ICSM Island Life
Table of Contents
ScienceDirect searches many resources in lots of branches of science. Limit to "Journals" to get peer-reviewed articles. You may encounter articles that aren't related to your search (for example, "adaptive radiation" leads to many articles about cancer), so use the limiters on the left hand side of your results screen to improve your results.
Biological Abstracts searches sources in biology. Like in Science Direct, you'll probably want to limit to "Journals" when you search. Also be aware that full-text might not be available for everything in this database. Use the "Get It" links or search for the individual journal on the library website if you don't see the full text of the article included.
Academic Search Premier
Academic Search Premier is a very general database, which means you'll get a lot of results and might see some things that have no relation to your topic. However, it can be really useful when you're stuck, or if you want some interdisciplinary sources.
PLoS ONE: Public Library of Science
PLoS is an open access resource - that means its funded differently from traditional journals. PLoS has some great resources for biology and genetics!
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Encyclopedia of Life
EOL has pictures and information on every known species on earth. It's a great place to start your research, and it's easily accessible online!
Ref. QL7 .G7813 2003 17 vols.
A great resource on animals! Grzimek's has pictures, habitat and behavior information, significance of the species to humans, and references to follow up on.
Ref. QH77.N56 B43 2001 6.vols.
Beacham's has more comprehensive information on endangered species, although it is limited to North American species. Entries contain photos, behavioral information, conservation measures, and references.
Please note: Reference sources may not be checked out of the library, but you can scan or copy any information you need.
A Keyword search is the easiest way to search. A Keyword search will take the keywords you have entered and search the entire record (Title, Author, Table of Contents, Subject Heading, Full-Text, etc..) for your keyword .
You should use a keyword search when:
1. You do not know what words or terms the database uses for your topic
2. You can't find a subject heading that matches your topic
Try different combinations of keyword as you search for information. Keep in mind you will need to narrow your search by including a geographic region. Think about different ways your region might be expressed. For example, the United States might be listed as: United States, America, North America, or the US .
Below is a short list of suggested keywords :
Invasive Alien Species
Check the Subject Headings/descriptors for individual articles in your searches and repeat your search using these terms. Note that Subject Headings can be different in different databases. If it's your first time using a database, start with a keyword search to find useful subject headings.
Here are some Subject Headings in the library catalog (which searches books) that might be useful:
Exotic Plant Invasions
Invasive Plants Ecology
Terminology and Searching
Always make sure you enter the scientific name, not the common name of the plant you are researching. Using the common name might lead to results that have nothing to with your research. If you don't know the scientific name, use an Encyclopedia to find it.
Plant - Common Name Scientific Name
Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata
Hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata
Keep in mind that plants may be used in cooking or medicine, so don't be suprised if you get results related to food, culture, or health.
Narrowing or Widening your search
If you're getting too many search results, or search results that aren't close enough to your topic, you can use AND to combine ideas. You can use AND in keyword searching as well as subject searching in nearly every database. AND gives you results that contain every idea in your search terms. For example:
Alliaria petiolata AND North America
This search will return only items that mention BOTH Alliara petiolata AND North America. ou can combine as many ideas as you want using AND, but be aware that it will decrease the number of search results.
If you're not getting enough results, you can widen your search using OR. OR is most useful if there are multiple terms for a concept you're working on. Just like AND, you can use OR pretty much anywhere. Unlike AND, OR will increase your results, since it returns any result that contains EITHER your first term OR your other terms. For example:
Alliaria petiolata OR North America
That's a terrible search. It will return any results that mention EITHER Alliara petiolata OR North America. In this case, we can combine AND and OR to make a better search:
Alliaria petiolata AND (North America OR United States OR US)
This search asks for anything that mentions Alliaria petiolata AND North America, even if in that source it refers to the United States instead.
Finding a topic
New York Times Science Section
Well written reviews of recently published research.
Scientific research written in easy-to-understand language.
All aspects of science and technology.
Science for the scientist, written with a humor and flair!
io9 collects science-related stories and puts them in clear language. Sometimes they're a little sensationalist, but they usually link to original studies/articles.
Invasive Species Resources
Use this site to find details about invasive species. The database includes a description of the plant/animal, its habitat, range, impact, and how people are attempting to manage it.
Invasive Species Databases (USGS)
The US Geological Survey has provided links to databases, networks, and initiatives that share invasive species information at the local, regional, national, and international level.
National Invasive Species Information Center (USDA)
This web site serves as a reference gateway to information, organizations, and services about invasive species. Maintained by the National Agricultural Library.
Kaua'i Invasive Species Committe
The KISC describes invasive species in Hawaii and their impact. They also produce quarterly reports on the actions being taken to deal with invasive species.
Island Biodiversity Resources
An overview of island biodiversity, its importance, the factors that challenge it, and actions that can be taken to preserve it.
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
CEPF provides information on biodiversity hotspots around the world, including the species they contain, the threats to their existence, projects to protect them, and sources for more information.
Threatened Island Biodiversity Database
This database has a world map searchable by location, threatened species, and invasive species.
The Galapagos Conservancy has a wealth of information about the biodiversity of the Galapagos islands, with details on each species and each of the islands.
Citing Your Sources
CSE/CBE Citation Style
(Council of Biology Editors) style refers to the citation style established by the Council of Science Editors. CSE is the format preferred by writers in many disciplines in the natural science, including biology, geology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.
8th ed. 2014
Available at the Ithaca College Library
Ref. T 11 S386 2014
Online Style guides
University of Wisconsin Writing Center CSE Guide
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