It’s getting harder to find information online about the increasingly complex techniques for managing citrus greening disease. (I wonder whether we fully appreciate how complicated the information access problem in our industry has become.) As one example of many, where do you go online if you want to find a simple answer about how a particular nutritional product works when used in combination with a particular insecticide? These kinds of answers should be available online in an easy-to-use-and-access format.
Citrus will always be a face-to-face business, and you have to talk to people to stay current in markets and production methods. There’s also a lot of good (and bad) information online about citrus management. It’s not organized well across all sites, though. But here are several websites, search techniques and even an app (for Mac) that together help you find the most current in-progress and published research. These sites help you evaluate how reliable is the information you get from conversations, meetings, popular articles and field personnel.
ScienceDirect at sciencedirect.com ScienceDirect is a full-text scientific database of journal articles and book chapters. It includes sources from around 2,500 journals and 26,000 books. Searching ScienceDirect will lead you to abstracts, from which you can purchase papers and publications. The information is high quality. One difference between ScienceDirect and Google Scholar (see below) is that ScienceDirect is a paid service while Google Scholar is free.
Science Daily at sciencedaily.com Science Daily is my secret weapon for ideas. It’s a great source for the latest research news across many subjects. Science Daily doesn’t usually lead you to research publications; rather it’s a science news source. The difference between Science Daily and other news sources, however, is that the quality of the news at Science Daily is better than other sites you commonly come across. This is because they harvest their reports using news from organizations such as the Entomological Society of America and other professional groups. Spend some time searching for topics at Science Daily. You’ll walk away with new ideas.
Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) at citrusrdf.org The CRDF organizes and funds research related mostly to managing citrus greening. Its mission is to advance innovative disease and production research and product development to ensure the survival and competitiveness of Florida citrus growers. Their website provides in-progress research reports and information about upcoming projects. Their Quarterly Report Archive is a great resource for tracking important citrus projects as they are performed.
Florida State Horticultural Society (FSHS) at fshs.org The FSHS has professional development resources, like job posting, newsletters and, of course, their Annual Proceedings. It also has a powerful search feature for all FSHS Proceedings dating back to 1888 (http://fshs.org/category/proceedings/). One difference between the CRDF and the FSHS search engines is that CRDF presents in-progress research and FSHS presents published papers. Used together, the CRDF and FSHS sites are a good way to audit the value of research as it moves from theory to practice.
FDOCGrower at fdocgrower.com The Florida Department of Citrus has economics, marketing and scientific research resources at fdocgrower.com. The Economic Research section under the dropdown tab of the same name, has information on imports, exports, processor reports and more. Their Marketing Research section contains Nielsen sales figures, and their Scientific Research section has information on processing and by-products. Visit their excellent site to see more information on a variety of topic related to the packing, processing and marketing of citrus.
American Society for Horticultural Science at ashs.org You need to check out this site if you haven’t already. The ASHS has several publications, including HortScience, HortTechnology and the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. All three resources are good for finding research papers about citrus. The difference between the ASHS and the CRDF is that ASHS includes all of horticulture. The scope of ASHS is global, whereas CRDF and FSHS focus primarily on Florida.
Google Scholar Google Scholar searches across many academic publications and literature. It is a single-source venue for search across many disciplines and includes books, articles and abstracts. The sources originate from academic publishers, professional societies, universities and other web sites. Searching for “florida citrus rootstock”, for example, returns about 19,000 citations. The correct way to use this information is to narrow your search to focus in on your main topic. For example, adding the term, “us-897” to your initial query drops the number of results to about 61, which is more manageable. The difference between Google Scholar and regular Google is that Google Scholar biases toward authoritative information and shows few, if any, ads.
DevonAgent Pro You probably gathered that searching all of the sites that could have information you’re looking for can get daunting. Well, there’s an app to solve that problem. It’s called DevonAgent Pro (Fig. 1). DevonAgent Pro is Mac only (I’ve used it for years), but you can configure a single search query to scrape all major and minor search engines at the same time. (One example setup I use is shown in Fig. 1.) DevonAgent Pro will then weed out all the junk based on criteria you provide, and then present its results in its own browser. The greatly speeds your ability to find information across a multitude of different websites. One difference between DevonAgent Pro and Google Scholar is that DevonAgent Pro will source, for example, a search set similar to the 19,000 that Google would find. But DevonAgent Pro does that across several sites and then filters those many thousands of results to remove the bad references for you.
Author disclaimer The information in this article is provided “as is”. The authors and publisher of this article disclaim any loss or liability, either directly or indirectly as a consequence of applying the information presented, or in regard to the use and application of any of this information, in whole or in part, for any purpose whatsoever. No guarantee is given, either expressed or implied, in regard to the merchantability, accuracy, or acceptability of the information. Dr. Steven Rogers is a well-known innovator of digital technologies in citrus and works with FSHS on their member website.