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Bio 1B Library Skills Lecture


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50-minute lecture given to Bio 1B (introductory integrative biology students) on navigating the journal literature and using BIOSIS at UC Berkeley, Spring 2009.

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Bio 1B Library Skills Lecture

  1. 1. Bio 1B – Library Session: Finding Information in the Life Sciences Heather Thams [email_address]
  2. 2. What we’ll cover: <ul><li>Where to go for research help </li></ul><ul><li>Process of scientific communication </li></ul><ul><li>Information finding tools </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>library catalogs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>article databases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoiding plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Citing journal articles/web pages </li></ul><ul><li>Comparison between article databases and web search engines </li></ul>
  3. 3. Where to go for help… <ul><li>Reference Desk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bioscience Library, VLSB </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monday-Thursday: 10am-6pm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Friday: 10am-5pm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Email us: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Library Guide on the Bio 1B website: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> , </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>under “Announcements” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. How do scientists communicate their ideas? <ul><li>(Books tend to be less important in the sciences than in the humanities .) </li></ul>In the biosciences, primarily through articles published in journals and papers presented at conferences .
  5. 5. Flow of Scientific Information “ Primary literature” “ Secondary literature” “ Tertiary literature”
  6. 6. Scientific Communication Two main types of articles appear in scientific journals.
  7. 7. Good to know… <ul><li>Primary research articles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New findings, original research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer-reviewed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tend to be very specialized, technical, focused </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review articles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good introduction to a topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarize existing literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify important trends & people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive bibliographies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May or may not be peer-reviewed </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Quality Control in the Scientific Literature <ul><li>Journal articles undergo a rigorous, critical review before publication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Originality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriate citation of previous scientific literature </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Quality Control: Who does it? <ul><li>Author submits manuscript to publisher. </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher forwards it to scientists in the field: These are peers of the author. </li></ul><ul><li>The peers tell the publisher: </li></ul><ul><li>“ This research is flawed.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ This research is good, but the manuscript requires revision.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Go ahead and publish!” </li></ul><ul><li>This process is called peer review. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>peer reviewed = refereed </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What materials are peer-reviewed? Why is this important? You have to evaluate the quality and reliability of the information you find. <ul><li>Magazine articles </li></ul><ul><li>Newspaper articles </li></ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Government reports </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletters </li></ul><ul><li>Most websites </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly journals, in print OR online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Check journal website or inside the front cover for “ review board ”, “ editorial board ,” or link to info “about this journal”) </li></ul></ul>Not peer-reviewed! Mostly peer reviewed
  11. 11. The practical stuff… <ul><li>So how do we search scientific journals to find articles we’re interested in? </li></ul><ul><li>AND… </li></ul>How do we find out what the UCB library system owns?
  12. 12. Access to online journals <ul><li>UC Berkeley pays fees for access to thousands of peer-reviewed journals online </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can access these from on-campus computers </li></ul><ul><li>Students, faculty, and staff can access from off-campus computers , via the proxy server </li></ul>
  13. 13. Information finding tools <ul><li>Library Catalogs: inventory of books, journal titles, other materials held by the library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find out which library, call number (location on shelf) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OskiCat : UCB only; renew books; course reserves </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Melvyl: UC-wide </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NextGen Melvyl: Libraries worldwide; easy interface </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Article Databases: index the contents of journals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Searchable by author, subject, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UC Berkeley pays for access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access full-text using </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We’ll look at: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BIOSIS </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. BIOSIS <ul><li>Most comprehensive article database in the life sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Covers more than 5000 journals worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>Indexes journal articles , book chapters & conferences </li></ul><ul><li>1926-present </li></ul><ul><li>Journals in BIOSIS are peer reviewed </li></ul>
