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UWP 102B: Writing in the Biological Sciences | Spring 2017  

Last Updated: Mar 20, 2017 URL: http://guides.lib.ucdavis.edu/UWP102B Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Librarian Subject Specialist

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Ruth Gustafson
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Contact Info
Biological, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Reference Librarian
Shields Library, 3rd Floor

Phone: (530) 752‑1883
ragustafson@ucdavis.edu

Topic Ideas & Search Terms

Good sources for news in the biological sciences, where you might find interesting topics, are the magazines SCIENCE NEWS and NEW SCIENTIST. In addition, the top journals SCIENCE and NATURE include news items. Top licensed biology-focused journals include: Biological Reviews, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences (oldest continuously published biology journal in the world),  Quarterly Review of Biology, BioScience, FASEB (Federation of the American Societies of Experimental Biology) Journal and BioEssays. Top open-access journals focusing on the biological sciences which might provide ideas for topics include PLOS Biology, eLIFE and BMC Biology. Premier licensed medical journals include JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine), Lancet, BMJ (British Medical Journal), and Nature Medicine.  Top open-access medical titles include PLoS Medicine and BMC Medicine.

Once you've picked a topic, you will need to think of search terms to use for locating articles and other publications. Harvest, the UC Davis Library online catalog, uses Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Each library subject database -- such as BIOSIS Previews or PubMed -- also uses subject lists that can help you precisely search your topic.

      

    Research Help

    Library Classes

    Life and Health Sciences Collections

    The UC Davis Libraries include the biological/agricultural sciences services/collections on the 3rd floor of Shields Library (Biological & Agricultural Sciences) and 2 separate health science libraries. Important biological/health sciences information may also be found as part of the Government Information & Maps department of Shields Library, Lower Level.

    • Biological, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Shields Library
      The BioAgEnvi Sciences print collections are located mainly on the 3rd floor of Shields Library. Some collections in the environmental sciences are located on the 2nd floor in the G classification areas.
    • Health Sciences Libraries Collections
      The Carlson Health Sciences Library is near the SouthWest corner of the UC Davis campus and the Blaisdell Medical Library is in Sacramento at the UCD Medical Center.
    • Government Information Collection [UC Davis]  
        
      The UC Davis Library is a federal and state depository library with extensive historical and current collections in print, microform and electronic formats. We collect extensively from major international, intergovernmental organizations, selectively from local jurisdictions, and on a very limited basis from foreign governments. Agriculture, forestry, the environment and ecology are areas of strength. We collect comprehensively from the U.S. Congress and California Legislature, along with federal and state laws and regulations. The Library's collection of technical report literature is extensive. We emphasize statistical data in all collecting areas. Most government documents and maps are listed in the Harvest UC Davis Library Catalog and the UC-wide MELVYL Catalog. Some materials, such as technical reports and historical documents, may require specialized indexes or assistance from government information librarians.

    Library Catalogs

    The UCD Libraries selectively buy materials on writing in the biological sciences. Browsable subject headings that bring up these types of publications include: Biology -- Authorship ; Communication of technical information ; Life sciences -- Authorship ; Medical writing ; Report writing ; Technical writing

    NOTE: Selected current books on biological/life sciences writing may be found in the BioAg Reference collection, 3rd floor Shields. These cannot be checked out but can be used in the library or chapters copied.

    • UC Davis Library Catalog  
        
      Replacing Harvest on August 18, 2016, the new UC Davis Library Catalog includes the collections of all four UC Davis General Libraries. It does not include the holdings of the Law Library. If you log in (My Account) using your UCD login and Kerberos passphrase, you can renew books online, and request items that have been checked out to another borrower, or are in storage.
    • Understanding the Call Numbers PDF
      Author: Library Instruction Services, Shields Library

      Library of Congress Classification is used for all of the UCD libraries except the health sciences libraries (which use NLM -- National Library of Medicine -- classification). Learn about how books are arranged in the UCD libraries with the following guide.

      Date: 2004

    E-Book Collections

    • Electronic books in the Biological and Health Sciences  
        
      Author: [Compiled by the UCD Carlson Health Sciences Library]
      Subject listing of electronic books (handbooks, textbooks, guides) in basic biological and related health sciences disciplines/specialties and subdisciplines/subspecialties. Includes online books in general biology, biochemistry, endrocrinology & metabolism, genetics, microbiology & virology, molecular biology, neurology, nutrition, physiology, toxicology and veterinary medicine. All books are searchable at chapter-level.
    • Springer eBooks Package  
        
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      Springer eBooks include more than 60,000 titles in English (and selectively in German) from every scientific discipline and many social sciences. This online interface enables all books to be searchable at the full-text level. Scope (textbook areas are starred) ranges from Architecture and Design, *Behavioral Science, *Biomedical and Life Sciences, *Business and Economics, *Chemistry and Materials Science, *Computer Science, *Earth and Environmental Science, *Engineering, *Humanities & Social Sciences and Law, *Mathematics and Statistics, *Medicine, *Physics and Astronomy, to Professional and Applied Computing. NEW books are added monthly. Coverage: 2005-2017
    • CAB eBooks [via CAB Direct]  
        
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      FARMED OR DOMESTICATED ANIMALS. CABI ebooks now provides access to over 532 agricultural titles (more than 9,000 individual chapters). The archives from 2000-2007 includes 400+ titles (with over 6,500 individual chapters). This collection is divided into six core subject collections: Agriculture; Animal and Veterinary Sciences; Human, Food and Nutrition Sciences; Plant Sciences; Environmental Sciences; and Leisure and Tourism.

