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Information Resources and Services for:
BIO 378: Plant Physiology

Fall 2010
The resources in this guide should be useful to you as you look for primary literature. Feel free to ask a reference librarian for help - or send me an e-mail ( if anything is unclear.

Table of Contents:

Key Databases
  • Biological Sciences
    Citations and abstracts to research in all areas of biological sciences, including biomedicine, biotechnology, zoology, and ecology. Coverage is from 1982 to the present. Biological Sciences indexes over 6,000 primary journals plus patents, conference proceedings, books and reports.
  • Plant Science
    Indexes literature from 1994-present on pathology, symbiosis, biochemistry, and genetics.
    1994-present; updated monthly
  • Web of Science (Web of Knowledge)
    The Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Besides indexing a wide range of journals in the sciences, social sciences, and history, this resource allows you to search for articles that cite a specific author or published work. Coverage from 1997 to the present. Click on the "Web of Science" tab to limit your search to one or more specific citation databases.
Other Web Resources
    Citations and abstracts for agricultural publications from the 15th century to the present, including articles from over 600 periodicals, USDA and state experiment station and extension publications, and selected books. Subjects include animal and veterinary sciences, entomology, plant sciences, food and human nutrition, and earth and environmental sciences. Many records are linked to full-text documents online. A resource of the National Agricultural Library.
    1970-present, updated monthly
  • Google Scholar
    This search engine points toward scholarly research rather than all Web-based sources. It is stronger in the sciences than in the humanities, with social sciences somewhere in between. One interesting feature of Google Scholar is that in includes a link to sources that cite a particular item. If you are using Google Scholar on campus, you will find articles available through the library's subscription databases linked. To view these links when searching off campus, use our Google Scholar Off Campus Link. Not all of the articles in Google Scholar are free; the library can obtain many of them for you through interlibrary loan.
  • Plants Database
    From the USDA's National Resources Conservation Service, provides basic information about plants growing in the US, including images, species abstracts, growth distribution, growth data, and more. Includes sections on "culturally significant" plants and invasive species.
Keeping Track of Your Sources

You might notice that in the CSA databases there's an option to export your references to RefWorks. This is a citation management program you can use to store and reformat references. For example, you can select references in CSA Biological Sciences, send them to your RefWorks account, and then later have them printed out in the format used by the journal Ecology. These references will be stored as long as you like.

First, you need to set up a personal account from a computer on the campus network.
Later, log in and use the system to sort out your references, import or add references, add notes if you want, and then export in whatever citation format you prefer.

  • To send references to your RefWorks account from a CSA database, mark the references you want to save, then click on "save to RefWorks."
  • To send references from Web of Science, mark those you want to save, then click on "marked list" then "export to reference software." Save that file, then open Refworks, click on "import," browse to find the file you saved and click "import" at the bottom of the screen.
You can then move them from the "last imported" file into a folder of your choosing.

To print out references -

  • click on "bibliography" and choose a citation style.
  • choose whether to create a text, html, or Word document, then cut and paste into your paper.
  • "write 'n cite" is a plug-in program for use with Word - not necessary, but an option.
  • NOTE: When you import from different databases, you'll need to do some editing. Web of Science, for example, gives titles of journals in all caps. Genus and species are often not italicized or properly capitalized.
    You need to edit your final works cited list to make sure the entries are all complete and consistent.

Using Interlibrary Loan

If we don't have the journal you need in print or electronic format, submit an interlibrary loan request for it. From databases, you can click on ILL and a form pops up, already largely filled in. Otherwise, simply put the information about the article you want in our blank form. It takes several days for these to be processed, so plan ahead. In most cases you will get an e-mail with a link to a scanned-in version of the article. Check your borrowing record to see how these requests are proceeding.

Copyright law limitations: our library is allowed to request no more than five articles from any one journal published within the past five years. If anyone asks for a sixth article, we can order it, but will have to pay a copyright fee. Because those fees can be quite high - $30 is not unusual - we will double check with you to see if it's something you really need. Be aware that could slow the process down.

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