  15. 15. Which is the broadest search? <ul><li>global warming AND California </li></ul><ul><li>(global warming OR climate change) AND California </li></ul><ul><li>(“global warming” OR “climate change”) AND California </li></ul><ul><li>(“global warming” OR “climate change”) AND California AND ocean* </li></ul>
  16. 16. Search Results <ul><li>global warming AND California = 143 </li></ul><ul><li>(global warming OR climate change) AND California = 612 </li></ul><ul><li>(“global warming” OR “climate change”) AND California = 475 </li></ul><ul><li>(“global warming” OR “climate change”) AND California </li></ul><ul><li>AND ocean* = 99 </li></ul>
  17. 17. Broadening Your Search <ul><li>Add synonyms to your search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cats or felines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use truncation (wildcards) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>parasit* = parasite, parasites, parasitism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use fewer keywords </li></ul>
  18. 18. Narrowing Your Search <ul><li>Use search limits : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>review articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>date </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use quotes to search </li></ul><ul><li>for exact phrases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ primary production” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ double helix” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use more search terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>connect them with AND </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Plagiarism <ul><li>Plagiarism is the “uncredited use, (both intentional and unintentional), of somebody else’s words or ideas” </li></ul><ul><li>from The Online Writing Lab, Purdue University </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Plagiarism is academic misconduct </li></ul><ul><li>Students have failed Bio1B due to plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Plagiarism from the Internet is easy to detect- if you can find it, so can your professor! </li></ul>
  20. 20. Avoiding Plagiarism <ul><li>If you use someone else’s words or ideas, you must provide a citation ! </li></ul><ul><li>MUST CITE: </li></ul><ul><li>Quotes </li></ul><ul><li>Paraphrases </li></ul><ul><li>DON’T NEED TO CITE: </li></ul><ul><li>Common knowledge </li></ul>When in doubt, CITE IT!
  21. 21. When do you cite? “ Studies have shown that the female reproductive costs of nectar replenishment are not universal.” “ Plant species spend different amounts of energy on nectar replenishment.” Ordano, M. and J. F. Ornelas. (2005). The cost of nectar replenishment in two epiphytic bromeliads. J Tropical Ecology, 21 , 541-547 From the original paper: Passage from student paper: The authors are reporting information from previous literature. It requires a citation.
  22. 22. When do you cite? “ It is broadly assumed that nectar production has a female reproductive cost.” Ordano, M. and J. F. Ornelas. (2005). The cost of nectar replenishment in two epiphytic bromeliads. J Tropical Ecology, 21 , 541-547 From the original paper: Passage from student paper: “ Nectar production is generally associated with an energy cost to female plants.” This one’s a judgment call. Best choice: cite it!
  23. 23. Citing a Journal Article <ul><li>Author name(s) – usually 3, then et al. if more </li></ul><ul><li>Title of the article </li></ul><ul><li>Title of the journal </li></ul><ul><li>Year </li></ul><ul><li>Volume number </li></ul><ul><li>Issue number (often optional) </li></ul><ul><li>Page numbers </li></ul><ul><li>URL or DOI sometimes included, if online </li></ul>Hundreds of different styles – but any citation should provide enough information so that someone else can locate the same document!
  24. 24. Providing a Complete Citation Rosenblum, E. B., Hickerson, M. J., & Moritz, C. (2007). A multilocus perspective on colonization accompanied by selection and gene flow. Evolution 61(12), 2971- 2985. How BIOSIS formats search results: Same result, in APA style:
  25. 25. Citing a Web Page <ul><li>In general, cite specific page , not entire site </li></ul><ul><li>Author, if known (can be organization or person) </li></ul><ul><li>Title of page </li></ul><ul><li>Date page was last updated, if known </li></ul><ul><li>Date you viewed the page </li></ul><ul><li>URL </li></ul>Example: California Energy Commission. California Climate Adaptation Strategy . Updated 8/28/08. Retrieved 9/16/08, from
  26. 26. Searching the Web <ul><li>Can be a good place to start: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contains information that can’t be found elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good for current and local information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The library pays for content you will not find through Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Necessary to evaluate web sites more carefully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of random stuff to sift through </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Global warming” and California: >9 million results! </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Google and BIOSIS – Different Search Strategies Boolean (AND/OR) searching?  use advanced search “ Exact phrase”?   Wildcard/truncation (*) ?  automatic stemming Parentheses?  X Date range/doc type limit?  X Taxonomic/indexing terms?  X Re-sort/analyze results?  X Contents known?  X
  28. 28. Where to Begin… <ul><li>Bioscience Library website: </li></ul><ul><li> /BIOS </li></ul><ul><li>BIOSIS: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Bio 1B Library Guide: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  29. 29. Thank you! Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library