This work package will develop an archive of farm practice or activity data for representative farm systems in the UK, including information on fertiliser inputs; fertiliser and manure management; livestock feeding and breeding practices; and industry trends on the adoption of key mitigation practices such as anaerobic digestion and increased efficiency of nitrogen use. These data will be key to representing the impact of changes in farm practice on methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Whilst the work package intends to make best use of existing national surveys and industry monitoring data, it is recognised that not all aspects of UK #agriculture are adequately surveyed. Therefore, we will also scope a UK wide systematic survey of farm practices targeted at meeting the future needs of an improved gaseous emissions calculation methodology.
The first stakeholder workshop was held in March 2011 in Birmingham, with the aim of gathering feedback on the farm systems proposed for inclusion within the inventory and to gather recommendations on the mitigation methods that will need to be captured through the reporting:
Project AC0114 is managed as a collaborative project through an Expert Steering Group made up of the following principal investigators from the project partners:
Dr Steven Anthony (ADAS UK Ltd – Project Manager) Dr Tom Misselbrook (North Wyke Research – WP 1 Lead) Dr Kairsty Topp (Scottish #Agricultural College – WP 2 Lead) Dr Adrian Williams (Cranfield #University – Science Director and WP 3 Lead) Dr Ulli Dragosits (CEH Edinburgh – WP 4 Lead) Professor Andy Whitmore (Rothamsted Research – WP 5 Lead) Mr Laurence Smith (Organic Research Centre – WP 6 KE Lead) Dr Eileen Wall (Scottish Agricultural College – WP 7 Lead) Professor Pete Smith (Aberdeen University) Dr Catherine Watson (AFBI-NI) Dr Les Crompton (Reading University) The AC0114 project will span January 2011 to June 2015 and is composed of 7 separate work packages:
I’ve been pondering the question, as part of my #Research Fellowship training and academic reputation development plan: If I was to concentrate my #reputation building into a subset of journals what might they be? I decided to think about what journals I cite from and what journals I am cited in. To do this I used the bibliometrics from the Web of Science database to analyse my papers. I then used the allied Journal Citations Reports database to explore more about these Journals and their subject categories. I’ve looked in detail at all those journals where there are two or more #citations (about 1/3-1/2 of the total)
Who do I cite?
I’ve charted the results by number of papers that I’ve cited. It is worth noting that over half of the references that I use in any one paper refer to non peer-reviewed sources of data, such as farm management costings books and #agricultural statistics.
What strikes me is that I have done two things: 1) drawn in a wide range of underpinning literature on the science of agriculture and the environment, 2) drawn in a lot of scientific literature that has to do with Operational Research and or agricultural/ environmental systems. This is a clue as to how I maybe working as a scientist.
Who cites me?
I’ve repeated the analysis and considered which journals are the source of citations to me.
Again there is a subset of dominant journals citing my work. Two of them; Agricultural Systems and Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment; are dominant in both. A noticeable change from the journals that I cite is the absence of Operational Research and the addition of engineering, production and technology amongst titles. This is again another clue about how I seem to be doing ‘science’.
Science consumer to science producer
To get a clear idea about how I map the science I consume into science consumed by others I decided to group all the Journal titles into their subject categories. Where a Journal was categorised over more than one category I split the paper counts equally. I then compared the two after normalising to 100% to bring both counts onto the same scale . Colour coding and shading helped pick out broad groups. This is all shown in this column chart.
The shift in subject categories is quite strong. I am very much an applied Mathematician and Operational Researcher as I consume its science, but don’t produce the science consumed by it. Overall I consume science from all three of my degrees: Agriculture, Applied Environmental Science, and Operational Research (see below). I combine that within a systems modelling framework and produce insights into agricultural and environmental systems that are of benefit to managers, engineers, technologists, applied [multidisciplinary] scientists, and fellow systems modellers and analysts.
This does seem a rational picture in hindsight, but much more telling given this hard data. It does lend support to the idea that the group that I have been part of provided a key service to Agricultural Engineering. I joined the group at the former Silsoe Research Institute (SRI); a Public Sector Research Organisation specialising in agricultural engineering and its offshoots.
I’ve a much clearer idea of how I work as a scientist and where I make my contribution: The impact and identification of better, newer, or greener on the decisions that shape agricultural and environmental systems.
The shortlist of journals that I should focus on are the ones that I am cited from and that I cite from. This set includes Agricultural Systems, Biosystems Engineers (formerly Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research), and Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.
A tilt towards where my science is consumed makes sense so International Journal of #Life Cycle Assessment, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Environmental Management are strong candidates.
