AgriFeeds

Aggregated News and Events on Agriculture

Guidelines

Notice: The content of this page may be outdated at places, we are enhancing the service and some functionalities may behave differently. We will soon update this page accordingly.
 
01 - How to create a feed

Every day more and more Web sites are making their content available using "web feeds". Feeds provide an easy method for creators to syndicate content and for consumers to keep up-to-date with their favourite sites without having to go to individual sites. Web feeds normally contains a short summary of content from a Web site and a link to the full article or more information. Web feeds can either be of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or ATOM formats. Both formats are expressed in XML.

There are several choices to create an RSS news channel that lists  various articles/news on your site or in your e-mail newsletter, namely:

  • Construct it from scratch in Notepad (easy in some cases but not efficient in the long run e.g. when the people working on it are not able to edit XML)
  • Prepare the feed from a stand-alone tool such as RSS Channel Editor. 
  • Have a software tool "scrape" the site and incorporate the most important information it finds there 
  • Exploit your Content Management System. Many CMSs have inbuilt mechanisms to  aggregate feeds: CMSs usually have functionality to export content to RSS or your webmaster can easily write a function to read all contents and create an RSS output

Of course, software tools may not be customizable enough to obtain quality metadata: identifying the subject for single items or using additional namespaces may be difficult if not impossible. In order to create the feed manually, or to write a procedure that creates it from your database or CMS, you need to be familiar with XML 1.0 and use the metadata set of one of the most widely used standards for syndication:

AgriFeeds accepts feeds in both the RSS (1.0 and 2.0) and the Atom format. Please be aware that in AgriFeeds the following RSS elements are mandatory: title, description, link and pubDate. 

All the above formats can be extended using additional namespaces for including more specific and informative metadata: AgriFeeds encourages to submit all feeds using the Dublin Core namespace, and, for feeds of events the Event AP. Once you have your feed ready, you need to publish it on a web server, so that it is reachable through a URL. Then you are ready to submit your feed URL to as many news readers and news aggregators as you like.

02 - How to submit a feed

Create an account in the RING (http://ring.ciard.net/user), log in, click on "Add a service / dataset" and provide.all the required information plus some technical information essential for AgriFeeds to pick up your feed:

  • Under "Content", select "RSS feed" as "Type of service";
  • Under "Access to data":
    • provide the URL of the RSS feed in "URL / target / endpoint";
    • under "Technical details", select "RSS" as protocol and:
      • "RSS core metadata set" as metadata set IF your feed is a normal RSS feed (if in doubt, choose this);.
      • "Ag Event Application profile" as metadata set IF your feed is a feed of events: technically, this means that the RSS feed must contain metadata elements from the Ag Event Application Profile (see our Gudelines for more details);.
      • "Ag Job Application profile" as metadata set IF your feed is a feed of jobs / vacancies: technically, this means that the RSS feed must contain metadata elements from the Ag Job Application Profile (see our Gudelines for more details);.
  • Under "Network", select "AgriFeeds" and under the AgriFeeds link specify if it is a news feed, an event feed or a job feed (considering the technical indications above about the Application profile: if in doubt, choose "News feed").
If you submitted a feed and you cannot see the items in AgriFeeds, this could mean one of the following: a) not all the required steps in the registration in the RING were followed; b) AgriFeeds still has to synchronize with the RING, wait for a few hours; c) AgriFeeds could not parse the RSS file at the URL you provided.
03 - Using additional namespaces and why

The basic RSS and Atom metadata sets are generic because their scope is general. However, both formats can be extended using additional namespaces to include more specific and informative metadata. AgriFeeds uses AgMES namespace to extend the feeds.

For the information to be parsed (read correctly) and provided to the users with better services, the following basic guidelines should be taken into account.

News feeds

  • Include all the basic required metadata for RSS or Atom.
  • Include (possibly with AGROVOC or another controlled vocabulary), (as it is usually easy to compile than the corresponding RSS element) elements from Dublin Core namespace, whenever possible. Please note that an absent or incorrect date format may result in the news items showing up in improper chronological order

Event feeds

  • Include all the basic required metadata for RSS or Atom. These must include Title, Link, Description and pubDate.
  • Include, the start date (ags:startDate), the end date (ags:endDate) and Location information (ags:location and its sub-elements) from the (AgMES namespace. Please note that absent or incorrect country information (the format should be the ISO 3-digit code) and / or dates (start and end dates) may result in the events not showing up in searches or showing up in improper chronological order
04 - How to be sure that a feed is accepted by AgriFeeds

Before submitting feeds to AgriFeeds, please make sure that they validate against the Feed Validator. This is essential.

In addition to the basic requirements of an RSS feed, the following elements are mandatory:

A)
• (RSS) Title
• (RSS) Link
• (RSS) Description
• (RSS) pubDate

Besides, in items describing events the following additional elements/refinements are mandatory:

B)
• (AGS) Start Date
• (AGS) End Date
• (AGS) Location City
• (AGS) Location Country
(Please submit your feed as an event feed only if it these elements are there and are in the correct format)

Not complying with the (A) requirements may result in your feed not being loaded at all.

Not complying with our additional requirements (see our Guidelines) may result in your news items not showing up in the correct place or in the correct chronological order.

The namespaces from which the elements are taken are defined in brackets.  More information about the elements is found at:
• AGS: http://www.fao.org/aims/
• RSS: http://purl.org/net/rss1.1

05 - What is the minimum set of metadata required to make a valid Event feed?

The Event Application Profile provides elements that describe event in detail. However, not everyone can provide all the information. Therefore, the most important fields when creating an Events feed are:

  • ags:dateStart
  • ags:dateEnd
  • ags:location (ags:locationCity, ags:locationCountry)

For example, see a sample file. For ags:locationCountry, please use 3-letter ISO country codes.

Also keep in mind that in addition to the basic requirements of an RSS feed, the following elements/refinements are mandatory in all types of feeds in order to be accepted by AgriFeeds:

• (RSS) Title
• (RSS) Link
• (RSS) Description
• (RSS) pubDate

 

06 - In addition to the mandatory elements, which other elements can be understood by AgriFeeds?

AgriFeeds accepts the following elements:

 From AGS:

       <ags:organizer>Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)</ags:organizer>

From DC:

       <dc:title xml:lang="en">Inter-Regional Consultation on ICM4ARD</dc:title>
      <dc:description xml:lang="en">2007-09-26 - 2007-09-26 Rome, ITA</dc:description>
      <dc:subject xsi:type="ags:AGROVOC" xml:lang="en">International cooperation</dc:subject>
      <dc:subject xsi:type="ags:AGROVOC" xml:lang="en">Agricultural research</dc:subject>
      <dc:subject xsi:type="ags:AGROVOC" xml:lang="en">Agricultural policies</dc:subject>
      <dc:identifier xsi:type="dcterms:URI">http://www.egfar.org/egfar/website/action/GFARevents/eventsitem?contentId=1736</dc:identifier>

  However, this does not guarantee that the elements are correctly parsed or understood. As only the mandatory elements are parsed and included in filtering and browsing functionalities.

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AgriFeeds partners
CGIAR CTA FAO GFAR GFIS IAALD
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