AgriDrupal training workshop for the ZAR4DIN project, 22-25 March 2011, Lusaka, Zambia

ZAR4DIN is the Zambian national network of Institutions and individuals involved in AR4D information/knowledge generation, management, dissemination and exchange, and has the objective of facilitating access to AR4D information and knowledge, including metadata and full-text documents, through interlinked institutional repositories linked to a national AR4D portal.

In the context of this project, Institutions that were not using any repository management tools were interested in learning about and adopting a tool for repository management and website management. Therefore, FAO organized a 4-day training course on AgriDrupal in Lusaka, from 22 to 25 March 2011, which was facilitated by me.

The 13 participants came from the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI), the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR), the Livestock Development Trust (LTD), the National Agricultural Information Service (NAIS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the University of Zambia Library, and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).

The training is part of FAO and FARA's support to the agricultural research community in Zambia, under the ZAR4DIN project.

The focus of the workshop was on using AgriDrupal for managing document repositories and exchanging records among distributed repositories.
By the end of the workshop, all participants had customized the layout, look and feel and navigation of their websites, added contents (news, events) and catalogued new documents, harvested contents from RSS feeds and imported the full document repository of another Agridrupal installation.  


Day 1

  • What is AgriDrupal, what is Drupal
  • Why AgriDrupal in the context of the ZAR4DIN project
  • AgriDrupal for document repository management: a first overview
  • Drupal content management architecture
  • HANDS-ON session 1: Getting started with AgriDrupal
    • Basic customization of our installations: title, logo, slogan, email address, informational web pages (using the rich editor, creating internal hyperlinks, understanding path aliases)
    • Customizing navigation menus in our installations
    • Defining a content model and metadata models: Content types and fields
    • Content model and contents: content types and “nodes”
    • Defining knowledge organization systems::Taxonomies
    • Displaying dynamic lists of contents: Views
  • AgriDrupal content model: pages, news, events, vacancies, Institutions and experts, Documents, authors, journals
  • Relations between contents
  • HANDS-ON session 2: Simple content types and simple views
    • Analyze the event and document content types
    • Create new nodes (document, event)
    • Analyze the Latest news View and the Document simple search view

Day 2

  • Techniques, formats and technologies for information exchange
    • Metadata, “vocabularies” and  namespaces
    • XML, CSV, machine-readable formats / notations
    • Syndication (RSS) and harvesting
    • OAI-PMH
    • RDF and the semantic web
    • A broader concept of “feeds”
  • Recommended standards in the agricultural field
    • Subject indexing: Agrovoc (and other thesauri and reciprocal mapping)
    • Description:
      • DLIOs: Agris AP (-> RDF recommendations)
      • News (RSS);  Events and vacancies (RSS + AgEvent AP and AgJobs AP)
      • People (FOAF); Organizations (FOAF, AiDA)
  • HANDS-ON session 3: customizing the layout and style of the website
    • Themes, style.css
    • Blocks

Day 3

  • Exporting and importing
    • RSS / XML / RDF Views for export + Feeds for importing
    • Feed importers in Drupal
  • Hands-on session 4: exchange data
    • Harvest RSS feeds from Internet
    • Create new contents in the system (documents, events)
    • Harvest a news feed and an event feed from another AgriDrupal installation
    • Improve the “News from partners” view: add a search filter and a filter by feed
    • Import a document repository from another AgriDrupal installation Agris AP export

Day 4

  • Management tasks
  • Document repository management

    • Configuring the OAI-PMH interface

    • Configuring the repository to participate in Agris (repository ARN)

  • Website management and maintenance

    • User management

    • Drupal core upgrades
      Installing, removing, upgrading modules

Maintenance: cron, update.php, cache


Attached are the slides that cover the programme.
Part of the slides were used during the training sessions, others are just a recap of key points seen in practical demonstrations and hands-on exercises.
The slides have been sent to all participants.


3 April 2011

Valeria Pesce





AgriDrupal training for ZAR4DIN, Day 11.02 MB
AgriDrupal training for ZAR4DIN, Day 2523.63 KB
AgriDrupal training for ZAR4DIN, Day 3 and Day 4369.3 KB

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