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In 2016, Clemson University Libraries (CUL) participated in a study through Ithaka S+R about research support services in the field on agricultural research. Eight researchers in Clemson University’s Department of Agricultural Sciences participated in a semi-structured interview (see Appendix) with the library liaison to the life sciences. Responses were transcribed and coded to identify themes and ways the library can further support agricultural research at CU.

The first major theme identified was that agricultural research overlaps with a stunning variety of subject areas and, as such, the research methods vary extensively. The projects are also widely collaborative with other departments on campus as well as with industry, practitioners, and educators around the state. This diversity makes it difficult to pinpoint anything specific that applies to all agricultural researchers equally, with the exception that they all feel the need for more time and money to complete their research. There were common themes dealing with the scholarly publishing process, especially with regard to open access.

While the library generally cannot help directly with obtaining more money or time, these findings have distinct implications for CUL services and resources. Although CUL does already provide many scholarly resources as well as a handful of services that assist with getting grants, publishing, and demonstrating value, these services need deeper support, and CUL must find novel ways to publicize such offerings and educate their constituents on what is available to them from the Libraries beyond books.