Agricultural experiment station faculty and administrator attitudes and perceptions regarding placing research results on the Internet

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American Society for Horticultural Science

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I investigated perceptions of Agricultural Experiment Station (AES)-supported faculty and administrators regarding faculty involvement in placing AES-supported research on the World Wide Web (Web). Four populations were surveyed with a Web-based survey: all AES-supported faculty at Utah State University; AES-supported faculty in distinct horticulture departments at land-grant universities; AES state directors; and department heads/chairs in AES-supported horticulture departments. The survey queried the merits of placing research results on the Web and the degree of institutional support and actual faculty involvement in this process. All four groups agreed that placing AES-supported research results online was important and that faculty will need to become more conversant with the Web to do so. Overall, department heads were the least supportive of faculty involvement with placing research findings on the Web, and faculty were ambivalent regarding whether it interfered with other work. Most respondents reported little in the way of institutional support, policies, and mechanisms to help faculty get research online. About one-third of both faculty groups were able to balance an online AES-supported research presence with existing duties, and interest in doing so was high in the rest. Developing an online research presence is an opportunity for AES-supported faculty to make more of their agricultural research findings available in new and interpretive way to a broader constituency, both traditional and new. Doing so will likely require leadership from state AES directors in terms of policies and technical support.

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