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IMARK is an e-learning initiative in agricultural information management developed by FAO and partner organizations.
photo The module offers a series of lessons on electronic document management which introduce basic concepts and describe specific workflows and topics. The lessons include relevant resources and additional reading. Learners can also consult a glossary specific to the module and search within the course materials for specific terms.

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Target Audience

This module is targeted at a broad range of users who are, or will be, involved in the creation, management and dissemination of documents primarily in an electronic environment. The module is primarily targeted at users based in institutions for agricultural development, research, education and extension.

Module Content

Unit 1 - Overview
This unit provides an overview of the processes for the creation, acquisition and storage of electronic documents.

Unit 2 - Formats for electronic documents and images
This unit describes several of the different formats used to create, store and deliver electronic documents including HTML, XML, PDF, word processing formats, as well as the formats used to store electronic images. Also included is information on how to convert between the various formats and how to deal with non-Latin scripts.

Unit 3 - Metadata standards and subject indexing
This unit introduces metadata, their use and areas of application, as well as several standard formats used to describe electronic documents. The unit also introduces the principles and procedures of subject indexing for document retrieval.

Unit 4 - Production and management of electronic documents
This unit explains how to implement structured procedures for the production and management of electronic documents. Specifically, it introduces the conversion of printed documents to electronic format and the methods used for creation, processing, storage and dissemination of electronic documents.

Unit 5 - Database management systems
This unit provides an introduction to database management systems, and indicates how and when they should be used for storing, managing and accessing electronic documents. A comparison is made between relational and textual databases, and examples of each type are provided (SQL and CDS-ISIS).

Unit 6 - Networking documents and databases
This unit introduces various methods of providing access to documents in a web-based environment. The unit includes a review of Internet basics and the networking environment required for creating static and dynamic websites, including descriptions of CGI, ASP and JSP.


Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Imaging Tutorial
The Digital Imaging Tutorial offers base-level information on the use of digital imaging to convert and make accessible cultural heritage materials. It contains up-to-date technical information, formulas, and reality checks, designed to test your level of understanding. This tutorial is being provided by the Cornell University Library/Research Department, through the Mann Library, as a contribution to IMARK.

From Paper to Collection
This document explains how to create CD-ROM collections from paper documents and describes the procedures and economics involved in the scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) processes. This document is provided by UNESCO.

Multilingual Agricultural Thesaurus - AGROVOC is the multilingual thesaurus for indexing and retrieving data in agricultural information systems. AGROVOC is provided by FAO.

CAB Thesaurus
The CAB Thesaurus is a thesaurus of the applied life sciences. It is the world's largest thesaurus for agricultural sciences and related subjects. The CAB Thesaurus is provided by CAB International.

CDS/ISIS (Release 1.4)
CDS/ISIS is an advanced non-numerical information storage and retrieval software developed by UNESCO since 1985 to satisfy the need expressed by many institutions, especially in developing countries, to be able to streamline their information processing activities by using modern (and relatively inexpensive) technologies. CDS/ISIS is provided by UNESCO.

Greenstone Digital Library Software
Greenstone is a suite of software for building and distributing digital library collections. The Greenstone Digital Library Software (an open source product licensed by the University of Waikato) is provided by UNESCO.

NAL Agricultural Thesaurus
The NAL Agricultural Thesaurus covers agriculture in its broadest sense, including allied disciplines in the biological, social, physical, and earth sciences. The NAL Agricultural Thesaurus is provided by the USDA National Agricultural Library.

WebAGRIS (Windows Version 1.0)
WebAGRIS is a complete, multilingual Web-based system for distributed data input, processing and dissemination of agricultural bibliographic information. WebAGRIS is provided by FAO.


The Module curriculum was designed and developed by experts and institutions from an internationally widespread community.

The main contributors and authors are from the following Organizations:
Agence Universitaire de la FrancophonieAgence Universitaire de la Francophonie Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on AgricultureInter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
CAB International CAB International  Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Nacional Agraria La MolinaFacultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina
Centro Internacional de Agricultura TropicalCentro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical Ministère des affaires étrangèresMinistère des affaires étrangères
Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement  Ministry of Agriculture Information Centre (MOIAC)
Peoples' Republic of China
The Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell UniversityThe Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University National Agricultural University of Ukraine
The CSW GroupThe CSW Group United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Library (NAL)United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Library (NAL) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Wageningen University and Research Centre Wageningen University and Research Centre   

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