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UWP 104E: Writing in the Professions: Science | Spring 2015  

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
Reference Resources Print Page

Librarian Subject Specialist

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

Phone: (530) 752‑1883

UWP 104E: Writing in the Professions: Science | Table of Contents

Topic Ideas & Search Terms

Good sources for news in the 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.

Once you've picked a topic, you will need to think of search terms to use for locating books and other publications. Harvest, the UC Davis Library online catalog, uses the 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

    Science Library Collections

    The UC Davis campus has 3 separate science libraries (two of them in health sciences) and one science department in the Shields Library. Important science information, including maps, is also found as part of the Government Information Collections of Shields Library, Lower Level.

    • Biological & Agricultural Sciences, Shields Library
      The BioAg Sciences collections are located on the 3rd floor of Shields Library.

      Date: Monday-Friday 1-5pm (530) 752-2143
    • 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.
    • Physical Sciences & Engineering Library
      The Physical Sciences & Engineering Library is located near the Chemistry and Physics/Geology building, just NorthWest of Mrak Hall.
      Date: Monday-Friday 11am-5pm
    • 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 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: If all books in this area are checked out, selected books on science writing may be found in the BioAg Reference collection, 3rd floor Shields. These Reference books are noted as "Library Use Only" which means they should always be available for you to review and copy.

    • HARVEST: UCDavis Library Catalog
      Harvest is the UCD library online catalog of the collections of all five UC Davis General Libraries. It does not include the holdings of the Law Library. If you log in (My Account) using your library card number and PIN, you can renew books online, and request items that have been checked out to another borrower, or are in storage.

    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  
      UC-wide licensed three-year (2013-2015) package for Springer eBooks and includes more than 55,000 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: 2005-2015
    • CRCnetBASE [via CRC Press] (full text books)  Icon
      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 SEVEN packages are subscribed by the University of California and are also listed separately under their respective Subject Guides: BiomedicalSCIENCEnetBASE {Newly licensed}, CHEMnetBASE, ENVIROnetBASE, FOODnetBASE, FORENSICnetBASE, MATHnetBASE and STATSnetBASE. {RG 12/16/13}
    • CAB eBooks [via CAB Direct]  
      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. {RG 12/16/13}
      Coverage: 2000-present
      CABI's ebook coverage showing two collections (Front file & archives)

    Subject Guides

    There is a subject guide for nearly every department on the UC Davis campus. Find the Subject Guide which best matches your major! Each subject guide lists the name(s) of the librarian(s) who buy(s) library materials in the respective subject. Feel free to email your Subject Specialist Librarian for help with reference questions and finding literature in that subject area.

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


    Databases and full-text collections which may be demonstrated or discussed at the library session.

