2024 Conference Posters

X Halt Salute: 20+ Years of Equitation Science Research.
Erin E. Kerby (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

According to the International Society for Equitation Science, equitation science can be defined as a field of study which “promotes an objective, evidence-based understanding of the welfare of horses during training and competition by applying valid, quantitative scientific methods that can identify what training techniques are ineffective or may result in equine suffering.”  While this is a relatively small field of study which includes researchers from a variety of disciplines, it has grown steadily over the past several decades into a significant body of peer-reviewed original research articles ripe for analysis.  I was interested to examine overall trends in the field, what specific topics have already been researched, and what collaborations were taking place amongst the researchers.  I envision this project as a two-part study using bibliometric methods to analyze the peer-reviewed equitation science literature.  This first part focuses on both publication-related and citation-related metrics, as well as some citation analysis, to pinpoint overall trends and performance.  I am still in the process of analyzing the data, but initial findings indicate that articles are most often published in veterinary journals and that the most prolific researchers in the field are in Australia.  In future, part two will employ further methods such as co-word and co-author analysis, as well as some type of network analysis, to further explore relationships in this field.


More user-friendly and direct: creating a workshop for a new discovery system with mixed user satisfaction
Noel Kopriva (University of Missouri-Columbia)

During the Fall of 2023, the results of an academic library’s user satisfaction survey highlighted extensive dissatisfaction with the library’s new discovery system, which had replaced its traditional online catalog. As expected, survey results showed that longtime expert OPAC users, such as faculty and graduate students (as well as the agriculture librarian herself) found the switch disorienting. Surprisingly, newer users who were expected to adjust quickly to the system also expressed confusion. For example, undergraduates in the school of agriculture indicated that they needed changes to make the system more user-friendly.

Throughout the survey process in 2023, library information technology services staff worked to improve the discovery system, taking the survey results into account as much as possible. Subject librarians have subsequently planned several educational opportunities for Spring 2024 to encourage use of the improved system. Since agriculture students have also indicated that they need help using the system, and since she herself wants to improve her own search experience, the agriculture librarian is developing a hybrid-format workshop to help researchers locate agriculture information more easily. Unlike workshops that provide either an overview of several library resources at once or an in-depth introduction to searching one subject database, this workshop will offer its attendees a chance to practice targeted searching for scientific information in a multi-subject, multi-database discovery system.

The workshop will be offered onsite at the library and via Zoom during February and March; attendee feedback will be collected after each workshop. The discovery system itself, as well as workshop assessment results and plans for new workshops, will be presented to and discussed with USAIN attendees. In all, attendees will learn how an agriculture librarian educated patrons and herself to help improve user experience of a discovery system that replaced a beloved longtime OPAC.


Plant Patent Color Image Database and Visualization
Isabella Baxter (University of Maryland, College Park)
Milan Budhathoki (University of Maryland, College Park)
Nevenka Zdravkovska (University of Maryland, College Park)
Jim Miller (University of Maryland, College Park)
Sarah Weiss (University of Maryland, College Park)
Russ Allen (Independent Researcher)

The Plant Patent Image Database provides an easily accessible collection of color plant patents. Plant patents have been produced since 1931 and many older patents do not have color versions readily accessible from the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) online resources. The University of Maryland Libraries is a designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center and serves as a repository for plant patents. Since 2014, a team has been scanning plant patents to create a digital collection of color images for researchers to browse and search. The database currently hosts images for over 34,000 patents and has been accessed by viewers all over the world.

The team has also developed the Plant Patent Metadata Portal, a web-based visualization project. This project began in 2020 and is ongoing. The visualization features a map showing locations of plant patent origins and assignees, with additional metadata for each patent. This application is built on ESRI’s cloud application and allows users to interact with plant patent metadata to enhance data visualization.

This poster reports on the history of the project and efforts to update the image database and visualization, as well as new directions for these resources. Future initiatives include a user assessment for both the database and the visualization to improve the interfaces. This poster will be of interest to librarians and researchers who wish to know more about plant patents. Audience members will learn about the project and how to access the database and visualization map as resources for plant patent research.


