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AFSIC Fact Sheet for International Researchers

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Where to Find Full- and Partial-text Research Project Reports and Research-based Literature on the Web

Compiled by:
Mary V. Gold
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center

March 2005; updated May 2011
Updated links, July 2012


The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) offers its bibliographies and resource guides, and limited reference services to international customers at no cost. For the best results in finding research, we encourage searchers to utilize the following search databases. All are free online resources that provide access to English language materials. Many provide free access to full-text reports and articles. Contact AFSIC for information about searching fee-based databases and journals.


Specialized research project databases focusing on sustainable and alternative agriculture content:

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) National Projects Database
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), United States
URL: http://www.sare.org/Project-Reports
Contains: Titles, descriptions, dollar amounts, years and investigator information for all previously and currently funded U.S. Department of Agriculture SARE projects (approximately 4,200 since 1988). Search by keyword, title or project number; within region or state; or by type of project. Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions; some full-text reports.
Search tips: To list all projects nationwide, within a region or by project type, leave the search term box blank. See "Project Search Tips," http://www.sare.org/Project-Reports/Project-Search-Tips

Organic Farming Research in Europe
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FIBL
URL: http://www.organic-europe.net/europe_eu/research.asp
Contents: Links to selected research projects from Northern and Western Europe research programs; Organic Eprints Archive; relevant documents and links; and research institution addresses. Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions only.

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General research project databases with some sustainable and alternative agriculture content:

CRIS – Current Research Information System
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States
URL: http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/menu.html
Contains: Descriptive records for all types of currently funded USDA research. Catalog of projects at USDA agencies (including NIFA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants), State Land Grant institutions and Experiment Stations. Individual SARE projects are NOT listed here, only the grant titles and 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), U.S. Geological Survey). Most project records reference related published literature. Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions only.
Search tips: Select "Assisted Search"; use the "Search CRIS Full Text" boxes; select "CRIS" subfile to avoid searching non-U.S. data. "Change Format" options box at the head of the search results page provides details for downloading. See "Search Help for New Users," http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/star/srchhelp.html

USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Research Projects
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States
URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/projects.htm
Contains: Current ARS research project records (about 1,200). Search all projects by "All Fields," "Title," "Approach," "Objective" and "Project Number;" or browse by keyword and international categories. Records link to project location Web site and contact information. Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions only.

TEKTRAN – Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System
Technology Transfer Information Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Library, United States
URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/services/TekTran.htm
Contains: Selected published or soon-to-be-published articles of recent research results from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA. Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions only.

AANRO – Australian Agriculture & Natural Resources Online
Australian Commonwealth and State Governments, Australia
URL: http://www.aanro.net/
Contains: ARRIP, national database of current research on all aspects of agriculture and natural resources; and ABOA, national database of published information on animal, crop and pasture production. Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions only.

CARIS – Current Agricultural Research Information System
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy
URL: http://agris.fao.org/
Contains: FAO current agricultural research projects carried out by, or on behalf of, developing countries. Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions only.

ARD InfoSys+
The European Information System on Agricultural Research for Development (ARD), European Union
URL: http://www.eiard.org/
Contains: Information about agricultural research organizations, research projects, funding resources, experts, events and news focused on Europe and developing countries; several search options (left hand menu) and browse by topic/country options. A special section provides information about African resources (http://fara.infosysplus.org/). Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions only.

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Specialized agricultural literature databases focusing on sustainable and alternative agriculture content:

OrganicAgInfo
Organic Agriculture Consortium (OAC)/Scientific Congress on Organic Agricultural Research (SCOAR), United States
URL: http://www.organicaginfo.org/
Contains: Current, accurate, scientifically-based or practically validated information about organic agriculture – production, economic data, research results, farmer anecdotes, certification information, transition strategies, as well as many other related subjects. Full-text documents.

