Research is essential for increasing knowledge and to establish facts and principles - data is the main ingredient.
As science and technology are getting updated, research is undertaken at the micro level and therefore various complex and large amount of data is needed to come to an accurate conclusion. But the traditional data processing application software is inadequate to deal with this large and complex data set.
Hence the management of large and complex data set which is regarded as ‘Big Data’ is really a big challenge for scientists nowadays. Not only the data management but the proper utilization of this big data, we need to build a regional cooperation for data sharing.
For achieving this goal, the Agricultural Information Institute (AII) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) arranged an international symposium in China on 7-9 December 2017 titled ‘APEC Symposium on Agricultural Science Data Sharing and Service’ with the participation of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries agricultural scientists. As a member of YPARD Bangladesh, I and Mamiya (Ph.D. candidate of CAAS) from Bangladesh participated in the Symposium.
This three days symposium’s each day was grouped into different activities and sessions. About 30 participants from 15 countries took part in this program. After the opening ceremony of the very first day, there was a group photo session of the participants, which was really enjoyable. Professor Meng Xianxue, Agricultural Information’s Institute, CAAS presented a speech on ‘Form Database to Big Data: The Evolution of AgriData’ as a keynote speaker. The evolution process of agricultural data was soulfully described in his speech where the emergence importance of big data took priority one.
The next session was on the topic of ‘Open Data and Data Sharing: Some Global Initiatives’. Dr. Zhang Qiaoqiao who is a director of memberships and secretary of CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) executive council presented this session and describe the initiatives taken by CABI worldwide to improve life. This session was really informative for the participants for getting ideas about the global initiatives by CABI to get open data and data sharing practice in agricultural science.
The next part was on the best practices of agricultural science data sharing method. Dr. Bao Shuming, Director of China Data Center and Spatial Data Center, University of Michigan conducted a presentation on ‘Spatial Integration, Service and Application of China Data’ by China Data Center. Dr. Bao presented nicely about the sources of China data, their technologies and the future challenges of data for new investigations.
Another interesting presentation was on the best practices in geosciences data sharing techniques given by Professor Dr. Wang Juanel of Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). The main focuses of this session were on the international trends of scientific data sharing practice, prospects in the big data era and a case: National earth system science data sharing infrastructure of China. This session offered a clear definition of the scientific big data, its curation system, management and publishing model in both academic and data journal.
The data exchange management model of science and technology plan project has four partner organizations, who facilitate the data sharing program. In this presentation, the interesting topic was ‘Gene Bank’. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of China established the gene bank database. The biggest feature of the database is to give the genetic information to mobility, genetic information can be freely accessed and stored, as convenient as the bank deposit and withdrawal.
The case on ‘national earth system science data sharing infrastructure of China’ presented about the geoscience research and scientific data management techniques, its development history in China, scientific data integration mechanism, standards and specifications system and finally data resources integration framework and database construction procedure. Some key technologies and software were also presented here for unified management, synchronization and optimization searching technology for distributed, multi-standard metadata.
One diversified presentation was done by Dr. Sebastine Elgueta from Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA), Chile on ‘Chile-China R&D Center for Agricultural Science and Technology: Overview and Future Work’. He described the geographical and climatic condition in the present and past in Chile and how Chile is facing difficulties for agriculture and some probable future challenges. INIA Chile is currently leading numerous research projects for maintaining food security, growth and development.
The science data publication infrastructure and data sharing policy in developing countries was the main theme of another presentation held by Professor Liu Chung, Institute of geographical sciences and natural resources research of CAS. Professor Dr. Zhou Xiang presented the principles and practices of data sharing in developing countries.
Beside this presentations, data intelligence and innovation discovery based on scholar big data, Biodiversity data integration study based on literature data source, Science data and literature linkage, Scientific research data mining and analysis, Multi-dimensional, information visualization of science data, real-time experience of science data security status and protection of Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) were also discussed in the symposium.
Finally, each country representative gave a presentation based on their own country’s scientific data especially the agricultural data management systems and their future challenges. I and my fellow symposium mate Mrs. Mamiya gave presentation about the agricultural educational and research institutes, agricultural research system, data sources, data management practices, limitations, some probable future challenges in Bangladesh and some international cooperation with Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) for agricultural research especially with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS).
This wonderful symposium had been closed with a call for agricultural data sharing society by agreement paper signing of the participants. The goal of this mutual agreement is to work together in good faith to share scientific data and form a workgroup, and for members are from both parties to disseminate this goal. The workgroup shall deliberate over the detailed content of data to be shared and the mechanism of data sharing; and to support joint exploration and research cooperation of both parties on agricultural data collection, curation and analysis.
After two and half days tight schedule of the symposium, we went to explore the Great Wall of China. The experience of Great Wall was really great and fabulous! The ancient place of China and the heavy cold weather really create some unforgettable memories for us.
My earnest thanks to F. M. Safiul Azam, Assistant Professor, University of Development Alternative (UODA) and Country Representative, YPARD Bangladesh for his wonderful cooperation from the very beginning of this journey to attend the symposium. A special thanks to Dr. Mo Wang, coordinator of this APEC Symposium and his team for excellent organization, hosting and hospitality.
Picture credit: AII and CAAS