ACDC Database Search Tips



Copyrights and other restrictions do not permit us to provide full-text access to many materials we identify and collect. Also, many documents in the ACDC collection predate digital technologies. However, a number of search strategies are available to help you identify documents of interest and gain access to them. Here are a few tips.

Starting your search

Start at the ACDC homepage:

Scroll down and click on “Start your Search” (left panel)

In the BibLeaves search box (top left), conduct individual keyword and cross-term searches. We use an extensive thesaurus, so don’t hesitate to review it to identify search terms and learn about the breadth of subject interest.

Also, bear in mind that every document in ACDC contains elements of both communications and agriculture. So if you search on a communications term such as “radio” you will identify documents about radio related to agriculture. If you search on an agriculture-related term such as “dairy” you will identify documents related to communications involving dairy products and industry – in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Also, keep in mind that you can do cross-term searching if you wish. We do deep subject indexing (often 10-20 search terms) to help you connect your interests with the content in each document. To multiply value for you, we also document individual chapters in edited books and individual papers presented in published proceedings.

You can also watch our video tutorial on how to locate documents on Bibleaves to help you get started.

Sample search strategies

Here are a variety and sample search strategies to help you identify documents of interest:

“food safety”

consumers attitudes “genetic modification”

“communication education”


farmers “information sources” Kenya

“climate change”


history “farm journals”

“rural development” india

Reviewing the documents you retrieve

A list of documents will come up, arranged by “relevance.” If you prefer, instead, to see them arranged from most recent to least recent, go to the “Sort by” link (right side) and use the drop-down list to change the order from “relevance” to “publication date.”  Similarly, you can select the number of documents you prefer to review per page.

Gaining access to documents of interest to you

When you see a document title that interests you, click on it to get a complete citation. Then click on “Librarian view” (right side) which sometimes includes further information.  In particular, look in the “Notes” section of the citation for a URL, which will permit you to copy/paste and gain access to the documents online. Of course, the citations for journal articles or other periodicals may help you gain access to desired documents which are available to you locally.

If no URL is in the citation, try to gain full-text access via the open web by using a title search on your usual search engine (e.g., Google).

If those steps do not provide full-text access, notify us of the document title and number or fill out our document request form. We will check on the possibility of being able to scan it and send it to you in digital form.   This is a documentation center, so all of the documents identified by citation in our database are available in ACDC or elsewhere in the University of Illinois Library system on campus here.

Sample topics:

  • 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