Want to build a water garden? Bam, here is how to do it. Have questions about credit cards? Kapow, here are the answers. Need some information on the best forage for your livestock this time of year? Coming right up.
Possibilities are endless. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service fact sheets cover everything from selecting the right lawn grass for your home to nutrition to water measurement units and common diseases of tomatoes.
The information always has been there, but now it is in the palm of everyone’s hand.
“The mobile-friendly fact sheets are a great example of taking science-based information and literally putting it into people’s hands,” said Tom Coon, vice president of Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “This new service will be a great resource for everyone from hobbyist gardeners to beef producers who need accurate information delivered to them in the most timely manner possible.”
Since the beginning, in 1914, Extension has generated and disseminated fact sheets, originally called bulletins, to the general public.
These fact sheets are research-based, peer-reviewed, unbiased and oftentimes Oklahoma-focused bits of information delivered through any means possible.
Extension fact sheets have been available online since 1997 through the OSU Print on Demand system.
The most popular of the nearly 1,300 fact sheets available online has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in the last 18 months.
More than 8 million PDF-version fact sheets were downloaded over the past two years. However, the transition to the mobile-friendly site will allow for a much more enjoyable and effective user experience.
“With more people accessing the internet from mobile devices, it’s imperative that we have our information in a format that displays on these devices,” said Randy Taylor, OCES assistant director. “Anyone who is searching for unbiased, research-based information can benefit from the mobile-friendly fact sheets. This may be some of our traditional Extension clientele searching for answers on their mobile device or someone who has never heard of Extension, but needs an answer to a question.”
The mobile-friendly documents include links to helpful websites and provide direct interaction with the authors, who are OSU experts, via email.
“At this point, the authors of each publication are linked so that readers can email them directly,” Taylor said. “Some fact sheets have embedded video. However, we see a lot of opportunity to include more video and other interactive features in the future.”
Nearly all OSU Cooperative Extension and research fact sheets, leaflets and other documents are available, free of charge, at facts.okstate.edu. Each piece of literature is peer reviewed and updated to keep the most current and accurate information available to the public.
The system is designed to be user-friendly and can be navigated several different ways. Users may browse through the site by academic departments or by topical categories and there is a search tool, which allows users to search by subject matter, fact sheet number or title.
For more than 100 years, OCES has been dedicated to extending knowledge and improving the lives of Oklahomans, communities and the entire state.
Visit facts.okstate.edu on any smart devices to get OSU expertise any time, anywhere.