Information Sources

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Information Sources in Biology at James Madison University.

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Information Sources

  1. 1. Information Sources in Biology at JMU Tips for BIO 124 Created by M. Mandernach Revised by Yasmeen Shorish JMU Libraries, 2012 1
  2. 2. Research tips you need toknow… Research is a process, it will take time. Using library resources will make a good use of your time. Reading the abstract will save you time. A librarian is available to help. Take time to contact her:  Yasmeen Shorish  Science Librarian  E-mail: shorisyl@jmu.edu 2
  3. 3. http://despair.com/Since YOU don’t have “an endless supply of expendablelabor,” you need to use your time EFFICIENTLY.Learning to use specialized scholarly databases will save youTIME! 3
  4. 4. JMU Library Facts 4 library locations at JMU – Carrier, Rose, Music, and Memorial Hall-ETMC Materials can be requested from any library and delivered to any library for you to pick up RoseLibrary has most of the print Biology materials Most science journals are online Interlibrary Loan (ILL) – gets materials JMU does not own 4
  5. 5. Accessing the library off campus See library webpage for instructions on how to “Connect from Off Campus” - http://www.lib.jmu.edu/proxy/default.aspx Everything electronic that you have access to ON campus, you will have access to from OFF campus. NEVER pay for articles - use Interlibrary Loan 5
  6. 6. Evaluating Information Sources You should examine each source you encounter in order to determine its credibility.  Authority – author given, credentials?  Timeliness – date of information, is date important?  Documentation – sources cited, bibliography?  Purpose – intended audience, point of view, scholarly or popular?  Suitability – appropriate information, suitable level? 6
  7. 7. Why use scholarly journals? Scholarly, Peer-reviewed, Refereed These are all terms that refer to journals in which ANOTHER RESEARCHER or AN EDITOR has already evaluated the quality of the research. You do not have to be personally responsible for deciding if it is “good” methodology or not. 7
  8. 8. Magazines vs. JournalsMagazines Journals May be unsigned  Signed May be written by a  Written by an expert generalist  Author’s position and No references institution given Written for general public  References Often contains  Specialized language advertisements  May be published by association or scholarly press 8
  9. 9. Types of articles Within scholarly journals a variety of types of articles exist  Research Articles  Review Articles  Editorials  Corrections  Current News Briefs 9
  10. 10. Research vs. Review articlesResearch articles Review articles Original Research  Summary of previously Experiment conducted conducted research Typical sections of a  Overview of particular research article field/time period  Introduction  Provides a good  Methods background on a topic  Results  Lots of references  Discussion  Conclusions 10
  11. 11. How do you find scholarlyarticles? Google ScholarOR Databases created by professional scholarly organizations (Examples: Scopus for biology, SciFinder Scholar for chemistry, MathSciNet for math, NASA ADS for physics, GeoRef for geology, PubMed for medicine, etc.) Which do YOU think is more efficient? 11
  12. 12. Searching a Database Break search phrase into searchable concepts  Competition among plants in a field, particularly marigolds and other species  Is this a good search phrase?  What kind of results would you expect?  Too broad?  Too narrow?  Brainstorm synonyms (technical names, common names) 12
  13. 13. More Database Search Tips Using AND between two terms will find citations possessing BOTH of those terms. Use AND to help narrow down your search. Using OR between two terms will find citations possessing EITHER of those terms. Use OR to help broaden your search. Using quotes “” will bring results with the words together as a phrase, “plant species”. 13
  14. 14. Even More Search Tips:Truncation: throwing a wide net ************** Searching for “competition” – wont get compete, competing, or competitive.  Some of these terms might be useful. In order to retrieve them, truncate the search term. In most databases, * is the truncation symbol. compet* will gather all of the above.  Be careful when using truncation… if interested in articles about cats and you search cat*, you will retrieve articles about cats but also articles about catapults, catalysts, or cathedrals (among others). 14
  15. 15. You have several good results…now what? Read the abstract!!  Can you understand the article?  Is the article on your topic? Taking time to read the abstract NOW can save you a lot of frustration later.  You dont want to save it or print it out, take it home, and read it a week later to find out that its not on your topic. Check out the “How to read a scientific paper?” movie on the Home Tab of the course guide. 15
  16. 16. Reading the abstract If you were looking for an article on plant competition, would this article be useful? Abstract: This work studied the effect of a noncommercial enzyme preparation on xanthophyll extraction from marigold flower (Tagetes erecta). The results show that the extraction yield depends directly on the extent of the enzymatic hydrolysis of cell walls in the flower petals and that it is possible to reach yields in excess of those previously reported for treatments with commercially available enzymes (29.3 g/kg of dry weight). The enhanced extraction system appears to be very competitive when compared to the traditional process and current alternatives. 16
  17. 17. You read the abstract and it seems useful.How do you find the whole article?  Look for the button It will open a new window and show you the options for retrieving the article  Check it out:  Online!  If it wasnt available ILL would be listed here 17
  18. 18. You found your articles.How do you cite them in your paper?  Citations provide the basic information needed for someone else to find the same thing you did.  Citation styles vary (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, specific journals), but there is basic information that they almost all contain.  A basic citation format: Author(s) name(s). Year. Title of article. Title of Journal. Volume # (Issue #): pages. doi (if available) Flint, W. D., and R. N. Harris. 2005. The efficacy of visual encounter surveys for population monitoring of Plethodon punctatus (Caudata: Plethodontidae). Journal of Herpetology. 39 (4): 578-584. doi:10.1371/journal.example 18
  19. 19. Citation Tips, continued… Notice that there IS NOT a URL or web address in the citation anywhere! Web information is given ONLY if the information referenced is ONLY available online, like websites, blogs, etc. When URLs are given, you usually also give the DATE you accessed the information. WHY? Because web information can change! 19
  20. 20. Citing online journal articles Example: The URL is NOT needed for this citation. Web addresses are often NOT permanent links and may not work in an email or another search. This is NOT a good way to share information about finding this article!Here is thecitation informationyou need to use:Journal NameVolume, Issue, PagesArticle TitleAuthors 20
  21. 21. Citation help = RefWorks Every JMU student and faculty member has access to RefWorks and Write N Cite. Use these tools to organize your research and drop citations into your paper! Attend a RefWorks walk-in workshop at the library, or set up a time with the Science Librarian for help using RefWorks. Or, check out our video tutorial or handout. 21
  22. 22. What about books? Good point! Often while searching for the most recent research reported in journals or online, you can forget that there are great sources of background information and collections of information to be found in BOOKS!  How do you find books at JMU? 22
  23. 23. Finding books Look for Reference Books Search the Catalog Tips for finding books 23
  24. 24. Still need help? Stop by the Rose Library or Carrier Library Information Desks. Contact your librarian!  Yasmeen Shorish  E-mail: shorisyl@jmu.edu  Chat via the Biology Subject and Course Guides ! 24

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