Organic EPrints
Danish Research Centre for Organic Farming (DARCOF)/Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Denmark, Switzerland
URL: http://orgprints.org/
Contains: Primarily European papers related to research in organic agriculture. The archive contains full-text papers in electronic format together with bibliographic information, abstracts and other metadata. Full-text documents, some with limited access.

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General agricultural literature databases with some sustainable/alternative agriculture content:

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access)
U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library, United States
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

AGRIS
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy
URL: http://agris.fao.org/
Contains: International information related to agricultural sciences and technology. Collected literature citations have been contributed by 240 national, international and intergovernmental organizations since 1974. Bibliographic citations only, some with abstracts.

AGECON Search - Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics
University of Minnesota, United States
URL: http://agecon.lib.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." Papers are available in PDF format. Bibliographic citations, abstracts and full-text documents.
Search tips: Using menu boxes and buttons, search any of the words used in the citations and abstracts.

Sistema de Información y Documentación Agropecuario de las Américas (SIDALC) [Agricultural Information and Documentation System of the Americas]
Documentation and Publications Unit, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Costa Rica
URL: http://orton.catie.ac.cr/defaulten.htm
Contains: Links to several international agricultural databases, agricultural information sites in each Latin American country, online journals and directories of agricultural libraries and specialists. It features a "megabase" of agricultural data known as Agri2000 that was developed and is maintained by the Orton Memorial Library (IICA/CATIE). Bibliographic citations only, some with abstracts. Available in English and Spanish.

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Other databases of interest:

Aquaculture Network Information Center (AquaNIC)
Purdue University, United States
URL: http://www.aquanic.org/
Contains: Electronic resources for aquaculture information and education – newsletters, discussion groups, publications, Web sites, job listings and a searchable database of information on specific fish species and aquaculture systems. Links to free, full-text publications.

ATTRA Master Publication List
National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), United States
URL: http://attra.ncat.org/publication.html
Contains: Educational publications on all aspects of alternative and sustainable farming systems and practices. ATTRA provides free online publications but is unable to respond directly to researchers outside the U.S. Links to free, full-text publications.

Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA)
Cornell University Library, United States
URL: http://chla.mannlib.cornell.edu/
Contains: 4,500 agricultural texts (2,047 books and 12 journals (510 volumes)) published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science, forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology and soil science. Links to free, full-text publications.

Directory of Open Access Journals: Agriculture and Food Sciences
Lund University Libraries, Sweden
URL: http://www.doaj.org/doaj?func=subject&cpid=115
Contains: Browse and search options for hundreds of free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. Links to free, full-text publications.

E-answers
Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE)/U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), United States
URL: http://e-answers.adec.edu/
Contains: 250,000+ pages of resources from the work of Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station professionals at more than 50 Land Grant universities throughout the United States. Links to free, full-text publications.

Global Change Master Directory
Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States
URL: http://gcmd.nasa.gov/
Contains: Earth science data sets and services relevant to the global change and Earth science research – more than 15,000 descriptions of Earth science data sets and services covering all aspects of Earth and environmental sciences, including Agriculture. Project citations, investigator/institution information and descriptions; some data sets are downloadable at no cost.

Missouri Alternatives Center (MAC) Link List
University of Missouri Extension, United States
URL: http://agebb.missouri.edu/mac/links/
Contains: Full-text online Extension Service and related how-to publications from all states and on many alternatives, "from Asparagus to Watermelons, and Aquaculture to Worms." Links to free, full-text publications.

Plants for A Future
Plants for a Future, United Kingdom
URL: http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/D_search.html or http://www.pfaf.org/
Contains: Information for 7,300 edible medicinal and useful plants. Search by common or family name; edible, medicinal or "Other Use;" geographical area or habitat; or particular word.

UC SAREP Cover Crop Database
University of California, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP), United States
URL: http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/database/covercrops
Contains: 5,000+ items from journal articles, conference proceedings, standard textbooks, unpublished data, and personal communications from researchers and farmers; information concerns the management and effects of more than 32 species of plants usable as cover crops. Full-text plant descriptions; bibliographic references, some with abstracts.

