Nurturing Innovation by protecting its architects
By Valerio Graziano, Knowledge Management Officer.
ICARDA has long committed to Open Data & Open Access of research by applying approaches that maximize access to science and innovation that work towards a greener future. Open access offers several benefits such as improving access to research, increasing visibility and recognition, enhancing scientific knowledge, and generating more impact so we fulfill our mission of improving livelihoods in the dry areas of the world.
To make sure that the scientists and researchers behind our ground-breaking innovations are recognized and protected, and the science is properly verified, ICARDA adopted a set of Open Access Open Access policies and guidelines on best practices that protect Intellectual Property (IP) and the Knowledge Management (KM) of all research outputs and data. In partnership with other CGIAR Centers, Research Programs, and international stakeholders, ICARDA developed a whole set of platforms compliant with the Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (F.A.I.R.) knowledge principles, and these include Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) and its repositories Dataverse and MELSpace.
Properly credited authors innovate better!
MEL’s user-friendly modules for data provide guidance and automatic checkers recognize sources and authors and ensure consent has been given. At the end of the process, the system automatically provides an APA based citation that protects contributors, ensuring peace of mind so they can focus on their innovations.
All knowledge harvested by MEL – in the form of soft copy, DOI or others – is provided with a wide range of metadata that notes the source identifier, dates of creation and publication, description, location, and many other aspects relevant to the knowledge category, making sure that ownership is clear.
To ensure research and innovation can be properly searched and found through keywords and subjects, MEL implements the AGROVOC vocabularyby the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), containing +37,000 concepts and +750,000 terms in up to 37 languages, constantly updated and refreshed in MEL. AGROVOC helps to better curate information across connected websites and repositories such asMELSpace and DATAVERSE.
As knowledge and data are inserted, MEL quickly filters its whole database for relevant information and makes suggestions about other knowledge creators, so recognition is ensured for all authors, co-authors, implementing and partner institutions, research programs, donors, and funders. MEL even ensures that mapping to all related frameworks and global blueprints such as the CGIAR SRF or the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is clearly noted.
Relevant for authors is ORCID iD, the industry standard, and authoritative unique researcher identifier that users can link to their MEL account and be automatically acknowledged for all that they contribute to. It’s free of charge and highly effective at protecting authors - more here: ICARDA ORCID implementation.
MEL has integrated the SHERPA/RoMEO web service, (soon to be updated to its new version,) to guide the user via a simple colour code compassthat clearly shows all the publication’s versions that can be handled and the related licenses that apply. Users can then choose the correct license and access the status of the knowledge being submitted. MEL integrates all Creative Commons options (a global system that standardizes copyright permissions) +300 other licenses so that every contributor can apply exactly what needed.
Why open access encourages a greener future.
In the face of intensifying climate change, people in dry areas face increasing water scarcity, more drought and heatwaves, and more rainfall variability. After four decades of researching better agricultural practices to improve livelihoods, income, and the pastoral environment in these places, we see only one course of action in science – sharing. That’s why we helped to develop platforms like MEL that are mostly automated and guided, taking less than one minute to summarise the submitted knowledge and making sure that credit and protection is given to the valuable scientists we work with. We believe that sharing science leads to a greener future, especially in dry areas, and we invite researchers, institutions, national agricultural research systems and anyone else to join us on this quest in the confidence that you will be protected and recognized for your hard work.
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Development of MEL and its repositories has been possible thanks to the overall contribution of CGIAR Funders and targeted investment for KM supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Valerio Graziano is Knowledge Management Officer for the IFAD-funded project “Strengthening Knowledge Management for Greater Development Effectiveness in the Near East, North Africa, Central Asia and Europe” implemented by ICARDA. He works for ICARDA MEL Team, since 2016 covering the Knowledge Management areas of Open Access, Search Engine Optimization, and Learning