In an open session at the recent IAALD Congress, colleagues on the CGIAR ICT-KM blog recently concluded that “Social media can play an important role in enhancing information management for agriculture and rural development.”
By ‘social media’, we mean web communication tools like blogs, wikis, facebook, and all kinds of photo, video and presentation-sharing spaces where people publish and interact.
At the same Congress, ILRI’s Peter Ballantyne was interviewed on what ILRI is doing in this area (quite a lot!):
In the video interview, Peter is shown discussing a poster prepared for a meeting of the ILRI Board of Trustees (see or download the poster on slideshare). His presentation on social media to ILRI colleagues is also published on slideshare.
Publishing posters and presentations online is part of ILRI’s efforts to make a much wider range of research outputs more openly accessible across the Internet. Another example is the recent ILRI annual program meeting where all the scientific posters and presentations were shared online.
Beyond these social, interactive tools, a key part of this commitment to more accessible outputs has been to establish a complete ‘repository’ of the various kinds of outputs produced by ILRI staff and projects. At ILRI, this tool is called ‘Mahider‘. It is both a way to capture and index all that ILRI produces and a tool for their full text publishing and promotion.
Recognizing that our own repository is not enough to reach all potential audiences for our research, we also publish our books and reports full text on Google as part of a CGIAR-wide project (see http://books.cgiar.org).