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Where to Find Sustainable Agriculture Research Online

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Compiled by:
The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center

Updated May 2011

This resource is part of our Sustainable Agriculture: Information Access Tools tutorial which identifies outstanding sources that address sustainable agriculture, research and information sources, contacts and experts, research funding sources, educational and career opportunities, and upcoming events.


This information sheet identifies electronic databases that can answer frequently asked questions from SARE grant applicants:
Who else is working in my topic area? Has my project been attempted before?
Are there related research efforts that I might link with?
Where are the best places to look for in-progress and recent research?

  • Published Literature Databases Online (Indexes to Books, Journal Articles, Papers, Dissertations, and Reports)
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Research Project Databases Online: Best Bets

Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) National Projects Database
URL: http://www.sare.org/Project-Reports
Contains: Titles, descriptions, dollar amount, years, and investigator information about all previously and currently funded SARE projects (approximately 4200 since 1988). Can be searched by keyword, title and project number; and within region or state; or by type of project.
See "Project Search Tips," http://www.sare.org/Project-Reports/Project-Search-Tips

Current Research Information System (CRIS)
URL: http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/menu.html
Contains: Descriptive records for all types of currently funded USDA research -- projects at USDA agencies (including CSREES Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants), State Land Grants and Experiment Stations. Individual SARE projects are NOT listed here, only the grant titles/amounts distributed to regional offices. Additional database "subfiles" include ICAR (Inventory of Canadian Agri-Food Research) and SIS (Science Information Systems of the Biological Resources Division (BRD), USGS). Most project records include references to related published literature.
Search tips: Select "Assisted Search"; use the "Search CRIS Full Text" boxes; select "CRIS" subfile to avoid searching non-U.S. data. Wildcarding is automatic.
"Change Format" options box at the head of the search results page provides a range of detail for downloading. See "Search Help for New Users," http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/star/srchhelp.html

Organic eprints
URL: http://www.orgprints.org/
Contains: Literature and research. Citations, abstracts, mostly full-text documents. Primarily European papers related to research in organic agriculture. The archive contains full-text papers in electronic form together with bibliographic information, abstracts and other metadata.

Also of Interest

USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Program/ Research
URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/Research.htm
Current ARS research project records (about 1200); click on "Search for an ARS Project" for keyword searching.

TEKTRAN - Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System
URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/services/TekTran.htm
Selected published or soon-to-be-published articles of recent research results from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA.

AANRO- Australian Agriculture & Natural Resources Online
URL: http://www.aanro.net/Home.html
Search the Australian Agricultural Research in Progress (AARIP), Australian Bibliography of Agriculture (ABOA) and Streamline (the national water research database).

Research Projects at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Projects Starting in 2007
URL: http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1208366237788&lang=eng

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Published Literature Databases Online (Indexes to Books, Journal Articles, Papers, Dissertations, and Reports): Best Bets

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access)
URL: http://agricola.nal.usda.gov/
Contains: Two searchable bibliographic databases, one indexing book titles (NAL Catalog), and the other: Article Citation Database. Emphasis is on USDA, Experiment Station, and U.S. journal documents. Bibliographic citations only, some with abstracts.
Search tips: Many SARE reports are cataloged in the articles database; add "SARE Project" to your search terms. See also: "How to Search Both Databases at Once" for combined book and journal article searching. Search help: http://agricola.nal.usda.gov/help/buildersearch.htm

AGECON Search - Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics
URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/
Contains: "Full text copies of scholarly research in the broadly defined field of agricultural economics including sub disciplines such as agribusiness, food supply, natural resource economics, environmental economics, policy issues, agricultural trade, and economic development." Full text papers are available in PDF format.
Search tips: Using menu boxes and buttons, search any of the words used in the citations and abstracts.

CAB Abstracts
Contents: Bibliographic records citing research and development literature of agriculture including forestry, animal health and the management/conservation of natural resources. International and comprehensive. Bibliographic citations only, most with abstracts.
Available on a fee-basis only. Contact your university library for access, or AFSIC for complimentary searching. More information about the database: http://www.cabi.org/default.aspx?site=170&page=1016&pid=125

Also of Interest:

AGRIS
URL: http://agris.fao.org/
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). International information system for the agricultural sciences and technology; literature citations contributed by 240 national, international and intergovernmental organizations since 1974.

Aquatic Sciences & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA)
Available on a fee-basis only. Contact your university library for access, or AFSIC for complimentary searching. More information about the database: http://www.csa.com/factsheets/aquclust-set-c.php

Biological & Agricultural Index Plus
Available on a fee-basis only. Contact your university library for access, or AFSIC for complimentary searching. More information about the database: http://www.ebscohost.com/academic/biological-agricultural-index-plus

BIOSIS Previews
Includes Biological Abstracts
Available on a fee-basis only. Contact your university library for access, or AFSIC for complimentary searching. More information about the database: http://thomsonreuters.com/products_services/science/science_products/a-z/biosis_previews/

Scopus
Available on a fee-basis only. General abstract and citation database of research literature and quality Web sources. Contact your university library for access, or AFSIC for complimentary searching. More information about the database: http://www.info.sciverse.com/scopus

Zoological Record
Available on a fee-basis only. Contact your university library for access, or AFSIC for complimentary searching. More information about the database: http://thomsonreuters.com/products_services/science/science_products/a-z/zoological_record/

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Quick Search Term Glossary

Boolean Searching: Combining multiple words or phrases in a search query using AND (+), OR and NOT (-).
Examples: "hogs AND sustainable" retrieves only items in which both terms appear; "sustainable OR organic" retrieves items where either term appears; "sustainable NOT organic" excludes all items where the term organic appears.

Phrase Searching: Searching a set of words as an exact phrase, either by typing in quote marks, by using a command or clicking a button.
Example: "sustainable agriculture" retrieves only items where these terms appear as a phrase.

Truncation: Searching multiple variations of a word by using a symbol (called a wildcard), usually an asterisk, to represent the variable parts of the term.
Example: "sustainab*" retrieves sustainable, sustainably, and sustainability.

See also: Finding Information on the Internet Tutorial, University of California, Berkeley

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For more information about databases, database searching on sustainable agricultural topics, or to request complimentary searches, please contact:

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
National Agricultural Library
U.S. Department of Agriculture
10301 Baltimore Avenue, Room 132
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
(301) 504-6559; fax: (301) 504-6927
E-mail AFSIC
http://afsic.nal.usda.gov

Please make requests for searches at least 3 weeks before the grant proposal due date.

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Last Modified: Sep 21, 2012  
 
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