Indigenous Knowledge center bibliography published by Libraries Open Publishing

December 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries’ Open Publishing unit recently launched a new bibliography, the Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Rural Development (CIKARD) Bibliography, compiled by the late Dennis Michael Warren and edited by Amy Paster, head of the Life Sciences Library, and Helen Smith, agricultural sciences librarian.

Warren founded CIKARD at Iowa State University in 1987 as a center focused on collecting and preserving the indigenous information and knowledge of farmers and rural people from around the world, with the goal of making that information available to local communities, development professionals and scientists. Warren authored numerous research papers and books, including "The Cultural Dimension of Development: Indigenous Knowledge Systems."

“Having access to this bibliography comes at a fortuitous time when the importance of indigenous knowledge is increasingly being recognized as vital to address social and ecological problems such as global food insecurity, ecological degradation, loss of biodiversity and the challenge of adapting to global climate change,” said Audrey Maretzki, professor emeritus of food science and nutrition in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

In 2010, the Libraries was gifted the CIKARD collection from Iowa State. While many of the physical items were journal reprints, more than 400 unique books, reports and conference proceedings were added to the Penn State Libraries collection.

The annotated bibliography represents the original collection of indigenous knowledge and rural development items from Iowa State, primarily from the 1990s. Items fall into one or more of 11 categories: agroforestry, aquatic resources, biodiversity, ecology, ethnobotany, natural resource management, rainforest, soil, sustainable agriculture, traditional medicine, and water management. The bibliography is fully searchable and browsable by year, category, author and keyword. 

“We are thrilled that this bibliography is now available, making previously difficult-to-locate research more accessible,” said Paster. “Helen and I want to thank all those who have been involved with this project over the years.”

Libraries Open Publishing, the University Libraries’ Open Access imprint, is a unit within the Research Informatics and Publishing department. Libraries Open Publishing provides tools and support for Penn State-affiliated authors and groups to publish full-featured electronic scholarly journals, searchable annotated bibliographies, monographs and topical web portals using a variety of digital platforms. All publications are free to view online and download. Copyright is retained by the individual authors, where possible, or by the journals or sponsoring entity. Almost all are licensed for use under a Creative Commons license. 

For more information about the program, visit or contact Ally Laird at

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Last Updated April 15, 2021