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How to Get a Journal Indexed in AGRICOLA

The National Agricultural Library (NAL) indexes articles from selected peer-reviewed journals and makes them available for discovery. See the current list of Journals Indexed in AGRICOLA (Feb 2022).

This page describes the process for getting a journal indexed in AGRICOLA, including approval and metadata guidance.



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  1. Confirm Journal Content Meets NAL Criteria

    AGRICOLA indexes peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings by named personal authors that have English language titles and abstracts and encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines.

    Articles may have the following publisher-assigned labels:

    • Research article
    • Original paper
    • Review or Review Article
    • Insights
    • Teaching case study
    • Case study
    • Case report
    • Viewpoint
    • Plant announcements; taxonomic announcements
  2. Verify Metadata Meets NAL Requirements

    Publishers can submit metadata as MODS, JATS, or NLM DTD.

    • Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) - JATS Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite Version 1.0 will be accepted as will its predecessor NLM DTD 3.0. However, the current version of JATS is preferred.
    • NLM DTD - This was the original NLM template for submitting metadata for Medline/PubMed. All Versions of the NLM DTD up to 2.6 will be accepted.
  3. Create a Metadata Sample

    The following metadata elements are required on all records that are indexed. 

    • Declaration (XML Schema or DTD---is required above the first record)
    • Article title (in English)
    • Personal author(s)/contributor(s); affiliation of the first author
    • Language (if no language is noted, English is assumed)
    • Abstract (in English)
    • Pagination (first page, last page, if noted)
    • Journal title
    • Publisher name
    • ISSN (print and electronic if both are available)
    • Identifier: Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or URL link, if available
    • Extent (First page, last page)
    • Volume number
    • Issue number
    • Date of publication
  4. Submit a Request for Consideration

    Journals are reviewed according to the library's collection development policy and for adherence to NAL's metadata requirements. Send questions and requests to

  5. Complete Metadata Use Agreement

    If the journal is accepted, the provider will be contacted by the NAL Licensing and Procurement Librarian in order to complete, sign, and return a metadata use agreement.

  6. Transfer Metadata Files to NAL

    When the publisher’s metadata sample has been accepted, coordinate with NAL to establish the file exchange. There are two file exchange methods:

    1. NAL retrieves the files using either SFTP, FTP, or HTTP, respectively. This is the preferred method.
    2. The Publisher sends the files to NAL's SFTP only service. Subdirectories or folders should not be created on our SFTP service.


    Contact to coordinate establishing the file exchange.

    NAL is able to receive metadata as individual XML files or a set of XML files in a zip archive.  

    • Acceptable file types:  .xml, zip, .gzip, .tar, Bagit
    • Unacceptable file types: MS Word documents, PDF, .rar files (an archive format)