Student Services Librarian
by Ruth Gustafson – April 17, 2019
Ecological Science Topic Ideas and Search Terms
Good sources for news in the ecological 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. Top cited and licensed ecology-focused journals include: Trends in Ecology and Evolution (TREE); Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics; Ecology Letters; Ecological Monographs; Ecology; and Molecular Ecology.
Once you’ve picked a topic, you will need to think of search terms to use for locating articles and other publications. The UC Davis Library online catalog uses Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Each library subject database — such as BIOSIS Previews or Zoological Record — also uses subject lists that can help you precisely search your topic.
The ecology collections for UC Davis are in the Shields Library (mainly the 3rd floor where the Biological, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences collections are located). Important ecological sciences information may also be found as part of the Government Information collection of Shields Library, Lower Level.
The UCD Libraries selectively buy materials on writing in the ecological sciences. Browsable subject headings that bring up these types of publications include:
Ecology — Authorship ; Communication of technical information ; Biology — Authorship ; Report writing ; Technical writing
Searching in a library catalog requires looking for broader topics such as ecological genetics or marine conservation rather than the more specific metapopulation gene flow or sea otter biodiversity.
There is a subject guide matching nearly every department at the UC Davis campus. Find the Subject Guide which best matches your major! This browsable list is organized by broad disciplinary categories: General & Multidisciplinary Resources, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Biological Sciences, Engineering & Transportation, Government Information, Health Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences
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.
ProQuest article databases (such as PsycINFO) include a checkbox to limit to “Peer Reviewed” articles. For journals retrieved from other databases, use the online Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory to locate your journal and then look for the black and white striped symbol indicating the publication is “Refereed”.
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) 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: 1997-2015 (for 1996-2014 data)
•Impact Factors in Wikipedia: validity, manipulation, and misuse of Impact Factors
•Using JCR Wisely
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.
Author: Ruth Gustafson
This webpage is the step-by-step guide for the bi-monthly in-person EndNote Intro course taught in Shields Library.