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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ACDC - The Agricultural Communications Documentation Center

A guide to using the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

We are here to help you with your search!

For more guided help, please email us and we will work with you to find the information you need.

Link to Collection

BibLeaves Tips

How to search by document title:

With more specificity comes better results. If we know only some of the words of the title, we get better results by selecting the 'Title' delimiter than if we searched under 'All Fields.' For example, we might look up the book "Rural information systems" whose full title is "Rural information system: new directions in data collection and retrieval"

How to search by author:

If you want to search by author use the Contributor field. BibLeaves calls the author field "Contributor" because of the music collection it also houses, which has composers, not authors. When searching by author, the best practice is to begin by searching the last name only. Name variations are important to note while searching. Having an understanding of the potential institutional affiliation of the author you're searching for may make a difference.

How to search by subject term:

The subject terms used in cataloging the ACDC materials are available on the ACDC's website under "Search Term List." While this controlled vocabulary has been painstakingly put together over the years that the ACDC has been in existence, it is still being updated. Therefore, some terms that are not on the list have been introduced over the years. Furthermore, there are some instances of plural and singular versions of the same noun appearing in the keyword field. 

Another thing to be cognizant of is BibLeaves use of the term "keyword." As the people who developed this database were not librarians, there is some confusion over the use of the term "keyword." While some databases make a clear distinction between "keyword" and "subject terms," BibLeaves does not. Thus, while normally a keyword search means that the search will look for those words included anywhere, including the title, abstract, subject terms, and so on, here the keyword search is limited to crawling through the "keyword" field.​ The "all fields" search is more akin to the traditional "keyword" search, while "keyword" functions more like "subject" or "subject term."

By adding Boolean operators such as AND, OR or NOT, you can maximize your search.  

Ways to Narrow Your Search:

Format: This does not follow a controlled vocabulary, unlike the majority of library metadata. There are pros and cons to this approach, but the result is a very rich and descriptive number of options. Simply click on the arrow to peruse your options.

Publication year: self-explanatory. The years appear in order of frequency. The year with the largest number of records associated with it appears first. This is true for all of the delimiters in the left sidebar.

Topic: is synonymous with "Keyword." This allows you to search by author or title or keyword then further limit your search by a keyword.

Journal titles: gives a list of the journal names in which articles related to your search appear.

Publish year: this needlessly obscure and meaningless string of words limits your results by a time frame, such as "within the last year," "five years," etc.

Accessing Information

How to request a document from the ACDC collection:

  • Check the Notes section at the bottom of the database citation to see if it contains a URL. We try to include the URL whenever available, but the older documents in our collection are not available in digital form.
  • You can request one of those older documents or those which are not available online by filling out our request a document form
  • Search for the document's title or author in a search engine or subscription database for a full-text copy.
  • Check to see if the document's source (journal, book) is available from your local library.
  • If none of the above approaches proves successful, send us the document numbers and titles. We might be able to help you gain access, as long as we're within copyright guidelines. Shorter documents can often be scanned and sent electronically. In the case of longer copies, we can help arrange for access through options such as interlibrary loan.

Sample Search Topics

The ACDC collection can help you research topics like:

  • Information needs and information-seeking patterns of farmers and rural families
  • New communications technologies, as used in agricultural settings
  • Diffusion and adoption of agricultural ideas and practices
  • Rural-urban communications
  • Writing skills and styles, editing, photography, design, readability
  • Media selection, media relations, media effectiveness, traditional media
  • Communications planning, campaigns, advertising, public relations, selling
  • Extension and scientific communications, risk communications
  • Research needs and methods in agricultural communications
  • Indigenous knowledge, communications in development
  • Communicators, communicator effectiveness, ethical and other professional issues
  • Comparing advertisements/publications throughout a historical period of time

Contact us!

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center
510 ACES Funk Library
1101 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Telephone: 217-333-1347
acdc@library.illinois.edu