Do you have a question about how to contribute your content to AGRIS? Check our FAQ bellow.

Answers to most frequently asked questions:

AGRIS (International System for Agricultural Science and Technology) is a global public domain database with more than 8 million structured bibliographical records on agricultural science and technology. The database is maintained by FAO and Agro-Know, and its content is provided by more than 200 participating institutions from 65 countries. The AGRIS Search system allows scientists, researchers and students to perform sophisticated searches using keywords from the AGROVOC thesaurus, specific journal titles or names of countries, institutions, and authors.

Would you like to be part of the AGRIS network and share your bibliographic information with the rest of the community?

 In first place you make sure that your collection is relevant to AGRIS Subject categories! If your collection covers one or more of these topics, then you are more than welcome to make a registration request to the AKstem team in order to start with the registration process! After submitting the request you will receive an email with the link to your personal space! Use your personal space to provide information about you (the contact person), your institution and the most important: details about your collection. As soon as, you provide all the required information, then you are ready to start the process to share your collection!

You can find more details on how to share your collection on the following sections.

AGRIS is a rich collection of bibliographic data describing the many aspects of agriculture, including forestry, animal husbandry, aquatic sciences and fisheries, and human nutrition.

Does your collection cover the FAO AGRIS categories? To be certain just check out here:


What is critical for AGRIS providers is to share their collections with AGRIS. AGRIS collects structured bibliographic descriptions of scientific publications or other documents, or in other words: AGRIS collects metadata records describing scientific publications, thesis, dissertations, reposts etc. Metadata records need to be expressed in XML language, and to follow a metadata schema.


“Metadata is data about data. The term refers to any data used to aid the identification, description and location of networked electronic resources. Many different metadata formats exist, some quite simple in their description, others quite complex and rich.”

International Federation Library Association (IFLA)

In other words, metadata is a structured, formalized and machine readable way to describe a digital object. There are many metadata standards, formats or Application Profiles that have been developed to describe different digital objects or to adjust to different community needs.

Find more details on the metadata formats AGRIS accepts in the corresponding section.


In order to share your bibliographic collection with FAO AGRIS and make it accessible through the AGRIS portal, you are expected to submit a set of metadata records, which actually are the descriptions of the objects of your collections (i.e. records that describe each article, document, thesis, etc of your collection).

There are many different ways to share your metadata records with AGRIS:

  • XML files (recommended)
  • OAI-PMH target (recommended)
  • API
  • SPARQL endpoint
  • RSS feeds

Preferably, we ask you to share with us an OAI-PMH target. OAI-PMH target is supported by many repository systems.

The Open Archives Initiative - Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH):

AGRIS highly recommends the use of OAI-PMH, a low-barrier mechanism for repository interoperability.

By default OAI-PMH delivers Simple DC (Dublin Core), but AGRIS recommends developing an additional layer to allow AGRIS to harvest also other metadata formats, like qualified DC or MODS.
Additionally, for interdisciplinary collections we would like to recommend to create a set specification by subject cotegories, covering the AGRIS thematic field, so that the AGRIS Data Processing Unit could to harvest metadata related to the AGRIS domain. Please note that one general subject set for agriculture domain is the best way to go.

If you already support OAI-PMH then, in your personal AKstem dashboard, in the collection set you need to provide us the link of the OAI-PMH target, so that we will be able to harvest it.

Step 1: Go to your personal space

Step 2: Go to the collection set

Step 3: Go to “submit data”, click on “submit your data”

Step 4: In the question “how do you plan to contribute your metadata?” choose OAI-PMH target and then above add the link of the target.


XML files:

Many repositories give you the option to export your metadata records in XML files (such as Open Journal System, Mendeley, PubMed). In AGRIS we accept XML files in many different metadata formats, but before sharing your files you should check the following requirements.

Before sharing your XML files with us check the following requirements:

  • It is highly recommended to use encoding UTF- 8.
  • Furthermore, in text elements (like title, abstract, keywords) avoid special characters like &, <, >, “, ‘. If these characters are not supported by authoring environment, then they will have to be substituted, e.g. change character “&” to “&amp;”. Another solution is to use <![CDATA[…..]]>.
  • Upload your XML files in a compressed form like .zip or .rar

After checking the above, then in your personal AKstem dashboard, in the collection set you need to upload your XML files.

Step 1: Go to your personal space

Step 2: Go to the collection set

Step 3: Go to “submit data”, click on “submit your data”

Step 4: In the question “how do you plan to contribute your metadata?” choose "XML files" and then upload your XML files in a compressed form like .zip or .rar.

There are many definitions found in literature, but in general as a digital repository is considered: a system or application that supports management, storage & dissemination of digital objects & metadata records.

Indicative list of the most commonly used repositories

For those insitutions that would like to be part of the AGRIS network but don't have a repository system or a content/collection management system to export metadata, we place here an indicative list of the most commonly used repositories.

