The visibility of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) research datasets in GARDIAN in 2018 is a major achievement for IITA. GARDIAN, an acronym for Global Agricultural Research Data Innovation and Acceleration Network, is a search engine created by CGIAR to crawl and index datasets as well as publications in institutional Open Access repositories across all CGIAR centers.

This technical breakthrough has been underscored as a future CGIAR goal and was announced to the IITA community at a session during the 2018 Partnerships for Delivery (P4D) Week held on 26–30 November in IITA headquarters in Ibadan. During the presentation by Medha Devare, Senior Research Fellow and Module Lead, IFPRI/Big Data Platform on behalf of the IITA Communication Unit, the visibility of scientists’ datasets was projected using GARDIAN as a search engine and showing the growth of the open data repository, CKAN, with quality datasets. During the live search demonstration, IITA was cited to be at the forefront in Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data implementation, attesting to the high-quality datasets, and scoring high on the FAIRness scale.

Support for cleaning up and producing quality datasets saved on the IITA institutional archive was provided by the CGIAR Big Data Platform under the leadership of Tonny Omwansa, the institutional Big Data focal point. Devare emphasized the efforts of IITA in putting together a data management team that curates research data and publishes FAIR datasets for the institution.