AgroFIMS: A Tool to Enable Digital Collection of Standards-Compliant FAIR Data

Medha Devare, Céline Aubert, Omar Eduardo Benites Alfaro, Ivan Omar Perez Masias, Marie-Angélique Laporte
2021 Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems  
Agricultural research has been traditionally driven by linear approaches dictated by hypothesis-testing. With the advent of powerful data science capabilities, predictive, empirical approaches are possible that operate over large data pools to discern patterns. Such data pools need to contain well-described, machine-interpretable, and openly available data (represented by high-scoring Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable—or FAIR—resources). CGIAR's Platform for Big Data in
more » ... re has developed several solutions to help researchers generate open and FAIR outputs, determine their FAIRness in quantitative terms1, and to create high-value data products drawing on these outputs. By accelerating the speed and efficiency of research, these approaches facilitate innovation, allowing the agricultural sector to respond agilely to farmer challenges. In this paper, we describe the Agronomy Field Information Management System or AgroFIMS, a web-based, open-source tool that helps generate data that is "born FAIRer" by addressing data interoperability to enable aggregation and easier value derivation from data. Although license choice to determine accessibility is at the discretion of the user, AgroFIMS provides consistent and rich metadata helping users more easily comply with institutional, founder and publisher FAIR mandates. The tool enables the creation of fieldbooks through a user-friendly interface that allows the entry of metadata tied to the Dublin Core standard schema, and trial details via picklists or autocomplete that are based on semantic standards like the Agronomy Ontology (AgrO). Choices are organized by field operations or measurements of relevance to an agronomist, with specific terms drawn from ontologies. Once the user has stepped through required fields and desired modules to describe their trial management practices and measurement parameters, they can download the fieldbook to use as a standalone Excel-driven file, or employ via free Android-based KDSmart, Fieldbook, or ODK applications for digital data collection. Collected data can be imported back to AgroFIMS for statistical analysis and reports. Development plans for 2021 include new features such ability to clone fieldbooks and the creation of agronomic questionnaires. AgroFIMS will also allow archiving of FAIR data after collection and analysis from a database and to repository platforms for wider sharing.
doi:10.3389/fsufs.2021.726646 fatcat:7zfha6ulqbgrjayl7ut7bvaeri