Welcome to the APSU Library! Below is
information that you will find useful for Biology. The following information is
intended to assist you in determining
what your information needs are, finding the information you need, and
evaluating the information you find. Links to various library
services are provided throughout this document. You will need to follow each link to
find out about that particular resource or service. Through
the Ask A Librarian service, you
can request assistance via email, chat, or telephone. You also have access to a
librarian via telephone (221-7346 or 1-800-250-1890), via email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or in person by coming to the Library.
The first question you need to ask yourself is
"What types of information do I need for my research
project/paper?" You have access to many types and formats of information
through the APSU Library. You may have done library "research" for other classes you have taken at APSU
or other schools. You probably had to find a certain number of articles, books,
and/or web resources for your paper or project. Much of your previous research
was probably done in conjunction with writing a paper that was intended to
inform or analyze a particular topic. For the purposes of this class you will have to find
resources (journal articles for the most part) that are reports and findings of
research. Professor Grah will inform you as to the specific types of resources
she expects you to use for your project. So, how and where do you find
the information you need? The APSU Library is the place to start.
What does APSU Library have available?
A good way to think of the APSU
Library is as an information portal. The Library's website is a bridge to
vast amounts of information both inside and outside APSU. Use the Library's website to find
out what is available (http://library.apsu.edu). The Library owns or provides
access to a wide variety of materials.
Austin is the Library's (Library Catalog). It lists items that are available
both physically in the Library and
items that you have access to through the Library. You can check Austin to
see if the Library owns a particular book (either in print or in electronic
format), a journal title (not a specific article), videos, selected
government publications, websites and other materials. The Library subscribes to a number
of general and specialized databases
that provide you with bibliographic citations to resources, and in some cases
the full-text of the resource. Subject
pages (arranged by discipline) have been developed so that many of the
information resources for a particular discipline are grouped together in one
place. Now that we have determined that the place to look for information
is the Library, we need to find out how we find the needed information.
Searching for information
You will find the following search protocols
useful when searching for any kind of information.
Start with a specific topic. Broaden or narrow it as
necessary. For example you might begin your search by searching for mycobacterium
infections. Depending on your results you may
need to broaden your search to bacterial infections or narrow it to tuberculosis.
Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to help construct your
search strategy. Boolean operators assist you in combining search
concepts and defining your searches. Examples: acid
rain AND fish would retrieve only information with both acid rain
and fish. physicalrEndurance OR exercise tolerance would retrieve information about
either topic. Anemia NOT aplastic would exclude information
aplastic anemia, but include information about other forms of anemia
(such as sickle-cell and others).
Limit by format and material type when searching databases.
Many databases allow you limit your searches by material type and format such as journal articles, refereed publications, research, literature
reviews, and many others. Check in each database you use to see how to
limit by publication type and format.
Use the references at the end of an article or book chapter
to find other resources. The references used by someone else in their
research are extremely valuable to you. By consulting those resources,
you may find information that you may not have know about and that
will improve your research.
Check subject terms assigned to an article to see if there
are more accurate or specific terms for your topic. Whenever you search
a catalog or database, always look at the subject terms that have been
assigned to the resource. You may find a better or more accurate
subject term for your topic and improve your research.
If you are having trouble finding information about your topic,
think of other terms to describe your topic. Example: another way
to describe longevity is life expectancy.
If the database or index you are searching uses a controlled
vocabulary or thesaurus, use it! Your search will be much more
accurate than if you use keywords. By using the thesaurus in a
database, you are using the language used by the indexers and abstractors.
Note: For new concepts or buzz words, you may have to use keyword searching
because the new terms may not have made it into the controlled vocabulary of
the discipline. Also, if you are having no luck using the thesaurus in
particular database, you may want to perform a keyword search and check the
subject headings or descriptors used for a relevant article.
You are going to find much of the information you
need for your class in research journals. These journals are going
to be indexed in various subject databases. Databases index a variety of
information including articles, book chapters, book reviews, letters,
retractions, editorials, and others. Some databases you will use contain
only bibliographic citations, some include an abstract, and others include the
full text of a resource. Some of the subject databases you
will use in your research for this class are described in the next section.
Databases are produced by many different vendors
and each vendor has their own search software. Wouldn't it be
wonderful if there were a uniform search platform? The search protocols mentioned in the previous section will help you to search each database
effectively regardless of the vendor.
