Kansas Ag Experiment Station unveils new publishing platform

Preliminary research reports now available in new online publication platform; current topics include fertilizer and beef cattle research.

Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers on campus in Manhattan, Kan., and at centers around Kansas conduct studies in nearly all areas of agricultural production for K-State Research & Extension.

Preliminary reports of research results are now available through "KAES Research Reports," a new online publication hosted by New Prairie Press (NPP) at the Kansas State University Libraries. Current issues are dedicated to field and fertilizer research around the state and to beef cattle research.

"These former print publications are now available in an attractive and well done electronic format hosted by the library," said Ernie Minton, associate director of research for Kansas State Research & Extension.

"Over the years, it became clear that many were not using the printed literature. We switched to publishing on CDs, which was less expensive than printing. However, there was not a good indication these were being used either," he said. As people have moved on to tablets and small computers (with no CD drives), an electronic, online solution seemed to be the best option for dissemination of these reports, he added.

Reports dedicated to projects from the Southeast Agricultural Research Center (beef cattle, forage crops, soil and water management and cropping systems), Southwest Research-Extension Center (cropping and tillage systems, soil fertility, weed science and irrigation), Agricultural Research Center-Hays (beef cattle) and K-State turfgrass, swine and dairy teams are posted on a continuing basis as they become available for issues throughout the year.

Open access publisher

Kansas State's NPP is the library's open access scholarly publisher. Articles are freely available online to the world, with no financial barriers to access, said Charlene Simser, Kansas State Libraries professor.

"All of our journals are peer reviewed, each with their own editorial board, just like a traditional publisher. NPP also publishes conference proceedings and e-books. We are a full-service platform for authors, with editorial workflows built in, from submission through peer review and publication of articles," she said.

Simser added that a link to archival holdings in Kansas State Research Exchange (K-REx) is available from the KAESRR website to provide access to the full range of reports.

NPP provides an intuitive, search interface and is easy for users to browse, she said.

"We brought these diverse publications under one common look and format and in one spot. It will be easier for people to find and print our research reports," Minton said. "And they will be more easily promoted through online methods, such as social media."

Minton said K-State researchers also will know better who is accessing their information through analytics and reports.

"One of the benefits to authors is a robust dashboard, with number of downloads, countries where other institutions are accessing their articles, referrals (where people are clicking to find their content, such as Google, or another website)," Simser said. "Content is regularly crawled. So content posted today will be available through Google Scholar search tomorrow.

"We are delighted to have the ag experiment station on board," she said. "The authors will enjoy seeing their analytics. In the first week, we saw 102 downloads of reports."

Follow @KAESRR on Twitter for updates on reports and visit Research Reports to view and download recent reports and issues dedicated to individual topics or to subscribe to updates. 

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