Evidence Synthesis Publishing Trends in Agricultural Economics
Kendra Spahr (Kansas State University)

This poster will present the preliminary findings of a bibliometric analysis of evidence synthesis publishing trends in agricultural economics. “Evidence synthesis” describes various methods to systematically identify, evaluate, and synthesize existing research. Evidence synthesis methods, such as systematic reviews, scoping reviews, and systematic maps, are well-established in the health sciences and used to inform practice and policy. As researchers in other disciplines adopt evidence synthesis methods, librarians who support social sciences researchers need to develop an understanding of research methods and publication practices for those disciplines.

This bibliometric study will help librarians and researchers understand publication trends in agricultural economics. The analysis will identify journals publishing evidence synthesis, yearly publication counts, and the types of evidence synthesis methods used by agricultural economics researchers. The analysis will be limited to studies in English, published after 1999.

As I develop methods for this bibliometric analysis, I anticipate identifying and classifying research as belonging to the discipline of agricultural economics will be challenging. I’m still exploring different methods. Web of Science's core collection assigns subject categories to journals, classifying 38 journals in the “agricultural economics and policy” category. EconLit, the primary index of economics literature, applies Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) classifications to articles, and some of these classifications could be used to identify studies in agricultural economics. Finalized methods for the analysis will be included in the poster presentation.


A Bibliometric Analysis of McGill University's Natural Resources department
Mylene Pinard (McGill University)

In 2021, the three major federal granting agencies in Canada published the Tri-Agency RDM Policy, which phased in a requirement for grant recipients “to deposit into a digital repository all digital research data, metadata and code that directly support the research conclusions in journal publications and pre-prints that arise from agency-supported research”. Currently, there is a high level of variation among researchers in different disciplines regarding norms and practices related to publishing data.

This 2-phase research project addresses the questions of where researchers of the department of Natural Resources Science (NRS), a large multidisciplinary department of McGill’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, publish and to what extent the data sharing policy of these journals comply with the Tri-Agency RDM policy.

This proposal is for the first phase of the project, which consists of a bibliometrics analysis to understand the publishing patterns of NRS researchers. It will present their research output and its citation characteristics over a 10-year period (2010-2020) using four databases (Web of Science Core Collection, Scopus, Cab Abstracts and Google Scholar). The author examined the type of material NRS researchers publish, identified a core set of journals in which researchers publish, and the degree of openness of their articles. The type of materials cited, the age of the references, which journals are most cited and their publishers, and which journals are available in the collection will also be discussed.

Analyzing NRS researchers’ publications through a bibliometrics study will allow the author to identify their publishing patterns, gather data for collection management decisions, and will inform the second phase of the project, which will analyze the data sharing policy of the core set of journals identified in this first phase.


Welcome to the Macdonald Campus Library! Adapting a library onboarding program for the local environment
Emily MacKenzie (McGill University)
Mylene Pinard (McGill University)

McGill University is a large, research-intensive academic institution with two campuses, served by the McGill University Library system, made up of several branch libraries. Recently, a revised library onboarding program was developed, focusing on three areas: 1- Position responsibilities, 2- Academic tenure-track contributions and expectations, and 3- Helping new librarians feel like part of the community. Given the differences in individual branch libraries, local adaptations are necessary for an effective onboarding experience.

The Macdonald Campus Library, a branch of the McGill University Library system, is the only branch library at the Macdonald Campus (approximately 35 km from the downtown campus). This distance causes challenges requiring unique adaptations to the onboarding program, such as integrating new librarians into the greater McGill Library community. Additionally, with a small staff, mentorship and networking opportunities are more limited, with exposure to fewer colleagues on a daily basis.

This poster will describe efforts made, and strategies used, to tailor the onboarding program at the local level, accounting for distance from the main campus, and small team size.


Unearthing the Past: Preserving and Utilizing Historic Data for Research
Kristen Mastel (University of Minnesota)
Lois Hendrickson (University of Minnesota)
Shannon Farrell (University of Minnesota)
Julie Kelly (University of Minnesota)

Historic data, a valuable resource for understanding climate changes, is often stored in analog formats, posing challenges in locating, interpreting, and adapting it for modern research. Scientists, librarians, archivists, and data managers from several US institutions are working on projects aimed at gathering, describing, and transforming historic data. Next steps include looking for other institutions to collaborate with on methodologies and strategies on working with analog data.

