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FSEM 124 - Discovering Biology: Invasive Species (McHugh)

Resources to support literature discovery regarding biology

Assignment and Methods

Library Session Objectives:
  • Do a literature search for a recent scientific article on an invasive species.
  • Choose the primary research article while learning how to search in library databases.
  • Become familiar the layout at Cooley and resources in the libraries’s website.

The final objective of this assignment is to develop a presentation about a specific invasive species based on a primary research article.


Discovery process:

In general: become familiar with your subject.  Read background materials and garner some context for the topic you’ve chosen.  Use subject specific encyclopedia’s and, yes, Wikipedia are good starting places.  Pay attention to, and use, the resources that these sources use.

Gather fitting keywords to search.  Start with common and scientific names for the species you are researching.  Add keywords that describe the context of the organism you are researching.  For example Halyomorpha halys AND (ecology or “population dynamics” or distribution or abundance or “life history” or etc.)

Select an appropriate database or databases that have strong likelihood for indexing literature on your sought topic. 

Once you’ve done your search and have an initial set of citations, organize the results in different ways to elicit discovery of more helpful citations in the set.  Try these methods:

- Display and select the subject headings collectively assigned (pay attention in class for this)

- Sort results by date (remember, we are seeking a recent article)

- After reading titles and abstracts of promising articles, re-search using new keywords and noted authors.

- Try this strategy again in different databases.

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