I need to consider Journal remits and bibliometric impact factors to really establish a core set.
What could be a fun addition is to consider the subject mappings that includes in a middle column where I’ve published.
Reputation is social mental construct that lives a very real existence entirely outside of you. It is the other person’s perception of another person’s perception of you. Essentially, it is social proof of trust in you. It can be influenced, it can be destroyed, but it can’t be explicitly created. It is slow to grow and readily damaged.
Reputation can inspire those around and motivate you to reach great fulfillment of self. Reputation precedes you and can make people far away defend your name as well as being a great marketing asset.
1a) What area of research do you want to be recognized for?
I want to be best known for research into the impact of better, novelty, innovation, and change on farmers’ decisions and #agricultural systems
2) to fully grasp the environmental burdens of decisions I develop agricultural system model-based Life-Cycle Assessments (LCA). These are quantitative hard-systems engineering approaches.
2) Do you want to be known as a specialist or a generalist?
Operational researchers are interdisciplinary generalists. I am a relative specialist with my core competence at the interface of #agriculture, decisions, and the environment. I can be flexible and already extend towards modelling connections out to waste water treatment and renewable energy systems
3) Which academics around the world do you admire and why?
Ian Frommer (@or4green) came to my attention several years ago as a prolific blogger and tweeter of Operational research for Green. Ian Frommer is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy* in New London, CT with interests in energy and the environment. I admire Ian for bringing the area of #Operational Research and the Environment to greater prominence on social media
I first came to read Stafford Beer‘s works in the 1990s and gained many of my formative influences as an Operational Researcher. I liked that he was a good communicator, a conceptual thinker on management cybernetics, and a of bit left field character
Eric Audsley I admire for his thought leadership in my field in the UK and Europe, for his stewardship of the same and for the numerous models and programs of his that I use. He has been my line manager and or project manager since October1996 at the former Silsoe Research institute
Andres Weintraub (left) a Professor in the department of industrial engineering in the University of Chile and Carlos Romero (right) a professor of economics at the Technical University of Madrid I first met at The Euro Summer School on Operational Research in Agriculture and #Forestry management in 2009 in Lleida and Solsona, Spain. I admire both for their career long prestige and international stewardship of my field, best embodied as two of the four editors of The Handbook of Operations Research in Natural Resources
I admire Richard Dawkins fierce integrity in challenging society’s preciously held eternal truths and his broad spectrum skills at communication of science via many different media
Christopher Ryan, PhD really impressed me by having an idea that changes the way we can see the world. I was impressed that he wrote it up as a New York Times bestseller and presented it a TED conference. His academic and communication skills are impressive and as is his fearlessness in confronting taboos, norms and beliefs with science.
Brian Camm, David Morris, and Bill Dilke from Seale Hayne College and Paul Webster and Nigel Williams from Wye College all helped inspire and teach me quantitative approaches to farm planning and control. A big shout out goes to Professor Jim France and Dr Les Compton for their stewardship of Agricultural Research Modellers Group
What are my take outs for top role model traits: Thought & opinion leadership, stewardship, communication skills, advocacy, perseverance, honesty, integrity, & trustworthiness.
What doesn’t take prominence: I know nothing of their private wealth nor if they wield political power. I am more aware of their intellectual achievements, but I can’t often say that they are directly useful to me. The later point is a bit like Antarctica…it feels good to know it exists, but I’ve never been there.
What matters here is that reputation is a natural outgrowth of one’s self and one that is easily damaged if you are caught faking it. Trust is fragile and social proof of trust can turn against you.
4) What key activities do you want to do that define who you want to be?
a) Research: Applied agricultural systems decision modelling
b) Communication: Written, oral and digital channels to peers, clients, industry & public
c) Leadership: Contribute ideas and coordinate networks
d (a) Educator & Trainer
d (b) Life long learner
5) What is your publication strategy?
Number of papers to date?
Number of papers you want?
1? Journal of the Operational Research Society
0.91 2013/2014 journal impact factor – Kudos and contribution to my profession
9) What items of esteem/ activity do you NOT value?
None of these are bad per se, but one needs to carefully balance costs with benefits.
Excessive membership of Professional societies
Excessive refereeing of papers and grant proposals
Onerous conference/ session organization
10) What is your dissemination strategy?
The outcomes of my work tend to best inform the thinking of scientists, engineers, the policy community, and the more progressive innovative section of the farming community. The dissemination ‘ecosystem’ is in a state of flux with the advent of open access journals and digital & social media bringing everything to within a Google mouse click. The trend maybe away from print to digital, but face to face is important. Being out there is good, being found above the white noise is better.