The academic foundations of future sheep research projects are now on file in perpetuity, with detailed research papers from the Sheep CRC to be permanently housed on the Livestock Library.
The Livestock Library provides one-stop digital access to a wide range of Australian scientific publications, conference proceedings and reports on sheep and cattle research.
It was established by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) and the Beef CRC with the aim of reducing the risk of research being repeated because researchers were not aware of previous studies that were only available in print.
"It is now an increasingly important resource for archiving material from the Sheep and Beef CRCs to ensure that the information will always be available as an industry reference resource," Sheep CRC chief executive James Rowe said.
"In addition to the core resources of the proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production, the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics and Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition in Australia, the library also contains proceedings from workshops and special purpose conferences, scoping papers, unpublished reviews, and special purpose reports.
"It is an incredible resource that is well-used by students, but it also offers a great reference point for all sectors of the livestock industries.
"For example, there are reviews of the significance of seasonal weight loss as a possible genetic trait; market research reports on the value of improved reproductive efficiency; progress reports on development of walk-over weighing and quantifying the benefits of precision sheep management."
The Livestock Library is now managed by the Animal Genetics Breeding Unit (AGBU) at the University of New England, ensuring that the resource will continue to benefit the industry long after the CRC term is completed.
In building the online library the first job was to scan in all of Australia's livestock industry conference and research publications, dating back to the early 1950s as this early period of research tackled most of the major production issues and provided information that remains relevant today.
As well as the early conference proceedings, this exercise included publications in key Australian agricultural journals: the Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and the Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, and CSIRO Publishing now host these resources.
"More recently the Sheep CRC has started the process of reviewing all project documents and reports held electronically on its internal project management system and loading the most important reports and project documents into the Livestock Library," Prof. Rowe said.
"They will be available for 'browsing' in a special Sheep CRC directory, but also searchable on key words and author details, as well as via Google and Google Scholar."
Sheep CRC research papers can be accessed on the Livestock Library at www.livestocklibrary.com.au.
Media contact: Michael Thomson on 07 4927 0805 / 0408 819 666