Many database vendors provide abstracts for many
of the publications they index. Be sure to read them carefully. They
can save you a lot time. An article may seem to be perfect from the title,
but may discuss something irrelevant to your topic. The abstract helps you
determine if the publication is meaningful to your research topic. The
abstract is NO substitution for consulting the complete article or study.
Consult the specific databases listed below to
determine which one or ones you need to use for your research topic. You
may need to consult the list of all
databases to decide if there are other databases that will assist in your
As an APSU student you have access to databases
available through the APSU Library both on campus and off-campus via remote
access. Consult the Remote
Access to APSU Databases guide for assistance.
Wiley InterScience covers journals published by
John Wiley & Sons since 1996. Subjects covered include Business,
Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Education, Engineering, Finance,
Law, Life and Medical Sciences, Management, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology and
Statistics. The Woodward Library does not have access to every full
text article indexed in this database. Woodward Library does have full text
availability of all the titles
listed here. Additionally, the online "Book "and
"Reference Works" are not accessible through the Woodward Library's
license agreement. "Book Finder" does provide access to chapter
Use the search tips available on the Advanced Search page; use
Help within Wiley InterScience to learn more.
Wiley InterScience uses wildcards. For example, carcino*
retrieves carcinogen, carcinoma, etc.
You will need to install the free Adobe reader to view
articles as PDF files. Get Adobe here.
For articles not available from Wiley InterScience, check
Austin for the journal title (see Accessing
Articles from Periodicals for more information).
To learn about additional features and how to access Wiley
InterScience from off campus, see instructions available here.
HighWire covers over 300 science, technology, and medical
journals published since the 1960's. Some full-text articles are
available. To increase your odds of finding online
full-text, select In HighWire hosted journals. You can browse
Use QuickSearch for simple searches only. Use double
quote marks (" ") to perform a search on an exact phrase.
Limit articles retrieved to review articles using the
Limit Results box in Advanced Search mode.
HighWire uses wildcards. For example, child*
retrieves child, childcare, children, etc.
For articles not available in HighWire, check
Austin for the journal title (see Accessing
Articles from Periodicals for more information).
Use Help in HighWire to learn more.
See the Biology Resources page for other
potentially useful databases.
Does the APSU Library have the
periodical I need?
The easiest way to determine if
the APSU Library has the journal you need is to search
title. If you have identified an article in a periodical
database or index, and the complete article is not available from that
database, check to see if the needed periodical is available in print or
electronically by using Find
Evaluation of Information
Material that you find in
has been selected for the APSU Library by librarians and subject faculty using
formal selection criteria and professional reviews. Resources indexed in
subject databases (PsycINFO, ERIC and others) have met certain
criteria set forth by the database publishers such as subjects covered,
publication type, and others. You will have to evaluate this
information further to determine if it is appropriate for your research purposes.
There are various criteria to assist you in evaluating materials for your
research project. Here
are some links that will help you to evaluate journal articles and books.
to Evaluate Journal Articles
to Evaluate Books
Most of you
are aware that there is some very good information, some very bad information
and much in between available on the Internet. How do you tell which is
which? As with all information that you examine for your research, you
must evaluate its usefulness and relevance to your particular project. You
must ask yourself questions such as who is responsible for this website?
Are they an expert in the field? Is this information relevant to my
research? Is sponsor of this website a commercial
entity or an educational institution or an organization or what? Is the
information current? Can the information be verified in other
sources? Here are a several links that will help you to evaluate
to Evaluate a Web Page
Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages
You may need some resources for your project that
the Library does not own. If that is the case, you need to use the
Library's interlibrary loan service (ILL). We can borrow materials that you
other libraries worldwide. Just fill out the online ILL
form and submit it electronically. Some of you may request dissertations or
theses that you find in the databases mentioned above. Many times these
documents are only available from the institution which granted the degree and
can be hard to borrow through ILL. That said, please don't hesitate to
submit the request. We may be able to borrow it. The most important
thing to remember about ILL is to plan ahead! While we have the
technology to receive articles via the internet, we still use regular (snail)
mail for books and other resources. Not all libraries that we borrow from
have the technology to send articles via the internet and still use regular
mail. Plan ahead.
Once you select the sources to
use in your research project/paper, you will need to put them in the format that
your professor requires. The Library has a link to the CBE (Council of Biology
Editors) style as well as others - see Online
There is help
available to you in a variety of ways. The Ask
A Librarian service provides help via email, chat or via telephone. Please don't spend hours looking for
something and get frustrated. Ask for help. That's why the
librarians are here.