WAICENT Portal and Information Finder
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy
URL: http://www.fao.org/waicent/st/level_1.asp?main_id=8
Contains: Thousands of documents reflecting FAO technical information on agriculture and food security. Select "WAICENT Information Finder" on topic menu to search. Links to free, full-text publications.

Water Quality Information Center Electronic Publications Database
URL: http://wqic.nal.usda.gov/publications/bibliographies
U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library, United States
Contains: Electronic documents related to water and agriculture. Locate and access more than 1,700 electronic publications available free on the Web. Links to free, full-text publications.

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How to find additional specialized agricultural databases and information resources:

Alternative Farming Database Directory
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, National Agricultural Library, U.S. Department of Agriculture, United States
URL: http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/databases
Contains: Links to research, specialized and general databases related to alternative agriculture, and information retrieval resources.

David Lubin Memorial Library
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy
URL: http://www.fao.org/library/en/
Contains: Library catalog and links to agricultural databases, journal lists, full-text documents and the FAO publications catalog. There is also information about AGLINET, a world-wide network of large international agricultural libraries working together to serve other member libraries. Includes country library directory.

Information Resources for Developing Countries
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), United States
URL: http://www.ifpri.org/resources/browser/results/taxonomy%3A6
Contains: Links to tools that focus specifically on providing access to current research information to researchers in the developing world. Supported by Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Resources for Librarians in Developing Countries
United States Agricultural Information Network (USAIN), United States
URL: http://usain.org/developingresources.html
Contains: Descriptions and links to programs specifically for libraries and institutions in developing countries. Many provide free access or subscriptions at dramatically reduced rates to individuals or institutions in particular countries. Several provide online registration forms.

Water Quality Databases Directory
Water Quality Information Center, National Agricultural Library, U.S. Department of Agriculture, United States
URL: http://wqic.nal.usda.gov/databases-0
Contains: Descriptions and links to databases related to water and agriculture.

Worldwide Portal to Information on Soil Health: Databases
Consortium for Tropical Soil Cover and Organic Resources Exchange (TropSCORE), Worldwide Soil Health Information Portal, Cornell University, United States
URL: http://mulch.mannlib.cornell.edu/TSDbases.html
Contains: Descriptions and links to databases related to tropical soil resources.

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Useful directories:

Libweb: Library Servers via WWW
Libweb, Thomas Dowling, United States
URL: http://lists.webjunction.org/libweb/
Contains: Links to over 7,400 pages from libraries in over 125 countries; search by keyword or browse by country.

International Organizations and Foreign Government Agencies
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, United States
URL: http://www.fda.gov/InternationalPrograms/Agreements/ucm131179.htm#intlorg
Contains: Links to food and agriculture agencies, arranged by continent.

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How to obtain full-text articles and reports on the Web that are NOT free:

The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) and the National Agricultural Library (NAL) are unable to provide the reports and journal articles cited in our bibliographies and research guides directly to individuals. Obtaining the materials cited in our publications is best done at your local or university library, or your library's interlibrary loan system. Make sure to include as much of each document's description as possible when making your requests. For the National Agricultural Library’s lending policy see the NAL Document Delivery Services’ Homepage:
URL: http://www.nal.usda.gov/services/request.shtml

Other strategies for obtaining articles and reports:
Strategy 1 – Internet search engine search (Google, Yahoo, etc. searching): A surprising number of full-text journal articles can be found on the Web, on author, institution and special interest Web pages. Type the full title of an article or report into the search box with quotation marks around it.