The projects involved intricate processes such as locating, describing, and connecting with individuals knowledgeable about the data's collection. Despite the labor-intensive nature, the use of contemporary technology helped with compiling data sets according to FAIR principles. Surveys and interviews underscored researchers' concerns about the potential loss of historic data, revealing a lack of established best practices and the inherent challenges associated with working with such data.

Collaborative efforts involving librarians, archivists, and data managers played a pivotal role in aiding individual researchers in producing accessible and reusable datasets. The urgent need to raise awareness about the value of historic data was underscored by its significance in environmental research and other disciplines, coupled with the imminent risk of loss as researchers retire, uncertain about preserving historic data in both analog and electronic formats.

As historic data gains recognition in the scientific landscape, it becomes essential to consider the broader context. Challenges associated with analog or print format data were explored, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful approaches to locate, describe, and transform data for current use, future research, and preservation. This poster delves into recent life sciences efforts at several organizations, encompassing general historic data initiatives. The activities ranged from interviews, surveys, and literature reviews to identifying, locating, organizing, describing, and reformatting datasets, contributing to an understanding and utilization of historic data in contemporary environmental research.


Needs and opportunities: Supporting agriculture and environmental science researchers at UC Davis
Emily Atkinson (University of California, Davis)

As a new research librarian and the sole librarian for agriculture and environmental science researchers at the University of California, Davis, I conducted a needs assessment of researchers within the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES). The motivation for this project arose after discovering that the most recent needs assessment had been conducted ten years prior and under a different library administration. Additionally, the previous needs assessment did not focus on the specific needs of agricultural researchers.

Semi-structured interviews with faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars within the CAES were conducted, including an interview with the Associate Dean. Interview questions were divided into sections and covered topics including needs for basic research support services such as literature searching and database access, instruction, research data management, research impact, evidence synthesis, online scholarly presence, and research funding.

Preliminary findings show numerous potential opportunities for increased engagement between the library and researchers within the CAES. Currently, the library’s strengths include new graduate student instruction and basic research support services such as literature searching and database access. Areas of improvement include research data management and evidence synthesis, which is primarily due to the fact that researchers are unaware that the library provides research support in these areas.

Next steps for this project will include a SOAR analysis (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results) in order to elucidate the more nuanced needs of agriculture and environmental science researchers at UC Davis. The overall goal of the SOAR analysis will be to identify the specific needs that are currently being met and the potential opportunities for increased engagement with CAES and improvement of library services.


Don’t Let Library Jargon Get Your Goat: Analogies for Agriculture Faculty and Students
Carol Sevin (Kansas State University)
Livia Olsen (Kansas State University Libraries)

Libraries are essential for supporting research, teaching, and learning in agriculture and related fields. However, library concepts and terms may not be familiar or intuitive for agriculture faculty and students, who may have different backgrounds, perspectives, and needs. How can librarians communicate effectively with this audience and help them make the most of the library resources and services?

One strategy is to use analogies to relate library concepts and terms to agriculture. Connecting library-ese and library activities to familiar ideas and language can bridge the gap between the library and agriculture domains making abstract or complex ideas more concrete and accessible. In this poster, we present examples of analogies that can help librarians communicate with agriculture scholars on topics related to library activities including instruction, literature research, and collection development.


Seed Library:  Dig into Seed Growing and Saving
Leora Siegel (Chicago Botanic Garden, Lenhardt Library)

The Seed Library at the Chicago Botanic Garden's Lenhardt library provides an opportunity for library visitors to “borrow” seeds to plant, grow, harvest, and save seeds for themselves and for return to the seed library for others to borrow the following season.

By offering free open-pollinated seeds with instructions on the growing cycle, borrowers become a part of the community of seed savers with shared knowledge to pass on to future generations of gardeners.

This poster will do a deep dive into our seed library and offer practical steps to easily replicate at other institutions.

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