AgriMetaMaker (AMM) is a Drupal Web form to publish metadata in the AGRIS repository. AMM is supported and maintained by FAO AGRIS.

The main features of AMM are the following:

  • A content management system to manage and store your bibliographic information
  • User friendly interface that supports AGRIS AP (the metadata schema used by the AGRIS database).
  • AGRIS data processing Unit regularly harvests metadata directly from AMM (no need to export XML files)
  • internal authority lists for authors (personal and corporate), publishers, journals and conferences
  • special input interface for selecting AGROVOC terms for subject indexing

In order to start using the AMM you will need to make a request to AKstem team using the contact form bellow.


AgriDrupal is a free open source content management system with support for managing digital content configuring the underlying metadata model and RDF model. The added value of AgriDrupal compared to a vanilla installation of Drupal is that an AgriDrupal installation already contains the necessary content types, taxonomies and views to manage a basic web-based information system.

The document repository features of AgriDrupal include:

  • a cataloguing interface used description and cataloguing standards that includes Dublin Core elements and AGRIS AP elements
  • internal authority lists for authors (personal and corporate), publishers, journals and conferences
  • special input interface for selecting AGROVOC terms for subject indexing
  • exposure of records through the OAI-PMH protocol, supporting the Dublin Core and AGRIS AP formats
  • exposure of records also as RDF feed and XML file
  • extensible import and harvesting functionalities

Mendeley is a free reference manager allowing you to “easily organize your papers, read & annotate your PDFs, collaborate in private or open groups, and securely access your research from everywhere.” At the same time, it can be used to create metadata references for the AGRIS database. Once the cataloguing activity is finalized, the metadata from Mendeley can be exported and sent it to AGRIS Data Processing Unit by mail.

DSpace is an open source repository software package typically used for creating open access repositories for scholarly and/or published digital content. While DSpace shares some feature overlap with content management systems and document management systems, the DSpace repository software serves a specific need as a digital archives system, focused on the long-term storage, access and preservation of digital content.

Open Journal System (OJS) is an open source solution to managing and publishing scholarly journals online. OJS is a highly flexible editor-operated journal management and publishing system that can be downloaded for free and installed on a local Web server.

OJS gives you the option to export your metadata in several formats. You can find guidelines on how to export metadata from OJS here. Please notice that is highly recommended to export your metadata in DOAJ or PubMed. Therefore, in the list suggested choose to download one of the following plugins:

  • PubMed XML Export Plugin
  • DOAJ Export Plugin

PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health maintains the database as part of the Entrez system of information retrieval. PubMed provides quality control in scientific publishing. Only journals that meet PubMed's scientific standards are indexed.


WebAGRIS is a Web-based system for distributed data input and processing of agricultural bibliographic information, as well as linking to documents that are available in digital format.

Please note that FAO AGRIS discontinued support for WebAGRIS and it is not maintained anymore, so no updates of the system will be available.


In principle AGRIS accepts all metadata standards, but still highly recommendable are the following metadata standards:

  • OAI-DC
  • PubMed XML

Also acceptable are: MARCXML, MARC21, ENDNOTE XML, MODS.

If your metadata schema is not included in the list above, then it’s very important to share with us documentation for the metadata scheme.

Here are the criteria that your collection must meet, before its marked as "Ready to be published"
  • Has a valid name.
  • The thematic coverage of your collection is accepted by the Agris Network.
  • You have submitted the collection's data by clicking the "Add new submission" button.
  • If you chose "XML-File(s)", make sure you have provided us with (a) valid ".xml" file(s). (Don't forget to click the "Create submission" button)
  • If you chose "OAI-PMH target", make sure the URL you provided us with, points correctly. (Don't forget to click the "Create submission" button)

If your collection's submission meets the above criteria, then you can mark the collection as "Ready to by published".

The AKstem Data Management Team, will be reviewing the new submitted "Ready to be published" collections on a daily basis.

The AGRIS Data Processing Unit is responsible to harvest collections, do the mappings and transformations from original format to AGRIS AP, triplification, and final step publishing the collections. This is a process that requires a lot of time and effort, for that reason we suggest to share your content on time to allow the team to provide feedback and resolve possible issues on metatada. AGRIS Data Ingestion process takes place in monthly basis.

It usually takes about 3 to 4 months to publish a collection, from the moment that all the required information is shared through the AKstem service. Please notice that this is a time plan for collections that follow one of the abovementioned recommended standards that FAO AGRIS Data Process Unit supports (see section #In what metadata schema can provide my metadata?). For all the other cases the process takes more time due to the complexity and the extra efford required from our team. To make sure that you have shared all the required information with AKstem team & AGRIS Data Processing Unit, please read all the above guidelines. If you have any futher question you can contact our team by submitting a request to the online form above.