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Paris, 28 November 2011

EFITA newsletter / 542 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

To read this newsletter on the web site...

7th International Conference on e-Learning ICEL-2012 (read in the AIMS newsletter)
21-22 June, HONG-KONG, China
The International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL-2012) invites researchers, practitioners and academics to present their research findings, works in progress, case studies and conceptual advances in areas of work where education and technology intersect. The conference brings together varied groups of people with different perspectives, experiences and knowledge in one location. It aims to help practitioners find ways of putting research into practice and researchers to gain an understanding of real-world problems, needs and aspirations.

Agritechnica News
> VDMA Agricultural Machinery Association: Agricultural machinery industry appears in top form - ‘More intelligent production’ as slogan for farmers continues to make headway. More.
> Preliminary results of a survey of visitors. More.
> Results of a survey of exhibitors. More.

COIN Final Conference - Vienna 8-9 Nov 2011 - Session outcomes and Presentations available
The conference was organised in 2 sessions with Technical and Business focus; the main outcomes and presentations are now available.

Agricultural Information Management Standards (AIMS) newsletter

First Experiences with Google Scholar Citations (from the AIMS newsletter)
Aside from different efforts to tackle the author identity problem on a global scale, such as ORCID, Google launched its own Citations product today as an addition to Google Scholar.

>> What is it?
Basically, Google Scholar Citations offers public researcher profiles, together with citations, h-index and i10 index calculations. By default, you are asked to manually enter new publications, as Google decides on the sources it automatically gets your publications from.

>> Getting started
There is very little you need to do in order to setup your account. Only your Name is required in the first step, to see a list of Articles that Google has selected for you.

>> Initial Registration fields
To avoid fake registrations, you are required to enter an email address at your institution, before you can list the institution name in a public profile.

In the next step, matched articles are presented as "Article Groups". Although this is not explicitly mentioned, it seems that each of the groups seems to correspond with a source in which Google has retrieved the results. Although you can click links to find the actual articles at a later stage, it remains unclear which sources Google selected.

You can either add a whole group of articles at once, or dig into the group to manually deselect the ones that don't make sense.

As a last step, you are asked whether Google can automatically update your list. It is clear that asking as little involvement from the researchers is definitely a plus, it remains to be seen how correct these automated lists will be in the long run.

>> Inclusion of Repository Metadata
When setting up my own profile, it was immediately clear that Google retrieved information from our own public DSpace repository.
This makes you think about the sources Google considers for inclusion there. Certainly, our domain is not an academic one. Secondly, is it possible that Google detected the highwire press metadata (in the header), and uses these? These points remain unclear for now.

>> Export Features
There is support to export a selected list of citations to BibTeX, Endnote and RefMan.

>> Manual Entry
Although it's a little bit hidden, the main dropdown menu allows you to manually add new references to your list.

>> Examples of "Work in progress"
Here are just a few examples in which it's clear that the service still needs some fine tuning. First of all there are records that are scarcely populated.
Luckily enough, you are able to manually edit and improve the record. There seems to be no metadata from which exact source the record was harvested and when. However, the citation links to an external system, in case of most of my items, @mire labs [3].

>> Scarcely populated record
The second example shows that some metadata parsing still needs some work as well.  Certain parsing algorithms might still need to be optimized.

>>> Current conclusions
The first day of the public launch of a new product is definitely too early for hard conclusions, although there are a few clear observations.

It's clear that Google adds value to its successful Google Scholar search engine with this product. If you search for an author name, and the search string matches with an existing public profile, the profile will be accessible from the results.
Asking as little involvement and work from the user as possible is the way to go. If it turns out that the data isn't good enough, you can always push for more involvement. To me, this seems like a better and more challenging approach than starting with an empty box and asking someone to fill out thousands of fields.

Where are the ads? Although I haven't seen any ads, there are reports that Google Scholar sometimes serves ads. If it turns out there are no ads at all, it remains to be seen what the business model behind the service really is.

A full-featured open-source web site-creation package designed for the academic community

Tourism in South-West of France

International Pest Control
International Pest Control is an independent, bi-monthly magazine now in it's 53rd year of publication. It is the leading magazine in the world dealing with all aspects of pest prevention and pest eradication.
Because pests recognise no national boundaries, these problems are approached increasingly from an international perspective.
IPC provides authoritative reviews of pest control developments worldwide, with news, articles, reviews, features and comments. It is published in the interest of everyone concerned with the control of infestation of all types - in agriculture; in food manufacturing, storage and distribution; in domestic, commercial and industrial premises.

IPC also provides information on control and protection against various diseases transmitted by insects.

World Food regulation review
Month-by-month coverage of the latest legal and regulatory developments affecting the food industry around the world, plus all that you need to know about food safety.

>>> Legislation
Keeping up with regulatory and legislative developments affecting the food industry in the EU and around the world -- and understanding how they may affect you -- is no easy task. However, with World Food Regulation Review (WFRR), you will be able to draw upon the expertise and insight of fellow specialists and leading practitioners to ensure you receive comprehensive coverage of all the latest news and analysis in the food industry.
WFRR subscribers are provided with essential coverage of new laws, regulations, codes of practice and government actions worldwide. Each issue gives access to news and developments in the regulation and control of foodstuffs, such as safety, agriculture, nutritional labelling regulations, food additives and pesticide residues.

>>> Every month, WFRR:
- Gives you the facts of international food legislation, ensuring that you keep up with changes and understand how they affect you.
- Provides a single source for all the latest developments in food regulation, including the activities of all key bodies and regulators.
- Reduces the amount of time and money spent on research.

>>> In addition, WFRR gives access to:
- News and developments in the regulation and control of the food industry.
- New regulations, enforcement actions and other legal documentation with full text reproduction.
- The activities of all prominent international associations and regulators, such as the EU, UN, FDA, ASEAN and WTO.

>>> Safety
WFRR now incorporates the internationally renowned International Food Safety News (IFSN), giving coverage of key topics and research into food safety and quality.
Recent worldwide events have spotlighted the growing crisis in consumer confidence in the safety of the food they eat. Throughout the food chain, public pressure is coming to bear on suppliers and distributors of food, and food safety professionals need increasingly to keep abreast of an ever-changing situation.
IFSN supports action to prevent foodborne illness by controlling foodborne hazards at source and encouraging training and public awareness. Reports of outbreaks and incidents are regularly analysed to promote good safety practices in all food sectors. It strongly encourages the dissemination of food safety information and opinion and frequently publishes original articles on world food issues, as well as expressing editorial view and comments on current events.
The Executive Editors of IFSN are supported by a UK-based Editorial Committee of experts in a wide range of food safety disciplines, from farming to retail, and a larger International Advisory Board which strongly advocates the importance for health education and awareness, aiming for global coverage of food safety topics.
IFSN provides a concise, comprehensive source of information on important current issues, legislation, recent outbreaks and events involving food safety. It is essential reading for all busy food safety professionals.
A regular subscription to WFRR/IFSN will help to keep you fully aware of important issues, and keep your organisation at the forefront of food issues worldwide.
World Food Regulation Review, incorporating International Food Safety News, is published twelve times a year.

An answer I can understand
A tourist in a bar in Florida asks an Irishman sitting at the bar:

"Why do Scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?"

To which the Irishman replies:

"If they fell forwards they'd still be in the f*ckin' boat."

Contact: Mick HARKIN
E-mail: harkin(a)

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