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Organic, Sustainable, and Alternative Farming Systems: Article Research

This is a general guide to finding information on agricultural and gardening systems that are considered organic, sustainable, or alternative, such as "green", no-till and agroecology.

Articles - the basics

Articles contain the most current information published in a field of study.

Most professors and researchers prefer articles that are "scholarly" in nature.  Characteristics of scholarly journals are that they have the following qualities:

  • The articles contain original research (such as scientific experiments, surveys and research studies)
  • A list of references or sources is provided at the end of each article
  • An editorial board, composed of experts in the field, reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted; this is also known as "refereed," "peer-reviewed," "professional," or "academic".
  • Uses a specialized vocabulary for that field.
  • Contain few if any advertisements. If included, they are highly specialized and specific to scholarly discipline (i.e. specific laboratory equipment, medical tools and drugs).
  • If you are uncertain about the scholarly nature of a journal, you all look up the title or ISSN in the periodical database Ulrichs Periodical Directory (UlrichsWeb).  This database will tell you about the journal including the nature, it's audience, and in which databases it is indexed and abstracted.

The Library Catalog contains the titles to all of the print and electronic format journals that we subscribe to.  The Catalog does not list the articles within the journals. The individual articles can be found in article databases.

Citation searching: If you have a citation to an article, the easiest way to locate the article is to look up the title of the journal in the catalog.  Identify whether we own the journal and the format, print or electronic.  If in electronic format, do we have that year/volume? If yes, you can click on the link provided to go directly to the online articles and find the one you need.  If it is not online, do we have it in print?  If so, identify the call number and go to the stacks to find the proper volume and issue.  If we do not own the journal or issue, you can request the article through Interlibrary Services.

Article Databases - 1st Choices

Article Databses - 2nd Choices

Organic.Edunet
Or, "Organic.Edunet: A Multilingual Federation of Learning Repositories with Quality Content for the Awareness and Education of European Youth about Organic Agriculture and Agroecology". The Organic.Edunet project aims to facilitate access, usage and exploitation of digital educational content related to Organic Agriculture and Agroecology. This will be achieved by deploying a multilingual online federation of learning repositories, populated with quality content from various content producers. An multilingual online environment (the Organic.Edunet Web portal) will facilitate end-users’ search, retrieval, access and use of the content in the learning repositories. Today, the Organic.Edunet Web portal provides access to 10515 resources, from 11 institutional collections and 2 user communities.

Organic Eprints
Organic Eprints is an international open access archive for papers and projects related to research in organic food and farming. The archive contains full-text papers in electronic form together with bibliographic information, abstracts and other metadata. It also offers information on organisations, projects and facilities in the context of organic farming research. The Organic Eprints archive is a tool to further develop research in organic agriculture. The main objectives are to facilitate the communication of research papers and proposals, to improve the dissemination and impact of research findings, and to document the research effort.

Organic Agriculture Information Access
Organic Agriculture Information Access is an electronic collection of historic United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publications related to organic agriculture. In this collection, there are almost 200 documents published before 1942 (before synthetic chemicals became widely used) that contain state-of-the-art information and data that is still very pertinent for today's agriculture. This collection is provided by the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC), a part of the National Agricultural Library (NAL),

PlantFacts
Horticulture and crop science information from 46 different colleges, universities, and government institutions across the United States and Canada. This searchable site run by the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University provides access to over 260,000 pages of Extension fact sheets and bulletins from every land-grant university in the U.S. and several government institutions across Canada. Try this resource even for non-plant research queries as their "plant" filter is porous.

FAOSTAT (MSU only)
FAOSTAT is an on-line and multilingual database currently containing over 1 million time-series records covering international statistics in the following areas: Production, Trade, Food Balance Sheets, Food Aid Shipments, Fertilizer and Pesticides, Land Use and Irrigation, Forest Products, Fishery Products, Population, Agricultural Machinery. The service provides extended on-line query and download limits (10,000 records per query) and unlimited access to FTP bulk download files. A copy of this data is also available on CD-ROM in GD/SSHR of the Main Library.

FAO Corporate Document Repository
The FAO Corporate Document Repository houses FAO documents and publications, as well as selected non-FAO publications, in electronic format. It enables users to easily access the accumulated knowledge and information produced by FAO directly on the Internet.
To view the new publications added to the repository in the last month, see new documents.
The advanced search provides the user with the means to carry out a specific search, by querying a particular field or combination of fields. There are three distinct advanced searches, one for meeting documents one for publications, such as books and journals, and one for articles.

Subject Guide

Suzanne Teghtmeyer
Contact:
Main Library
366 W. Circle Dr.
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-884-0894
teghtmey@msu.edu


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