Getting Better Results with Agricola

CSES, HORT, AECT, PLPA, HESC Agriculture Librarian

Necia Parker Gibson's picture
Necia Parker Gibson
Mullins Library 220N

Email is the best way to contact me.

I've set my office phone to forward to my cell phone. We'll see how that works.

I'm working from home starting 3/16/2020 until further notice. Email or use the text number below. If you want me, particularly, ask for me.

Text a librarian: 479-385-0803

For students, faculty, and staff I will:
Answer your questions via email, phone or Skype or Facetime (until we are back to face to face).
Recommend databases for your topic.
Meet individually to work out your topic or discuss research strategies.

For faculty, I will:
Provide in-person library instruction tailored to your class, or tailored research guides to your class, with some lead time.

Meet with your students individually or in small groups.
Track down tricky citations. Purchase books and other materials, as funds allow.

I do consultations via email, Skype or Facetime (as well as face to face, when we can again).
Email me for an appointment.

Searching in Agricola

Search Agricola using your chosen terms, along with Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT (or the operators in the dropdown menus); the truncation symbol * gets variations such as other word endings and plural forms.

For example: (cotton or gossypium hirsutum) and (water or irrigat*)

This works much better than typing in a topic sentence, like "What is the effect of irrigation on the weight of cotton produced per hectare?"

Use the "Find It" button to locate items.

Searches may be limited to author, corporate author, title, journal title (source), subjects, geographic terms, language, affiliation, series and publication date, among other ways.

You may use field codes to limit a search, such as AU Oliver, (au is the code for author's name), or you may choose the limiter from the dropdown menus. See the field codes box for more information.

Note: the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Library's version of the database works very differently-- be aware that your results will vary if you change versions.

Agricola's indexes or lists

Agricola has 'indexes' that are lists of authors, journal titles, subjects and geographic terms. There are also indexes of authors' names, country of publication, affiliations, and corporate authors.

Watch out for different forms of an author's name if you are trying to find all of his or her work-- they are most commonly listed with initials, rather than full names.

It is a good idea to check the subject list to see that you are using the best terms for your topic.  Some terms are very specific, some are broad-- and some are unexpected. 

Stop Words

Use of stop words in regular searches may retrieve sets of materials that aren't what you had in mind. This is one of the reasons a topic sentence is often not the best search.

Stopwords are commonly used words such as articles, pronouns, and prepositions.  For example, 'the', 'for', and 'of' are stopwords. These words are not indexed for searching in the database. When a stopword is used in a query, any single word or no word is retrieved in place of the stopword.