Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PubAg: Providing Open Access to agricultural research

PubAg is the National Agricultural Library's (NAL) search system for agricultural information. It provides access to quality agricultural research publications both from USDA-affiliated researchers as well as from external ones. authored and other highly relevant agricultural research. When it was launched, it started with a number of 40,000 full-text journal articles provided by USDA staff  and including about 450,000 citations to both internal and external publications. The aim of the National Agricultural Library is the enrichment of the available content on a monthly basis, by adding about 20,000 citations each month.

PubAg provides access to full-text articles relevant to the agricultural sciences, along with citations to peer-reviewed journal articles. Each resource is described with metadata, including

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • NAL terms: They are clickable, so by clicking one of them, you get a list of results tagged with the specific term.
  • Names of Authors: They are clickable, so by clicking one of them, you get a list of results from the specific author.
  • Citation
  • Link to the publisher's record (through DOI): The link can be used to access the metadata record of the publisher and hopefully the full-text article, if it is openly shared (i.e. it is not available behind a paywall).
In addition, each metadata record can be exported as CSV or printed; in the latter case, the user receives a printer-friendly version of the metadata record.

A metadata record in PubAg

On the other hand, when a user want to perform a query with specific terms, he can use a free-text search box. Words entered into the search box are automatically translated into subject terms from the NAL Thesaurus (NALT) and the corresponding documents tagged with these NALT terms are retrieved and presented to the user.

List of results after a query

As of today, PubAg provides access to about 972,000 metadata records and 42,000 full-text articles. 200,000 records reflect on research published after 2012, which makes the content really up to date.

 I was also surprised to find a few of my publications on the PubAg portal!

Who would have thought...(some of) my publications available through PubAg!
Thanks to the ongoing work related to GACS (Global Agricultural Concept Scheme), this large database of quality agricultural research outcomes will be easily interconnected with others, such as the FAO AGRIS (that Agro-Know is maintaining and expanding, boasting almost 8M records) and the CAB Abstracts (about 2M records). This is expected to greatly facilitate the work of agrifood researchers, information and knowledge managers, among others.