Information and Data Management

Community of Practice



The CGIAR Open Access and Data Management Policy was ratified by all CGIAR Centers in November 2013, a commitment by CGIAR to the widespread diffusion and reuse of its research and development activities as international public goods. The task of managing CGIAR research outputs in conformance with the Policy has been a key responsibility of Center information specialists and data managers. As part of the Open Access, Open Data Initiative (2014 – 2016) and the Big Data Platform’s Organize Module (2017 to present), these information and data managers organized themselves into the Data Management Task Force (DMTF) and the Open Access Working Group (OAWG). In November 2018 members of these groups voted to consolidate into the Information and Data Management Community of Practice (also known as the IDM CoP).

The CoP works through its Working Groups to develop and implement common standards, tools, and approaches, and already engages with external entities on a variety of fronts (including but not limited to Harvard University for Dataverse repository concerns; Earlham Institute for the COPO data annotation tool; FAO, GODAN, RDA, and other organizations on agrisementic standards). The CoP works to enhance capacity and culture change around data management at Centers, and helps the CGIAR community stay current in a rapidly changing data and publications landscape.

Over the past five years, members of the IDM CoP have worked together to tackle cultural and technical challenges to enable CGIAR’s data assets to be increasingly open as well as FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). We welcome those beyond CGIAR who would like to join us to enhance cross-learning on all sides, to work collaboratively in implementing common standards and approaches towards open and FAIR data, and to leverage opportunities for broader linkages and exchange.

Get in touch

CoP Lead

Medha Devare | Email


Celine Aubert | Email

Engage with the Community



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Interact with community members via our LinkedIn group.


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Working Groups

Metadata Working Group

The Metadata Working Group is composed of data managers and information specialists and meets about once every two months. The working group aims at enhancing the interoperability of CGIAR open access repositories (both publications and data) by developing a common metadata schema and guidelines. The CG Core and its associated guidelines ( has been openly published online and is available for all to use.  

Repository Working Group

The Repository Working Group addresses issues regarding data and information repository management. Members identify solutions through internal discussion or coordination with external partners or service providers and share best practices and experiences. The group meets monthly.

Ontology Working Group

The Ontology Working Group works to ensure collaboration across ontology efforts and use within CGIAR, and links to efforts outside the System. This group acts as an advisory group for the Ontologies CoP by monitoring the progress of thematic groups like those overseeing the development of the Socioeconomic, Fish and Plant Phenotypes ontologies. Members discuss key topics and issues around ontology gap filling and ontology-supported data annotation. Relevant topics are then brought to the attention of the Ontologies CoP and other working groups within the IDM CoP.

Open Access Working Group

The Open Access Working Group serves as a forum for issues related to Open Access (OA) and scholarly publishing. Members work together to develop educational and promotional material on OA, advocate for stable OA funding, and help with reporting on the impact of OA. 

Globus Working Group

This working group seeks to bring together a community of people working on the research life cycle to use the APIs, tools and services provided by Globus for secure data sharing and more effective and efficient data management. Globus is a non-profit service managed by the University of Chicago to provide unified access to research data across all systems (high performance computing cluster, laptop, in-cloud or on-premise storage) using any existing identity. Globus allows researchers to efficiently, securely, and reliably transfer data directly between systems, be they separated by an office wall or an ocean.


Meeting notes and key outputs are made available on group sites maintained through the Organize Module and via GitHub. A well-attended CoP webinar series is focused on capacity enhancement; there were 8 webinars in 2019, attended by 35 people on average. There is one annual face to face meeting; in 2017, 2018 and 2019 this was held in conjunction with the Big Data Convention. These meetings are attended by an average of around 40 members representing all Centers. The 2019 agenda and meeting report are available, along with those of past meetings


Webinar - All about GARDIAN

Webinar – All about GARDIAN

This webinar by the Info and Data Management Community of Practice presents GARDIAN, the Global Agricultural Research Data Innovation & ...
Webinar - OpenSAFELY for sensitive agricultural data

Webinar – OpenSAFELY for sensitive agricultural data

This webinar by the Info and Data Management Community of Practice presents OpenSAFELY, a secure analytics platform for electronic health ...
Webinar - Collaboration with the FAO on AGROVOC and AGRIS - The CGIAR exemplar

Webinar – Collaboration with the FAO on AGROVOC and AGRIS – The CGIAR exemplar

The Information and Data Management Community of Practice presents the collaboration between CGIAR and AGROVOC– FAO ...
Webinar – Challenges of managing qualitative data: Stories from the trenches

Webinar – Challenges of managing qualitative data: Stories from the trenches

The Information and Data Management CoP hosts a webinar to discuss the challenges faced when managing qualitative data, including the ...
Webinar - Enabling Data-Driven Transformation of Agriculture

Webinar – Enabling Data-Driven Transformation of Agriculture

The Information and Data Management Community of Practice presented a webinar on data-driven transformation that could enable hyper-local solutions at ...
2020 Convention session - CGIAR's management of data assets

2020 Convention session – CGIAR’s management of data assets

This session on CGIAR's management of data assets aired live at the 2020 virtual CGIAR Convention on Big Data in ...



The Agronomy Field Information Management System (AgroFIMS) consists of modules that represent the typical cycle of operations in agronomic trial management, and enables the creation of data collection sheets using the same ontology-based set of variables, terminology, units and protocols, hence generating FAIR data at collection.

CG Core Agricultural metadata scheme

A list of the metadata elements that are used to describe all types of information products that are published by the different CGIAR Centres.

The Agronomy Ontology (AgrO)

AgrO provides terms from the agronomy domain that are semantically organized and can facilitate the collection, storage and use of agronomic data, enabling easy interpretation and reuse of the data by humans and machines alike.

The Crop Ontology (CO)

The CO’s current objective is to compile validated concepts and their inter-relationships on anatomy, structure and phenotype of crops, on trait measurement and methods as well as on germplasm with the multi-crop passport terms.

Responsible Data Guidelines

Guidelines intended to assist agricultural researchers handle privacy and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in the research project data lifecycle.

PII engine: Check your data for PII

This tool identifies personally identifiable information in dataset in order to preserve the privacy of research participants



  • 2021 Work Plan – Detailed description of expected outcomes and deliverables for 2021

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