We've been thinking about how to manage and visualise Topics in Farm-PEP. Ideally the structure we adopt would neatly fit with the listings that others have adopted to classify their content, such as by AHDB, National Library for Agrifood, Agricology etc.
For Farm-PEP we are predominantly thinking about Topics from the perspective of being able to browse easily from one Topic or Page to connected Topics. Ultimately the structure of Topics will also be important to drive efficient searches, and for Search Engine Optimisation.
There are whole professions dedicated to how things should be classified through taxonomies, ontologies, tags, keywords, subjects, networks, indexes & thesauri. There are ontologies being developed for various aspects of agriculture, compiled as a community of practice by CGIAR, including for agronomy, such as AgrO and Crop Ontology which are used by inititiatives like AgroFIMS these are not yet really geared to practice. The National Library for Agrifood uses the CAB Thesaurus as its classification system. EU agriculture projects are now using Ask-Valerie as an indexing and search tool. There is a sophisticated ontology behind Valerie with 1000s of terms connected through networks created by machine learning approaches - see here.
Because Topics in agriculture are so numerous & so inter-related, we plan to adopt a network approach rather than a strict hierarchy. Topics can have parent and child relationships with other topics, and be associated with other topics in many to many relationships, without firm levels.
We've mapped out an initial framework of Topics in the mind-mapping software 'The Brain' previewed in the video below and shared in the files below.
We obviously can't create content for all these Topics from the outset, but we can provide the framework in which interested communities can develop the content that they want. It will be useful to start with a few areas in which we focus attention. Candidates include
- Net Zero
- Crop Nutrition
- Soil Health
- Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle
- Regenerative Agriculture
- Crop Monitoring
Let us know if there are Topics that you would be keen to develop
Subject classification and how it applies to online search is a thorny topic indeed! Publishers spend a lot of time looking at it / discussing it; there are some standards within the publishing world (e.g. the BIC – Book Industry Classification – standard) but these are not particularly granular is some subject areas (e.g. Agriculture) and so publishers (like us) who specialise in a subject area (Agriculture)(tend to develop their own taxonomy. Then there’s the issue of how the metadata that sits behind online content is structured (keywords etc.) and website search optimisation, which is a complex subject…
To maximise the relevance and usefulness of topics to farmers and advisors we should try wherever possible to summarise the implications of knowledge on practical farm management decisions. I don't know of any other resources that do this in a comprehensive way and in a way that is open to comment and continual improvement