Friday, December 6, 2013

1st International e-Conference on Germplasm Data Interoperability: Session 1

Session 1 of the 1st International e-Conference on Germplasm Data Interoperability themed "The vision of Linked Germplasm Data" is now over. It was deployed using Google Hangouts, thanks to +Luca Matteis who set everything up for us. It was the first time that we used this platform for deploying a Conference, so we came across with some issues but they were solved on the fly.

The session started with a very quick introduction to the Conference by me; I felt really lucky to be able to participate to the same meeting with people who have spent many years in the biodiversity and germplasm domain and I was really honored to be asked to make the introduction to the e-Conference (and obviously too nervous to do so!). Then +Eliza Arnaud from Bioversity International made a keynote speech on "Interoperability of Agricultural Diversity Data". The next presentation came from +Michael Marus (CGIAR) (ICT Manager of CGIAR) who presented the "Data Management Landscape", sharing the CGIAR experiences on the topic. It was really interesting to know that CGIAR has adopted Open Access policy for its data, and of course related to the linked open data approach proposed by the e-Conference. Next was +Donald Hobern, (GBIF Director), who made an interesting presentation of the Global Biodiversity Information Outlook and discussed several data sharing issues in the biodiversity area. Then it was my turn to present the agINFRA Germplasm Working Group, a group which aims to enhance the interoperability between different germplasm data sources by developing and deploying a linked data approach. The links of the group with the Research Data Alliance (RDA) related groups were highlighted and the next steps were presented. 

The last presentation of the 1st Session was made by +Luca Matteis from Bioversity International, who presented the TDWG group of interest on ‘Semantics for Biodiversity’.

Session 1 closed with a short discussion on topics related to the theme of the session, driven by questions posed by the participants/audience of the e-Conference. The recording of the 1st Session is available through YouTube as it was automatically recorded; another convenience provided by Hangouts, while the presentations are available through the event's website.

I admit that I was pretty pleased with the result, despite the fact that I was rather nervous for sever reasons (e.g. the use of a platform that we haven't used in the past, my participation in a Conference about biodiversity and germplasm for the first time etc.). I believe that all went well in the end and that we will all be more prepared and relaxed during the Session 2, which will take place on 11/12/2013. Until then, stay tuned!

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