1. Using the right words
2. Using the right tool (database).
The Right Words
When searching for articles in a database, you will need to identify a number of keyword search terms to use based on your topic.
If your topic was about the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy in horses, the following search terms would be appropriate:
Using the * at the end of the root word will tell the database to find the word, the plural form, and any related words with different suffixes (e.g, hormone, hormones, hormonal)
Next, you need to combine these search terms with connectors to create a search statement to use in the database. You will want to create several different search statements to use for searching.
Here are some search statement examples:
horse* AND pregnancy
(horse* OR equine) AND pregnancy AND hormones
TIP You won’t want to enter a phrase in the search box of the database or index, because the database will not be able to understand it and you won't get any results. Remember to pick out the important words for your topic and use AND/OR to combine them into a search statement.
The Right Tool
It is equally important to use the right database to search for articles. The databases listed below are appropriate for searching for articles for the research paper assignment. Make sure you select the database that is most appropriate for your topic, and keep in mind that you may need to use more than one database to find articles.
PubMed comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
Web of Science (Core Collection) provides a single search across Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Social Sciences Citation Index. Additional Web of Science databases are easily accessible.
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles. Search results may be from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Help setting Library Links to access Cal Poly resources is available here.
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is a resource that allows you to evaluate and compare journals using citation data drawn from scholarly and technical journals in most areas of science, technology, and social sciences. JCR can show the most frequently cited journals, highest impact journals, and largest journals in a field. Essential Science Indicators, an analytical tool that helps identify top-performing research in the Web of Science Core Collection, is included.
Citing Your Sources
For this course, you will use cite your sources in the style that is used for Journal of Animal Science or Biology of Reproduction.
Below is a list of resources to help you to cite your sources in proper format. Contact Katherine if you need assistance.
Use this database to find journal title abbreviations for specific journals by title.
Examples for formatting E-Pub Ahead of Print articles:
Biology of Reproduction style:
Shikina S, Yoshizaki G. Improved in vitro culture conditions to enhance the survival, mitotic activity, and transplantability of rainbow trout type A spermatogonia. Biol Reprod 2010 (in press). Published online ahead of print 28 April 2010; DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.109.082123.