Literature database GrassCOPS (Grassland Conference Paper Search): making better use of the potential of conference book literature

  • Heike Paesel Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Johannes Isselstein


As agriculture faces enormous challenges which require innovative solutions, science and research are expected to adapt to these circumstances and play a more active role regarding the solution of sustainability problems (“transformative science”). National grassland conferences provide a platform for science and practice to meet regularly, while the resulting conference proceedings are a valuable source when it comes to analysing the ‘potential for transformation’ inherent in the research presented. Against this background, an online search tool, named GrassCOPS, for conference literature in the fields of grassland science has been set up within the EU-project Inno4Grass. The tool is meant to improve the accessibility of practice-oriented knowledge from national grassland research and thereby to further suppport discussions on grassland innovations with scientific information. It does not evaluate research quality, which varies apparently, given that, for publications of conference proceedings, quality assurance mechanisms are less prevalent than for international scientific journals. The tool is accessible at in English and offers detailed filter criteria for a targeted article search. An analysis of the data currently stored in the database indicates that national grassland conference literature is gradually adapting to the societal expectations concerning science and may contain a significant amount of practice-related findings worth sharing with the international grassland community. Papers from conferences organised by the German-speaking “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Grünland und Futterbau” (AGGF), for example, show a trend towards studies with larger spatial scales and increased transdisciplinarity, which entails increased spatial explanatory power of results and a stronger involvement of affected stakeholders.