Literature Searches

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					Literature Searches

Medline I am in the habit of using Medline (available via the Databases & Indexes link on the Pelletier Library site: http://library.allegheny.edu/), which does a good job of indexing the majority of literature relevant to my research area. I prefer the FirstSearch Interface when using MedLine, which you can navigate to by choosing the “Databases by Title” tab from the default database display. PubMed (located slightly further down on the Databases & Indexes page) is a similar on-line index, but I happen to be more familiar with Medline’s user interface. Pelletier also has access to some other biology databases, such as Agricola (good for agricultural topics), Plant Science, and Biological Sciences, all of which can be accessed via the Database & Indexes page. Several of these are more recent additions to our collection and I am not sure of the precise scope of the journals indexed. But, you can explore! Medline uses a special symbol to mark journals to which our library subscribes (or has at least has at some point). However, we actually have electronic access to a great number of other journals. So, it may not be necessary to resort to Interlibrary Loan just yet. Consult the library’s journal listing (http://tx2nm7sh4y.search.serialssolutions.com/) for information on accessible journals. Alternatively, the document “Hints on Journal Choice & Local Availability,” available from my the Bio 580 webpage, includes suggestions about journals most likely to be of use for your Jr. Seminar papers, information on availability, and, where applicable, links to electronic versions of the journals (http://webpub.allegheny.edu/employee/m/mnelson/courses/Bio580/Some_Common_Journals_of _Potential_Use_in_Bio580-2009.doc ).

Science Citation Index Another nifty tool that’s available via the Libray’s web site is Science Citation Index, which allows you you to carry out a “forward” search using a key paper as a starting point. This Index is also a handy way to link to references cited by a key paper. Science Citation Index can be reached by (i) going to the Pelletier Library web page, (ii) choosing the Databases & Indexes link, (iii) scrolling down to the Science Citation Index link from either the “Database by Title” display or on the Biology subpage of the “Database by Subject” Display, (iv) choosing Cited Ref Search via the hyperlink near the top of that same initial Web of Science page (just under the “tabs”), (v) entering information about a key paper you’ve identified (be sure to use the “official” name of the journal in question – use the link to the journal abbreviation list), (vi) hitting the Search “button”, and (vii) clicking on the article of interest – if there’s more than one hit you should be able to tell which you want from the abstract (available via the link to the article). Once you’ve reached the screen with the abstract of the key article that is your starting point, you’ve got a couple of choices. The Cited References hyperlink will take you to a list of references that your key article cited. Of course you already know this information from the reference section of the paper. However, what’s handy here is that you can check out the abstract of the paper, which may assist you in assessing whether you wish to track down the paper itself. The real strength of Science Citation Index, however, is in its ability to do “forward” searches. If you use the Times Cited hyperlink it will take you to a list of papers that have referenced your key paper. This is a great way to find out about work that’s been done in your subject area after the date of the last paper that you have. A subset of these papers is also displayed to the right and there’s a link from there to see the full list.. This is a great way to find out about work that’s been done in your subject area after the date of the last paper that you have.


				
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