Knowledge for better food systems

FCRN Blogs : FCRN Admin

The updated FCRN website

What’s new...and how to get the most from it

Achieving a sustainable food system requires accurate knowledge, communicated effectively to the diverse stakeholders influencing its development.  And these stakeholders need opportunities to interact, explore their differences and identify commonalities where possible. 

What’s new...and how to get the most from it

Achieving a sustainable food system requires accurate knowledge, communicated effectively to the diverse stakeholders influencing its development.  And these stakeholders need opportunities to interact, explore their differences and identify commonalities where possible. 

Over its ten years, the Food Climate Research Network has earned a reputation for impartially communicating policy relevant information on food sustainability concerns, and for brokering perspectives among the many stakeholders concerned with food and sustainability.  

We do this in many ways, but at the heart of the FCRN is our website

The FCRN is a knowledge hub, providing and distilling information on food and its multiple dimensions; and it’s a place where people from diverse disciplines, sectors and geographies can come together to debate and collaborate. 

This new, improved website builds upon what we have done so far – but (we hope) does it better.

Please have a look.

FCRN 2.0: The quick tour

The new site makes it more intuitive for you to search for and access the reports you need.  We have also made it much easier to network with other members.  See in particular our:

Knowledge repository: The recategorised Research Library hosts over 3,500 summarised journal articles, reports and other resources, all easily searchable.  Take a look too through the FCRN’s own series of publications  as well as blogs, member snapshots and interviews.

Networking pages: Browse our diverse lists of members. Search for them by geography, sector or interest – and get in touch via member messaging.

Knowledge exchange forums: Use these forums to ask questions or raise issues. If you have a short, straightforward question, post it in the Quick Questions forum. For longer discussions you can use the General discussion forum.

Matchmaking forums: Looking to commission research? Want partners for collaboration? Researcher looking for a project? Post in our specific matchmaking forums, targeted to different audiences.

We are continually adding new material to the website and every week we add new material from our popular newsletters. For the latest material you can browse through our new blog-posts and discussion papers.

The scenic route. What’s new?

A recategorised research library

The FCRN's Research Library is huge, containing summaries of  10 years' worth of research and information on food systems, climate and sustainability issues.  This used to make searching for content on the old website a bit difficult.  With the changes we've made you should find searching easier and more intuitive.  

There are now four ways of browsing.

Top level categories: We have categorised (and cross-categorised) all content into one or more of the following categories: Food chain stage; Food type; Issues and Theories, methods and tools. On this level you can also filter by the information Source of the research or the Region discussed.

Subcategories: Beneath each top level category are a series of subcategories which are also cross-categorised. For example clicking on Food Chain Stage will lead you to subcategories that include: Agricultural production, Packaging or Consumer stage. 

Keywords: As well as assigning them to one or more category and subcategories, each report has been tagged with a selection of relevant, and more detailed keywords.  Examples of the 250 keywords used are: Livestock systems, GlassAgroecology, Yields, Sustainable healthy diets, Brewing, Food and agriculture policy, Soils, Life cycle analysisNutrition transition, Animal ethics, Consumer perceptions and preferences.

Advanced website search: Finally, you can search for content by using the new and improved searchbox. We have upgraded the search facility to be more forgiving of typos and able to locate related terms and alternative spellings.

Note that this reorganisation is an ongoing process. Not all content has been categorised into top level categories, subcategories and keywords (options 1, 2 and 3). All the material from the old website is still here though, so if searches via options 1, 2 and 3 do not yield much, try using option 4 - the general search box. And please bear with us while we carry on recategorising.

Better networking

With its 1,400 Network members spanning 70 countries, the networking pages of our website offer huge opportunities for interacting and knowledge exchange. But we felt that this could be improved and made clearer to the website user. In addition the old problem of 'too many passwords' was an obstacle for many of you.

Our new website brings the networking functions to the fore, provides a more useful structure for your interactions – and it is now much easier to log in. Once you’ve signed up you can connect your FCRN to your Twitter or Facebook accounts (or both!) making it one less username-password combination to remember.

If you want to login the usual way, then you can use either your username, or your email address, plus your FCRN password.

Once you have signed up you can search for members according to their interests; or search for members in a particular sector (food industry, NGO) or by geographical location. You can connect to members of interest and add them to a list of highlighted members in your profile page through the bookmarking feature. At any point you can then connect directly to them via direct member messaging.  

We have also restructured the forums to emphasise usefulness to researchers and practitioners.  For answers to very specific questions use our Quick Questions forum - and for longer discussions the General discussion forum. However, significantly, we have also implemented three Matchmaking Forums research needed, partnerships wanted, research projects sought

New ways of saving and sharing material

We have implemented a new bookmarking feature that allows you to save material on your Profile Page to read later or share (it’s available under the heading Bookmarks on your Profile). You can save any material directly from the research library, blogs, and interviews, and even save profiles of other members as Connections.  You can also integrate your social media accounts (currently Facebook and Twitter but with more to follow) to ease site log-in and help spread information from our website to your network.

Do please visit the new website and let us know what you think – the good, the bad and the broken links -  we are very keen to receive feedback. We really welcome your feedback as we want to continue improving it. 

You'll also find some links at the top of each page for Help, Feature Requests and Feedback.

If you are a first time visitor, find the website useful, and are not yet a member – do sign up - membership is free and the process only takes a few minutes.  

If you are already a member – log in and take a few moments to make sure that your member profile is up-to-date and complete; add detail about your interests, the country you’re based in and the sector you work in, so that others can find you in member searches. Uploading a photo too is always welcome.

We hope that this new iteration of the FCRN website is a genuine improvement, and look forward to hearing your feedback!

John Jackson
FCRN Website Manager                                                          

and

Marie Persson
FCRN Communications Manager