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Searchable Version of a Bibliography of Scientific Publications Based on Long-Term Crop Rotation Studies in the Canadian Prairies

Links: Abstract | Introduction | Materials and Methods | Search Bibliography | Discussion | References 

Discussion

We have created an aggregated bibliography for long-term crop rotation studies in the Canadian Prairies with the intention of facilitating research which is and will be conducted by present and future generations. It has been our experience that it takes time to sort through voluminous literature to get appropriate literature citations. It is generally easier to access papers published in referred scientific journals compared to those in the grey literature, such as conference proceedings, technical and extension bulletins, abstracts and so on. The other daunting task faced by students, professional and scientists is the availability of citations for comparative or scientific analysis of a particular topic for a number of related research sites. In our case, we have produced an aggregated bibliography for 13 crop rotation experiments at 6 research sites in the Canadian Prairies. This involved collaboration of individuals at specific locations and knowledge expertise to sort the publications. Overall, this effort is a very simple example of what has to be done to create and maintain literature being produced for different crop rotations studies at different locations.
 
In our case, we have also set out to develop a searchable, version of the aggregated bibliography by entering the data into a database. The second step of this activity was to develop queries to make the data searchable through web pages. We built on our experience of creating a searchable version of the Canadian System of Soil Classification7 which is currently residing on the pedosphere.ca website6. The advantage of a searchable version of a classification book or a bibliography is the ease of accessing information and multiple ways of exploring the data. For example, if one wanted to see all the work done at the Breton Plots across 24 subject headings, one would have to pull the references from the print or e-version of this document. It is much easier through a query via the web. The other advantage is the ease of global access.
 
Chinn and Beldsoe4 undertook a project to develop a US LTER All-site bibliography for 18 LTER sites that make up the LTER Network and make it accessible through the internet. They encountered enormous problems in gathering the information because it was being stored differently at individual sites. They used a simple, well-behaved dataset to learn how to assemble, structure and store data for online access. They also noted that it was more difficult to gather online information. Consistency of database is a primary problem and much computer programming is needed to create uniformity. By 1996, LTERnet had 12,000 citations. During the first five months of 1996, there were 1420 searches per month and by the end of the September 1996, the total was 34,1194. The key point from the above study is cutting-edge technology brings new problems and demands resources. However, if the database is maintained, then the utility of the searchable version increases exponentially.
 
This bibliography focussed only on the primary refereed journal papers and on other research publications such as reviews and book chapters that have evolved from these long-term crop rotation experiments. These are no doubt invaluable, especially to the scientific community. However, we did not include graduate student theses and hundreds of technology transfer type articles and talks that emanated from these studies, which provided information in language designed to facilitate the understanding of our findings to producers, policy makers and agricultural industry personnel. Some may even argue that the latter aspect was even more important than the scientific writings. Unfortunately, space and practicality did not allow the inclusion of such information in this treatise. Readers requiring technology transfer type information are encouraged to contact the research establishments to unearth such material. Nevertheless we hope that this bibliography will serve to provide evidence that the tremendous amount of money, effort and time that has been expended on these studies have not been wasted; in fact, the knowledge generated from these studies is now being used to address emerging issues such as climate change, sustainable cropping systems, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling and water use efficiency, many of which were not envisioned when the studies were first established.
 
As with any large data set compiled over many decades by many researchers, the findings presented in this bibliography will include some errors, misinterpretations, and oversimplifications. As research continues and understanding grows, these weaknesses are gradually corrected. For that reason, readers using this bibliography are steered to the most recent publications from a specific study, wherever possible. Further, they are encouraged to contact research personnel directly for current updates.

Table 4. Locations of crop rotation studies, names of research contacts and their respective institutions.
Location Research Contacts Institution
Breton Dr. Miles Dyck
Mr. Dick Puurveen
Dr. Jim Robertson
Dept. Renewable Res., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton
Indian Head Dr. Guy Lafond SPARC, AAFC*, Indian Head, SK
Lethbridge Dr. Elwin Smith
Dr. Henry Janzen
Dr. Ben Ellert
Dr. Frank Larney
LRC, AAFC, Lethbridge, AB
Melfort Dr. Alan Moulin BRC, AAFC, Brandon, MB
Scott & Swift Current Dr. Reynald Lemke
Dr. Con Campbell
SRC, AAFC, Saskatoon, SK
ECORC, AAFC, Ottawa, ON
*AAFC, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada

Intellectual property and copyright issues are important considerations. In our particular case, we have been given permission to create an online version of the aggregated bibliography from the management of the Prairie Soils and Crops Journal. This is most notable because permission from journal publishers is absolutely necessary in order to add value to the resource and make it globally accessible in alternate ways.

Acknowledgments

Ms. Erin Picard and Devon Worth, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Ottawa, for preparing the initial version of the bibliography and the diagram, respectively.

Citations:

Primary Source:
Campbell, C.A., Juma, N. G., Zentner, R.P., Smith. E., Izaurralde, R.C., Robertson, J.A., Dyck, M. and Janzen, H.H. 2012. A Bibliography of Scientific Publications Based on Long-Term Crop Rotation Studies in the Canadian Prairies. Prairie Soils and Crops 5:7-29. [http://www.prairiesoilsandcrops.ca] .

Searchable Version:
Juma, N.G., Campbell, C.A., Zentner, R.P., Smith, E., Izaurralde, R.C., Robertson, J.A., Dyck, M., Janzen, H.H and Harland, C.J. 2012. Searchable Version of a Bibliography of Scientific Publications Based on Long-Term Crop Rotation Studies in the Canadian Prairies [Online WWW]. Available URL: http://www.pedosphere.com/CanEduRes/crop_rotations/index.cfm [cite access date].

Direct Link to Bibliography Search Page:
Juma, N.G., Campbell, C.A., Zentner, R.P., Smith, E., Izaurralde, R.C., Robertson, J.A., Dyck, M., Janzen, H.H and Harland, C.J. 2012. Searchable Version of a Bibliography of Scientific Publications Based on Long-Term Crop Rotation Studies in the Canadian Prairies [Online WWW]. Available URL: http://www.pedosphere.com/CanEduRes/crop_rotations/bibliography.cfm [cite access date].

Links:
e-Learning Resources > Key Canadian Soil Science references > Crop Rotations Bibliography

 
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