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There is a huge amount of information on the Internet but the quality is variable. Some reliable sources are suggested below.
See also the tips and suggestions to help you evaluate what's good and what's not!
Key database giving references for agricultural publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines, including animal and veterinary sciences, entomology, plant sciences, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, farming and farming systems, agricultural economics, extension and education, food and human nutrition, and earth and environmental sciences.
Agriculture Network Information Centre (AgNic)
A US-based guide to quality Internet resources in agriculture, maintained by an alliance of libraries and organisations, including the National Agricultural Library. The database can be searched by keyword or browsed by subject, and each link is evaluated and described by a subject expert.
FAO Document Repository
Not a very friendly name, but a very useful resource. Gives full-text access to all Food and Agriculture Organization publications.
A portal allowing cross-searching of numerous scientific journals and public science databases.
Guides and tutorials
Engage in research
This site answers a wide range of questions about research and the scientific method. Includes interactive elements designed to test your knowledge.
Organisations and institutions
British Society of Animal Science
The British Society of Animal Science works to improve the understanding of animal science and the ways it can help ensure food is produced ethically and economically.
CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future.
The UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on environmental, food and rural issues.
Farmers Weekly Interactive
Daily news of worldwide agricultural issues, a searchable news archive, details of forthcoming events, and DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) press releases. Free access, but registration required
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Includes several databases with detailed statistics for production, trade and commodity supply and demand.
Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. They provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone.
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is the UK's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) aims to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons aim to enhance society through improved animal health and welfare.
The UK charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use.
The world's largest source of development assistance. Many full-text publications available.
Tips on evaluating websites
Before believing the information given on a web site, or quoting it in your essay or project, think about the following:
- Who is responsible for the page/site?
- Is it a reliable organisation (eg a well known university) or a subject expert?
- Can you trust them?
Accuracy and reliability
- Is the information correct?
- Is the grammar and spelling correct?
- Is it complete, or are they just giving one point of view?
- Do they have their own agenda eg political organisations?
- Is the information fact or opinion?
- Can you tell how up-to-date it is?
- Is it regularly updated?
- You don't want to quote out-of-date information
Audience / relevance
- Is the information of the right level to be quoted in your project? If it is aimed at the general public or school children it might not be!
- Is the site well structured and easy to navigate?
- Are the links from the page up-to-date and valid?
- If it is well designed and maintained then you can feel more confident about the information it provides
AgEcon Search [full-text]
A free, open access repository of journal articles, conference papers and working papers in agricultural and applied economics.
A gateway to development / environment information.