Strategy 2. – For international requestors, a cooperating international library may be of assistance. See: AGLINET: A world-wide network of large international agricultural libraries working together to serve other member libraries.
URL: http://www.fao.org/library/library-home/aglinet/en/

Strategy 3 – Other document access options for international requestors:

  • AGORA – Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture
    URL: http://www.aginternetwork.org/en/
    "The AGORA program, set up by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) together with major publishers, enables developing countries to gain access to an outstanding digital library collection in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences. AGORA provides a collection of 948 journals to institutions in 107 countries."

  • TEEAL – The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library
    URL: http://www.teeal.org/
    "TEEAL is a digital library that contains full-text articles from many of the world's best agricultural journals. [It provides] access to thousands of articles spanning 16 years and covering a broad range of subjects. Since TEEAL does not use the Internet, it is ideal for institutions with limited or no connectivity....TEEAL is solely for education and research in public and non-profit institutions in eligible-income countries."

  • electronic Journals Delivery Service (eJDS) Programme
    URL: http://ejds.ictp.it/ejds/
    "The electronic Journals Delivery Service (eJDS) is a programme geared to facilitate the access to current scientific literature free of cost in the fields of Physics and Mathematics. The goal is to distribute scientific articles via e-mail to individual scientists in institutions in least developed or low income countries who do not have access to sufficient bandwidth to download material from the Internet in a timely manner and/or cannot afford the connection. "

  • INASP Directory of Free and Open Access Online Resources
    URL: http://www.inasp.info/
    Network that provides information, training and links related to international sustainable and equitable development.

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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 selecting a button.
Example: "organic production" 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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Selected online AFSIC research guides and information products:

Great Places to Find Information about Farming Alternatives
URL: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/findinfo.shtml
Descriptions and links for 15 information-rich resources.

List of Alternative Crops and Enterprises for Small Farm Diversification
URL: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/altlist.shtml
Categorized list of unusual farm crops and enterprises as found in the U.S. and Canada, with links to Extension sites and evaluative tools for adopting new farm enterprises.

Educational and Training Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture, 20th edition, June 2012
URL: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/edtr/
Directory of U.S. and international programs, with descriptions, links and contact information. Updated annually.

Organic Agricultural Products: Marketing and Trade Resources
URL: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/AFSIC_pubs/OAP/srb0301.htm or http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/afsic/AFSIC_pubs/srb0301.pdf
Link to information about organic production laws and certification requirements; international trade; online trading and supplier sites; marketing event calendars; consumer studies; etc.

Organic Livestock Production: A Bibliography: Selected citations from 1974-September 2004
Citations cover organic husbandry, health and welfare, veterinary care and marketing of swine, beef and dairy cattle, poultry and small ruminants.

Sustainable Agriculture: Definitions and Terms
URL: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/terms/srb9902.shtml
Includes a discussion of issues related to defining sustainability in agriculture, a glossary of terms associated with sustainable agriculture and a comprehensive list of references for further reading.

Where to Find Sustainable Agriculture Research Online
URL: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/agnic/susagresearch.shtml
Fact sheet aimed at U.S. research grant applicants.

AFSIC Publication Order Form for Print Documents:
URL: http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/publist.pdf

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About the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center

The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center specializes in locating and accessing information related to many aspects of sustainable and alternative agriculture, crops and livestock – sustainable and organic crop and livestock farming systems; renewable farm energy options; alternative marketing practices; crop and livestock diversification including aquaculture, exotic and heritage farm animals, alternative and specialty crops, new uses for traditional crops and crops grown for industrial production; and small farm issues.

AFSIC was founded in 1985 and is an integral part of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland. The Center is supported, in part, by USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, and a cooperative agreement with the University of Maryland, College Park. NAL is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

A current list of AFSIC information products and full-text publications are available electronically on the AFSIC Web site. Recent publications are also available, on request, in hard copy. For further information:

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
National Agricultural Library, ARS, USDA
10301 Baltimore Ave., Room 132
Beltsville MD 20705-2351
phone: 301-504-6559; fax: 301-504-6927
Contact us
Web site: http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/

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Last Modified: Mar 27, 2013
 
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