    • BIOSIS Previews [via Web of Science]  
      More than 24 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
      Online BIOSIS information
      Saving Your Search & Setting Alerts
    • PubMed  
      More than 23 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. {RG 12/12/13}
      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]
    • CAB Abstracts [via OvidSP]  
      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. {RG 12/13/13}
      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
    • PsycINFO [via Proquest]  
      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
    • INSPEC [via Web of Science]  
      Citations from scholarly journals, conference proceedings, books, reports, and dissertations in physics, electrical engineering and electronics, computers and control, and information technology.
      Coverage: 1898-present
      Quick Reference Card: INSPEC, Web of Knowledge PDF
      Video training: Saving Search Histories and Creating Alerts for Current Awareness
    • 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
    • Food Science and Technology Abstracts(FSTA) [via OvidSP] [Restricted]  Icon
      PLEASE NOTE: upgraded May 2012 to 8 simultaneous users access -- please LOGOFF when finished. FSTA (Food Science and Technology Abstracts) is the world's largest, most comprehensive database of food science, food technology, and nutrition information. FSTA covers topics on every aspect of the food chain including all the major food commodities plus biotechnology, microbiology, food safety, additives, nutrition, packaging and pet foods. Covers over 1800 journals and patents, books, theses, conference proceedings, patents, standards, and legislation. IMPORTANT: default UCD Search Type is set to Advanced Ovid Search. RG 2/25/14
      Coverage: 1969-present
      Database guide to all features of the FSTA database
      Saved Searches/Alerts/Automatic Updating Service
      •For assistance searching FSTA, e-mail
    • Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management (ESPM) [via ProQuest]  
      Major areas of coverage include aquatic pollution, bacteriology, ecology, energy resources, environmental biotechnology & engineering, environmental impact statements, hazardous waste, industrial hygiene, microbiology, and risk assessment. Subfiles include: ASFA 3: Aquatic Pollution & Environmental Quality; Bacteriology Abstracts/Abs (Microbiology B); COS Conference Papers Index: Ecology Abs; Environment Abs; Environmental Engineering Abs; Digests of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS); Health and Safety Science Abs; Industrial and Applied Microbiology Abs (Microbiology A); Pollution Abs; ProQuest Deep Indexing: Envi Sciences; Risk Abs; Sustainability Science Abs; Toxicology Abs; TOXLINE; & Water Resources Abs. EIS: Full Text of EIS is combined for cross-searching with ESPM. {RG 12/12/13}
      Coverage: 1967-present (varies by subfile)
      ESPM LibGuide [ProQuest]
    • Web of Science Core Collection [via Web of Science]  
      Web of Science combines traditional bibliographic searching of journal content across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences with broadly interdisciplinary "cited reference" search capabilities.
      Quick Reference Guide: Web of Science Core Collection
      Saving Your Search & Setting Alerts
      Creating Citation Alerts for Current Awareness
    • Compendex [via Engineering Village 2]  Icon
      Compendex is the most comprehensive bibliographic database of engineering research literature, containing references to over 5000 engineering journals and conferences. About half the citations (from 2600 journals and conferences) include abstracts and indexing in the records. Coverage: 1884 - present. {Added by RG 12/17/13}
      Saved Searches and Creating Email Alerts Scroll down on Left column to "Creating an email alert"
    • SciFinder [Registration Required]  
      SciFinder is the most comprehensive scholarly bibliographic research database for the field of chemistry with >29 million citations; indexes over 10,000 journals. Covers all aspects of chemistry, including chemical aspects of: biology and life sciences, engineering and materials science, food science, geology, medicine, physics, and polymer science. SciFinder also allows searching of chemical substances, chemical reactions, and includes some property data and spectra. It is the online version of Chemical Abstracts.
      Coverage: 1907 - present (selected pre-1907)
      Register for SciFinder (Required)
      About SciFinder: Use On & Off-Campus, Troubleshooting & Guides
      Java Plug-in for Structure Searching (optional)
      •Direct questions to UCD's contact: Cory Craig,, 530/752-0347
    • GeoRef [via ProQuest]  Icon
      Covers worldwide technical literature on geology, paleontology, and geophysics. Covers the geology of North America from 1785 to present and geology outside of North America from 1933 to present. Also includes GeoRef In Process database and Earth Sciences Deep Indexing. {RG 12/17/13}
      Coverage: 1785-present
      GeoRef Lib Guide [ProQuest]
      Setting up Alerts
      CSA Fact Sheet
    • 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.
    • Academic Search Complete [via EBSCO]  
      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
      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.

    Citation Systems

    • Citation Guides
      Author: University Library

      Library guide describing what a publication citation is and providing information on the most common disciplinary styles -- MLA, APA, Chicago, CSE and more.


    • 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.

    Peer-Reviewed Journal Databases

    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.

    All ProQuest databases (such as ASFA, ESPM, PAIS, PsycINFO & Zoological Record) enable you to narrow your result sets to just "Peer-Reviewed" journals. For journals retrieved from other databases, use the online Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to locate your journal. To the left of your title, look for a vertical black/white symbol depicting a referee jersey and thus noting 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.  Typical review series may have the following words in their title: Advances in ... ; Annual Review of ...; Critical Reviews in ... ; Current Opinion in ... ; Expert Reviews in ... ; International Review of ... ; Progress in ... ; Trends in ...

    • Journal Citation Reports (JCR)  
      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: 2007-2013 (for 2006-2012 data)
      Information for New JCR Users
      Impact Factors in Wikipedia: validity, manipulation, and misuse of Impact Factors
      Using JCR

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