Sustainable Agriculture Automated Database Searches
The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
National Agricultural Library
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Revised October 2021
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.
- AGRICOLA: Run automated searches about sustainable agriculture
- Search Databases or the Web
- Database Descriptions
- Search Tips
Database and Internet Searches
Conduct automated, real-time, searches to locate current resources on sustainable agriculture. Select a search option below to access the designated Web site or database. A search of selected terms related to sustainable agriculture will find and display Web sites, books, articles, information resources, subject experts, educational opportunities and more. Search strategies differ across online sources. Database descriptions are included below.
NAL AGRICOLA Database
AGRICOLA (AGRICultural Online Access) is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature created by the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and its cooperators. The records describe publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines. [Read more about AGRICOLA.]
Search NAL's AGRICOLA database for articles and books on sustainable agriculture. Articles include journal articles, reports, book chapters, and reprints. Books include books, serials, audiovisuals, etc.
Browse AGRICOLA by subject heading.
To browse AGRICOLA for a phrase, go to https://agricola.nal.usda.gov/. Select "Search for Books" or select "Search for Articles". Select the "Subject" tab and enter a term or phrase and then select "Search".
Run automated Google Scholar searches on this topic.
- The NAL Agricultural Thesaurus is an online vocabulary look-up tool for agricultural and biological terms. The Thesaurus is organized to help find terms in a specific discipline or subject area.
- The Thesaurus also features automated Google Scholar searches for each term.
Example: Term: sustainable agriculture
Listing includes links to broader terms, narrower terms and related terms.
Select a linked term, then select a search option from the right menu.
Search USDA and the Web for Information on Sustainable Agriculture
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA's main in-house research agency. ARS research develops solutions to a wide range of problems related to food and agriculture. Select a linked word to find USDA or other government resources, search the USDA Scientific Manuscripts Database (TEKTRAN) or search the Internet for information on sustainable agriculture. [Use the ARS Advanced Search feature to find resources by ARS locations.] The USA.gov web portal retrieves content from U.S. Federal and State government Web sites.
Search for "Sustainable Agriculture" at:
The Current Research Information System (CRIS)
The Current Research Information System (CRIS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's documentation and reporting system for ongoing and recently completed research projects in agriculture, food and nutrition, and forestry.
To conduct a keyword search in the TITLE or DESCRIPTOR fields, follow these steps:
- Copy the following search strategies:
TI,DE=sustainable ADJ agriculture
- Access the CRIS database.
- Select Professional Search.
- Select the Edit button beside Search Number S1.
- Paste the search strategy copied in Step 1 into the search box.
- Select the OK button.
- Select the Display button to view the results.
- Optional: Select the Change Format button to choose a different display format or to customize your format using selected data fields.
AGRICOLA (AGRICultural Online Access), the National Agricultural Library (NAL) Catalog, is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature created by NAL and its cooperators. The records describe publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines. [Learn about AGRICOLA.]
ARS Web Site
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA's main in-house research agency. ARS research develops solutions to a wide range of problems related to food and agriculture. Locate resources by specific ARS location using the ARS Advanced Search feature.
ARS's Scientific Manuscript Database, formally known as "TEKTRAN", contains published or soon-to-be-published articles of recent research results from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the USDA's chief scientific research agency.
The United States Department of Agriculture's main Web site links to department and agency Web sites, publications, news releases, subject specialists and experts, policy documents, Federal Register notices, research papers, educational materials, fact sheets and more.
The United States government's official Web portal provides access to U.S. government information, services and resources.
The tips below will help you create your own search strategies to conduct literature searches.
Recommended Keywords and Phrases
- (sustainable agriculture) or
(agricultural sustainability) or
(regenerative agriculture) or
(sustainable farm*) or
- The NAL Agricultural Thesaurus is an online vocabulary look-up tool for agricultural and biological terms. The Thesaurus is organized to help find terms in a specific discipline or subject area. The Thesaurus features automated Google Scholar and AGRICOLA database searches for each term.
- NAL Thesaurus Terms
Term: sustainable agriculture
Listing includes broader terms, narrower terms and related terms
- Refine your search with related keywords and phrases (see also Sustainable Agriculture: Definitions and Terms, or check the AGROVOC multilingual agricultural thesaurus).