      PLEASE NOTE: This collection does *not* include ALL books published by CABI but selected titles. In particular, the publisher has chosen *not* to include textbooks in this package.
      Coverage: 2000-present
      Scroll down to see CABI's ebook coverage in the various eBooks packages (Front file & backfile packages)
    • CRCnetBASE [via CRC Press] (full text books)  
        
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      Full-text searchable database collection of more than 1500 handbooks, textbooks and manuals in biomedical science, chemistry, environmental sciences, food science, forensic science, math, and statistics. The full database can be searched, or any of the licensed subsets. The following TEN packages are subscribed by the University of California/UC Davis libraries and are also listed separately under their respective Subject Guides: AGRICULTUREnetBASE, BiomedicalSCIENCEnetBASE, CHEMnetBASE, ENVIROnetBASE, FOODnetBASE, FORENSICnetBASE, MATHnetBASE, NUTRITIONnetBASE, STATSnetBASE and VETnetBASE

    Subject Guides

    There is a subject guide for nearly every department or section on the UC Davis campus. Find the Subject Guide which best matches your major!

    • Subject Guides
      Use the Subject Guides to identify additional databases to search for information on your topic.

    Peer-Reviewed Journal Databases

    Peer Review

    A process through which manuscripts submitted to a journal are evaluated for quality -- by one or more subject experts in addition to the editor -- before being accepted for publication.

    ProQuest article databases (such as ESPM, Zoological Record, PsycINFO and ASFA) include a checkbox to limit to "Peer Reviewed" articles. For journals retrieved from other databases, use the online Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to locate your journal and then look for the black symbol indicating the publication is "Refereed".

    • Ulrich's Periodicals Directory  Icon
      The standard source for information on virtually every active and ceased periodical, annual, irregular publication, and monographic series published throughout the world (plus thousands of newspapers). Indicates whether a publication is a refereed (peer-reviewed) title.

    Journal Ranking

    Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports is a comprehensive tool for assessing the importance of research journals in disciplines and subdisciplines including medical specialties. NOTE that review journals tend to be listed as top ranked titles, taking space away from original research titles, so use with caution.

    • Journal Citation Reports (JCR)  
        
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      Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is an annual publication by Thomson Reuters with each yearly data analysis being completed in the summer of the following year. JCR indicates: most frequently cited journals in a field: highest impact journals in a field; and largest journals in a field. JCR Science Edition contains data from over 7,300 journals in science and technology. JCR Social Sciences Edition contains data from over 2,200 journals in the social sciences. NOTE: For disciplines that have longer timespans for citation, consider sorting for ranking by using the 5-year Impact Factor sort.
      Release Coverage: 1997-2015 (for 1996-2014 data)
      Information for New JCR Users
      Impact Factors in Wikipedia: validity, manipulation, and misuse of Impact Factors
      Using JCR

    Databases

    • BIOSIS Previews [via Web of Science]  
        
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      More than 25 million records in all life science areas, including agriculture, biochemistry, biomedicine, biotechnology, ecology, environmental sciences, genetics, microbiology, plant biology, veterinary medicine & pharmacology, and zoology. Indexes over 6000 journals, serials, books and book chapters, conference proceedings and patents.
      Coverage: 1926-present
      Quick Reference Card: BIOSIS Previews, 2010
      Online BIOSIS information
      Saving Your Search & Setting Alerts
    • PubMed  
        
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      More than 26 million citations and abstracts for articles published in approximately 8,400 journals in medicine, life sciences, health administration, veterinary medicine, nursing, molecular biology and genetics. PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine on the NCBI platform.
      Coverage: 1946-present
      PubMed Tutorial & more
      Alerts/Automatic Updating Service (Saving & Managing Searches)
      NLM Searching PubMed with Mesh tri-fold handout [PDF]
      NLM PubMed Basics tri-fold handout [PDF]
    • PsycINFO [via Proquest]  
        
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      PsycINFO is a department of the American Psychological Association (APA). It provides citations to articles in professional journals, conference proceedings, books, reports, dissertations and even important internet sites in psychology and related disciplines, most with abstracts and some citations.
      Coverage: 1840-present
      PsycINFO Lib Guide [ProQuest]
      Setting up Alerts
    • CAB Abstracts [via Ovid]  
        
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      FARMED or DOMESTICATED ANIMALS. Citations and abstracts to the international agricultural literature, including veterinary medicine, human and animal nutrition. Covers over 11,000 journals & conference proceedings and selected books in agriculture. Produced by CAB (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux) International (CABI) with more than 9.0 million records.
      CAB DATABASE PDFs: As of January 2009, hard-to-find literature may be available as CAB Database PDFs (so noted *below* the UC-eLinks button). Currently, only Internet Explorer, Chrome & Safari loads these PDFs.
      Coverage: 1910-present
      CAB Abstracts Overview
      Database Guide[OvidSP]
      Saved Searches/Alerts/Automatic Updating Service
    • Zoological Record [via ProQuest]  
        
