e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture

A bibliometric study

The e-ROSA project seeks to build a shared vision of a future sustainable e-infrastructure for research and education in agriculture in order to promote Open Science in this field and as such contribute to addressing related societal challenges. In order to achieve this goal, e-ROSA’s first objective is to bring together the relevant scientific communities and stakeholders and engage them in the process of coelaboration of an ambitious, practical roadmap that provides the basis for the design and implementation of such an e-infrastructure in the years to come.

This website highlights the results of a bibliometric analysis conducted at a global scale in order to identify key scientists and associated research performing organisations (e.g. public research institutes, universities, Research & Development departments of private companies) that work in the field of agricultural data sources and services. If you have any comment or feedback on the bibliometric study, please use the online form.

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Sustainable agriculture issues explained by differentiation and structural coupling using social systems analysis


In spite of many initiatives to increase sustainability, agriculture moves in the opposite direction with increased pesticide impacts and decreased nature quality. Here, we propose that this issue is not mainly due to lack of agronomic knowledge, but due to the lack of knowledge on social processes of specialization and differentiation. Here, we review the challenge of agriculture and sustainable development based on Niklas Luhmann theory of social systems. We focus on the concepts of differentiation and structural couplings. We use two forms of analysis, discursive differentiation and organizational differentiation, which mutually support each other. First, we analyze discourse categories, named 'semantics' in the social systems theory, such as 'environmental problems' and 'food safety'. We then look at how these discourses are related to the discourse of sustainability. Secondly, we describe different forms of organizational differentiation within agriculture and food, e.g., in the pig production chain. Here, we show how sustainability problems can be seen as an unavoidable consequence of the 'decouplings' that follow these differentiation and specialization processes. Finally, using the insights from social systems theory, we discuss how these sustainability problems might be mitigated by the following three forms of new structural couplings: (1) functional couplings of organizations to generalized semantic perspectives on e.g., environment and nature, which can reintroduce the sensibility of agri-food systems to their surroundings, (2) structural couplings between organizations that can handle other dimensions than price and quantity, including couplings mediated by labels and network couplings such as partnerships that provide options for co-evolution, and (3) second order couplings to polyocular semantics such as the sustainability semantic; that is, semantics that have their strength and challenge in the fact that they are multiperspectival and must remain indeterminate. Social systems analysis is a novel and strong tool to analyze social differentiation processes in agriculture. Social systems analysis provides researchers, farmers, and companies new ways to understand the sustainability problems that these differentiation processes produce.

  • DK
  • Aarhus_Univ (DK)
Data keywords
  • knowledge
  • semantic
Agriculture keywords
  • agriculture
  • agrifood
Data topic
  • information systems
  • semantics
Document type

Inappropriate format for Document type, expected simple value but got array, please use list format

Institutions 10 co-publis
  • Aarhus_Univ (DK)
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e-ROSA - e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730988.
Disclaimer: The sole responsibility of the material published in this website lies with the authors. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.