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Benefits and Limitations of Dynamically Generated Bibliographies

When you click on a link for a dynamically generated publications list for a given subject, you’ll see publications on the subject from a specific databases. The term "dynamically generated" refers to the fact that a new publications list is created each time you click the link, so the citations you see are always up-to-date.

Given the automated nature of this process, there are certain limitations as well as benefits to dynamically generating publication lists:


  • Improved timeliness: Print or manually selected publication lists (bibliographies) are by their nature limited to items published before the date of list publication. However, a dynamically generated list will always contain the most current information from the selected database.
  • Wider subject coverage: Citations might include related topics in addition to the specific topic covered.
  • Modifying search results: These automated searches cannot be modified unless you have access to the Scopus database (either through USDA or your institution). If you do have access to Scopus you can modify the search to narrow your search or change your search to provide you with better results.


  • Technological constraints: Character limits in the search strategy of dynamically generated bibliographies create constraints with the search. The topical search provided has been created with these constraints in mind to provide the best results.
  • Limited database coverage: All relevant publications on a certain subject may not have records in a particular database. If there is not record for a publication, it won’t show up on the list.
  • Decreased depth: In an effort to improve precision, some relevant publications may not appear.
  • Irrelevant material: Since there is no manual selection of on-target items, irrelevant publications might be included. It may not be possible to automatically exclude irrelevant items without losing some relevant ones.