Studying Science 2010
Studying Science: Library Resources
This page should help you with your library research assignment. Feel free to contact me with questions.
You may also want to try the UO Libraries LibX Toolbar for your browser!
Find an article here:
The above search box is searching the following specific databases, that you might want to try individually:
- This database covers many topics in plant science and ecology.
- GeoBase covers geography, geology, and environmental studies.
- The primary database for geology and paleontology. Covers books, geological survey reports, conference proceedings, as well as journal articles.
- PubMed comprehensively covers research in the biomedical sciences.
- Interdisciplinary science database, a heavily-used source for science literature. Highly recommended.
- Google for academics.
- This worksheet will help you develop keyword searches that get results.
Find a book
- Use less specific terms than when searching for articles. E.g., if you want books that will tell you about ACL injuries, you might want to look for a book on sports medicine or on the knee.
- UO WorldCat searches for articles, and many other formats besides books. To limit to books, click on book under format on the left side.
- You may get better results if you do a Subject Heading search for a broad term. To do a search by Subject, go to Advanced Search. You also can click on the subject heading links at the bottom of the full record display for a book that you like, to get more like it.
How to read a scientific journal article
Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary SCI REF R121 .D73 31st ed.
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (20 vols.) SCI REF QE5 .G37 2005
New Penguin Dictionary of Science SCI REF Q123 .N46 2004
- Short articles; good for basic information on common compounds, methods, phenomena.
- An online encyclopedia of earth sciences: geology, geography, and environmental science.
- This online encyclopedia has some discussion about the genetic basis for autism.
- Search for information on vitamin D, brain chemistry, anterior cruciate ligament, etc.
- You can search the whole collection. Probably best to limit to subject area "Medicine" or "Science".
- A collection of *many* specialized subject dictionaries, encyclopedias and Oxford "companions", including all the scientific disciplines.
- Do the articles have identified authors? Are the authors' credentials and affiliations available? Do the articles have references or bibliographies? If so, are there differences in the kinds of references given?
- Wikipedia is a very handy, free Internet source, but it is not necessarily reliable. For a humorous demonstration of this phenomenon, watch this excerpt of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central. (Some improvements have been made to Wikipedia since this was aired.)
- This was developed specifically for Earlham College students by Sara Penhale, but it is a very nice guide. It includes helpful information on primary vs. secondary literature and when to use one or the other, and useful, generalizable information about citing sources.
To determine whether a particular periodical (magazine, journal) is scholarly (peer-reviewed, refereed) or popular, see these pages:
What is "peer-review"?
(NB: both of the above are produced in the UK, so there are a few Britishisms that may not make sense)