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      WILDLIFE. Comprehensive coverage of zoology; including behavior, conservation and environmental science, ecology, evolution, genetics, habitat, marine and freshwater biology, nutrition, parasitology and disease, reproduction, taxonomy and systematics, veterinary studies, zoogeography and fossil records. Especially strong in new species reports and field studies. Backfile for 1864-1977 added April 2007.
      Coverage: 1864-present [1864-1977 backfile added]
      Setting up Alerts
      Zoological Record's 150th anniversary
      Zoological Record information
    • SPORTDiscus [via EBSCO]  Icon
      SPORTDiscus is the world's leading database in sport, health, fitness and sports medicine. SportDiscus has over 1.7 million qualified references from thousands of international periodicals, books, e-journals, conference proceedings, theses, dissertations, and websites that focus on different areas involving sport, including: sport sciences, engineering, psychology, administration, sociology, history, coaching, training, physical education, physical fitness, health and recreation. {Added related info RG 12/17/13}
      Coverage: 1800-Present
      Saving Search and Alerting Functions (Guide) Click on Document Download link to obtain the 17-page MS Word document
    • Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management (ESPM) [via ProQuest]  
        
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      This database has been replaced by Agricultural & Environmental Science Database from ProQuest.
    • Embase  
        
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      Embase is a biomedical and pharmacological database containing bibliographic records with citations, abstracts and indexing derived from biomedical articles in peer reviewed journals, and is especially strong in its coverage of drug and pharmaceutical research and conference abstracts. Embase contains over 22 million records, with over 1 million records added annually. The Embase journal collection is international with over 7,500 active peer-reviewed journals more than 90 countries. {RG 12/17/13}
      Coverage: 1974-current (for EMBASE records); 1966-current
      Embase Getting Started videos
      Saved Searches/Alerts/Automatic Updating Service
      Embase Indexing (Emtree)
    • Anthropology Plus [via EBSCO]  Icon
      Anthropology Plus brings together into one resource the highly respected Anthropological Literature from Harvard University and Anthropological Index, Royal Anthropological Institute from the UK. Anthropology Plus provides extensive worldwide indexing of journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works, and obituaries in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies. The index offers excellent coverage of all core periodicals in the field in addition to local and lesser-known journals.
      Date: Late 19th century to present
    • Global Health [via Ovid]  
        
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      "Global Health brings together the resources of two internationally renowned databases - the Public Health and Tropical Medicine (PHTM) database, previously produced by the Bureau of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases (BHTD), and the human health and diseases information extracted from CAB ABSTRACTS.

      Dating back to 1910, together they provide a unique resource which offers a substantially deeper subject coverage of information related to human health and communicable diseases than many other sources currently available.

      Global Health provides an alternative, complementary point of reference with a broad analysis of foreign language journals, books, research reports, patents and standards, dissertations, conference proceedings, annual reports, public health, developing country information, and other difficult to obtain material."

      Coverage: 1910 - present
    • Academic Search Complete [via EBSCO]  
        
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      The multi-disciplinary database Academic Search Complete (ASC) provides full-text access to more than 5,500 periodicals, including over 4,600 peer-reviewed journals, and indexing and abstracts for an additional 9,500 journals and 10,000 publications, including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. This scholarly collection offers coverage of information in many areas of academic study including, but not limited to: animal science, anthropology, area studies, astronomy, biology, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering, ethnic & multicultural studies, food science & technology, general science, geography, geology, law, materials science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, music, pharmaceutical sciences, physics, psychology, religion & theology, veterinary science, women's studies, zoology and many other fields. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format.

    UC-eLinks

    • UC-eLinks
      Brought to you by UC libraries! UC-eLinks helps to link you to *choices* to find the item(s) you are interested in. UC-eLinks appears in most library literature or subject databases and provides a consistent way of getting to online articles (if licensed) or to information about which print issues of a journal we own. If we do not own a journal or book, you can use the UC-eLinks service to Request that the item be sent to you for free from another UC library -- often using Web delivery if the item is an article or book chapter.

    EndNote

    • EndNote Instructional Webpage
      Author: UC Davis Libraries

      EndNote, licensed for all UCD full-time students, faculty, researchers and staff, is a bibliographic reference manager which enables citations to be stored, searched, and quickly inserted into research papers in the format of many scholarly journals.
    • EndNote Intro for BioAg Researchers
      Author: Ruth Gustafson

      This webpage is the step-by-step guide for the monthly in-person EndNote Intro course taught in Shields Library.

    Internet Guides

    • MEDLINEplus
      Full-text reputable consumer health information compiled by the National Library of Medicine from authenticated sources including the various U.S. Government agencies involved with health care. Many free and reliable full-text sources are incorporated including drug information, dictionaries and directories.
    • Healthfinder
      U.S. government portal with A-Z topics covering services and systems. Complementary to MEDLINEplus.
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