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BIO 202: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

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This guide should help you find and manage articles for your literature review. If you have trouble, ask for help at the reference desk, call (x7567), chat, or e-mail me (fister at gustavus dot edu).

Librarian: Barbara Fister
Librarian: Anna Hulseberg

Table of Contents:

Search for Articles

Choose CSA Biological Sciences from the library's Website. To search, type in synonyms across a row; narrow your search by adding a second concept. For example:

  • puma OR cougar OR mountain lion
  • habitat OR environment
As you examine your results, tweak your search terms. Abstracts and descriptors may suggest ways to narrow and focus your search. Scroll down toward the bottom of your results page to make changes.

Click on "full record" to read the abstract (summary) of the article. Click on "find it" to see if it's available either online or in print (choosing the MnPALS option will let you search for print copies).

If you simply want to browse what is available in print in our journal collection, consult the journals list on the biology resource guide.

Interlibrary Loan

If the article is not in our library, interlibrary loan is an option.

  • First, copy and paste the title of the article into a Google search to see if a copy is available online for free
  • If not, use the barcode on your ID card and your last name to identify yourself
  • Toward the bottom of the page, fill in the “not needed after” date
  • Click on the copyright agreement
  • This process can take a week or more; watch your e-mail for a URL and retrieval instructions.

    Other Ways to Find Articles
    Find a good current article and track down the articles it cites. To see if a particular article is available in our library, click on the Journals link, type in the name of the journal the article was published in, and then see if the issue you want is available. Or try one of these databases:
    • JSTOR

      A full-text journal archive that includes older articles in some ecology journals. The most recent issues are not included.
    • 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.
    • Plant Science

      Indexes literature from 1994-present on pathology, symbiosis, biochemistry, and genetics.
    • PubMed

      The primary source for scholarly information in the health sciences. This database is provided by the National Library of Medicine and indexes scholarly literature in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. Many links to full text are included for articles older than six months. You can use the advanced search and choose "free full text" toward the bottom of the page to limit your search to articles that are immediately available at no cost. Most of this database may also be searched in the CSA interface as MEDLINE.
    • PubMed Central

      Free full text scholarly journal archive of literature in the life and health sciences, managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). This is a much smaller subset of the articles indexed in PubMed, but all of the articles are full text.
    • Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Knowledge)

      Search citations and abstracts in more than 5,700 major journals across 164 scientific disciplines, including agriculture, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, medicine, pharmacology, physics, plant sciences, psychiatry, and zoology. It is also possible to search for works that have cited a specific author or a specific work using this resource or to find works related to each other because they cite the same sources.
    Using RefWorks to Save and Format Your References

    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.

    When you find a reference of interest in CSA Biological Sciences, click on RefWorks, an option at the top of the page; or you can mark several references in a search and then click the RefWorks icon at the top of the page. Create an account (you must be on campus to do this), then export your marked records. In RefWorks you can create folders and take notes on your sources. You may also add in sources by hand by clicking on References – Add New Reference.

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