. There are a good number of recipes available on the internet for a good tasty nutrient quinoa preparation. Let’s explore the exotic nutrient food in Ranchi.

Agripreneurs: The emerging role models


Shakti Young farmer and agripreneur, Shakti Dev

India has a huge research and extension infrastructure for agricultural development. Yet, over 59% of the farm households in India received no assistance from either government or private agricultural extension services during 2013 (NSSO Survey 70th round 2013: Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in India). Of the 40.6% households who received extension assistance, only 11% of the services came from physical government machinery- i.e. extension agents, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and agricultural universities. More farmers depended on other progressive farmers (20%), media including radio, TV, newspaper (19.6%) and private commercial agents (7.4%).

The public extension system is unable to reach many farmers in India; it is estimated that 17% of farmers get their information from other farmers and 13% from input dealers. Over 90% of the small scale farmers continue to remain detached from new technologies and guidance…

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How Integrated Farming Systems Contribute to Promotion of Agricultural Biodiversity and Dietary Diversity in the Face of Climate Change in India

IMG_20160419_092303The latest report from the IPCC predicts that climate change will reduce agricultural production by 2% and the huger statistics shows that 827 million hungry people live on developing countries. And India has the highest number of underweight children less than five years of age. The Asian Development Bank predicted that failure to respond to climate changes may result in about 8.7% economic loss to India’s GDP by 2100. The recently released ‘The State of Food Insecurity in the World 20141’ by FAO, IFAD & WFP report says that though there is decrease of proportion of undernourished in total population by 36% when compared to 1990-92, the “progress insufficient to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target 1C if observed trends persist”. Earlier, the planning commission of India in its XII plan document concern regarding food security, farmers’ income, and poverty. As the agriculture in India provides employment and livelihood opportunities to most of India’s rural population, and the climate change in temperature and rainfall leads to increase in floods and droughts, there is an urgent need to develop mitigating strategies for food and nutritional security and livelihoods of the people. In the selected area of intervention, the Chotanagpur region which comprises all the districts of Jharkhand has about 40% people living in below the poverty line, about 50% of the children under age of 3 years are malnourished, and 3/4th of young children and adolescent girls are anaemic, with significant vitamin A deficiency (UNICEF, 2014)2. And in study carried out to know the local perceptions on climate change; it was found that the farmers in Chotanagpur plateau have meagre knowledge about its possible impact. Thus there is a need for more awareness on the impact of climate change, conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture (agro biodiversity). This would help us in working towards food and nutritional security and sustainability in India.

Source: How Integrated Farming Systems Contribute to Promotion of Agricultural Biodiversity and Dietary Diversity in the Face of Climate Change in India

IDRC grant to improve OA journals from the Global South

Infrastructure Services for Open Access

We are very pleased to announce that IS4OA/DOAJ has been given a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to improve open access publishing practices in the developing world.

The overall objective of the grant is to enhance DOAJ and the open access infrastructure that supports researchers` ability to publish in reputable open access journals.

The specific objectives are:

  • To improve the reputation and visibility of open access journals from developing countries
  • To increase the knowledge and use of best practices among developing world publishers of open access journals
  • To raise awareness among developing world researchers of the threat posed by questionable open access publishers
  • To create a web resource that provides researchers with criteria for the identification of reputable open access journals
  • To increase the knowledge  and use of DOAJ among developing world academics and publishers

DOAJ is now seeking 8-10 full time individuals as DOAJ Ambassadors (10…

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The 20 Days to Research Impact Challenge

The FEDUA Research Impact Blog


In an increasingly competitive research landscape, academics can no longer afford to just publish and hope for the best. To leave a mark, you have to take your communication and impact into your own hands.

However, the question is often raised: where do I start? There are so many ways to share, promote, and discuss your research, especially online. It’s tough to know where to begin.

As a result, we are offering you a challenge. This 20 day challenge will provide you with information each day for 20 days on a strategy for scholarly and public impact, why it’s important and how you can get started. Then we’ll share a homework assignment where you will apply the concepts we’ve covered that day.

We are currently looking for researchers across the Faculty of Education and Arts who would like to:

  • Upgrade their professional visibility by conquering social media
  • Boost their readership and citations by getting their work online

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