USDA Agency Retools Its Monthly Science News Magazine
By Jan Suszkiw
Agricultural Research has been a flagship publication of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) since 1953. This month, ARS debuts a new, all-digital version of the magazine called AgResearch that will make better use of information delivery and technology to meet the needs of an increasingly tech-savvy, time-pressed global audience.
In this and subsequent monthly issues, "Site visitors will encounter a new look and content layout to complement the ag-research reporting that's come to define the magazine over the years," according to ARS Administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.
The monthly magazine is designed for a diverse, lay, non-scientific audience. The information will be useful for those interested in food and agriculture, including farmers/ranchers, commodity and industry groups, Federal and private researchers, policymakers (including Congressional members), regulatory agencies and the American public.
Jacobs-Young says AgResearch's digital layout is a "responsive" one, automatically adjusting to the site user's browser window or mobile device for optimal viewing. In addition to high-resolution images, articles are accompanied by call-out boxes summarizing key facts to help users quickly access information.
The site's intuitive design makes it easy to find links for additional resources, including videos, subject-matter experts and published scientific works. AgResearch also boasts "sharing" capabilities for the social-media-minded.
Jacobs-Young says ARS will continue to assess this and its other communications products to address customer and stakeholder needs and demands, with a focus on mobile users who want their news and information on the go.
Most importantly, though, AgResearch continues the tradition of excellence in reporting the latest research endeavors of the agency's nearly 2,000 scientists to the public, producers, stakeholders and industry.
The new AgResearch magazine can be found at http://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov. Users are encouraged to sign up to receive email alerts when a new issue is posted each month by sending an email that says, "Subscribe" in the subject line to email@example.com.