Library Resources for PLS 007, Just Coffee (all quarters)

by Leyla R Cabugos, Sheena Campbell – September 18, 2020

This guide will help you find resources for the completion of your work in Just Coffee, and beyond.  It is arranged around the different perspectives from which you will examine coffee during the course.  Many of the resources presented here cover several of these perspectives, and so will be useful to you in more than one module. Think creatively about how to use them!  Leyla is happy to help if you have questions.

Note: To access resources from your own computer, or from off-campus, please visit this site through the UC Davis library VPN.


Leyla Cabugos

Research Support Services
Researcher Services Librarian


In this Guide:

Access VPN
Connect to UCD Library resources from your own computer or from off-campus

Contact your Librarian

Leyla Cabugos, plant sciences subject specialist.

Drop-in Classes

Pick up library research skills in focused workshops throughout the year.

APA style 

Find resources to help you follow the style guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA) in your writing and in citing information sources.

The process of peer review is one way in which credibility is established in scientific literature.

What is peer review?

Click here to watch a 2 min video describing the peer review process

How to tell if a source is peer reviewed

Look for limits/filters

Many databases allow you to specify that you want to search only in “peer reviewed” or “refereed” sources.

Visit the journal’s webpage

Search online for your journal’s title. Sections like “about this journal” or “editorial policies” generally mention whether the journal is peer reviewed/refereed.

Check a directory 

Use the Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory to find key information about a journal, including whether it has a peer review process.


A resource does not have to be academic to be credible. Critical evaluation of information presented to you is always important, but especially if it is not already vetted by people who are familiar with the field, and with methods to determine the reliability of information.  For information available on the open internet, it is helpful to refer to criteria like those for evaluating Wikipedia articles.

Wikipedia’s Good Article Criteria

It’s a good idea to begin your research with resources designed to provide an overview of your topic (also known as tertiary or synthesizing resources). These include: encyclopedias, dictionaries, compendia (singular: compendium), atlases, reviews, and bibliographies.  Try adding one or more of these terms to your search in order to find synthesizing resources.

Bibliographic databases that cover more than one topic are also a good starting point. These include your library catalog, Web of Science, and Google Scholar.


Web of Science Core Collection [via Web of Science]

Web of Science combines traditional bibliographic searching of journal content across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences with broadly interdisciplinary “cited reference” search capabilities.

Quick Reference Guide: Web of Science Core Collection

Saving Your Search & Setting Alerts

Creating Citation Alerts for Current Awareness

Oxford Bibliographies Online

Research guides developed cooperatively with scholars and librarians worldwide, combining elements of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia for a wide variety of subjects.

Recommended Books

The world atlas of coffee : from beans to brewing–coffees explored, explained and enjoyed 

An overview of the geography, economy, and culture of coffee production and consumption. Organized by continent and then further by country or region.

Coffee : a comprehensive guide to the bean, the beverage, and the industry

Uncommon grounds : the history of coffee and how it transformed our world

God in a cup : the obsessive quest for the perfect coffee


CAB Abstracts [via Ovid]

Provides citations and abstracts to the international agricultural literature, including veterinary medicine, human and animal nutrition, forestry, rural development, as well as other related topics such as tourism and human ecology. Covers over 11,000 journals & conference proceedings and selected books in agriculture. Includes the collection, CAB Database PDFs: hard-to-find literature digitized for CAB Abstracts, 80% of which is not available electronically anywhere else. 

Coverage: 1910-present.

Agricola [via Ovid]

Published by the National Agricultural Library, Agricola covers all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines including: animal science; veterinary science; entomology; plant science; forestry; aquaculture and fisheries; farming, farming systems and crops; agricultural economics; extension and education; food and human nutrition; and earth sciences and environmental sciences.

Coverage: 1970-present.  For earlier coverage, the Bibliography of Agriculture is the print index to the agricultural literature going back to 1942 located on the Shields Library, Third Floor, at call number Z 5071 .U63

AGRIS: International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology [via FAO]

AGRIS indexes world literature collected from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the the United Nations’ agricultural resource centres in over 100 countries worldwide. AGRIS covers all aspects of agricultural sciences and technology, including grey literature not available through normal publication and distribution channels, such as unpublished scientific and technical reports, theses, conference papers and government publications, FAO sales publications, main documents and project reports.

BIOSIS Previews [via Web of Science]

More than 25 million records in all life science areas, including agriculture, biochemistry, biomedicine, biotechnology, ecology, environmental sciences, genetics, microbiology, plant biology, veterinary medicine & pharmacology, and zoology. Indexes over 6000 journals, serials, books and book chapters, conference proceedings and patents.

• Quick Reference Card: BIOSIS Previews, 2010
 Online BIOSIS information 
 Saving Your Search & Setting Alerts


Pubmed [via NCBI]

Covers medicine, life sciences, health administration, veterinary medicine, nursing, molecular biology and genetics. PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  Here you can find agronomic research on coffee (e.g. search for “Coffea”), chemical research to differentiate products by protected designation of origin, research on the effects of coffee on the human body, and more.

PubMed Tutorial & more
Alerts/Automatic Updating Service (Saving & Managing Searches)
NLM Searching PubMed with Mesh tri-fold handout [PDF]
NLM PubMed Basics tri-fold handout [PDF]

Coverage: 1946-present

Recommended Books

Coffee agroecology : a new approach to understanding agricultural biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainable development

Coffee: growing, processing, sustainable production : a guidebook for growers, processors, traders, and researchers

Compendium of coffee diseases and pests

Coffee pests, diseases and their management

  • Ebook and print versions available.

Achieving sustainable cultivation of coffee: Breeding and quality traits

  • Ebook available


Food Science and Technology Abstracts(FSTA) [via Ovid]

Note: Allows 8 simultaneous users access — please LOGOFF when finished.

FSTA (Food Science and Technology Abstracts) is the world’s largest database of food science, food technology, and nutrition information. FSTA covers topics relating to every aspect of the food chain including all the major food commodities plus biotechnology, microbiology, food safety, additives, nutrition, packaging and pet foods. Covers over 1800 journals and patents, books, theses, conference proceedings, patents, standards, and legislation. Comprehensive coverage.

Recommended Resource

Sensory Lexicon: Unabridged definition and references

“Just like a dictionary reflects broad, expert agreement about the words that make up a given language,
the lexicon contains the tastes, aromas, and textures that exist in coffee as determined by sensory experts
and coffee industry leaders.” (From the introduction to Sensory Lexicon)



Agricultural Prices

Find crop-level prices received by farmers.  (Open Access)

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Find crop-level data on production levels, cultivated land area, costs of production.  Production reports include remarks on reasons for increase or decrease in yields.  (Open Access)


Find full text copies of scholarly research in agricultural economics including: agribusiness, food supply, natural resource economics, environmental economics, policy issues, agricultural trade, and economic development.

Coffee: World Markets and Trade

Published by the Foreign Agricultural Service, this biannual report includes data on U.S. and global trade, production, consumption and stocks, as well as analysis of developments affecting world trade in coffee.

Publication Coverage: Dec 11, 2004 to Dec 15, 2017


Global news and business information, including market reports.  Written for a business or popular audience, news items can highlight factors that affect agricultural production, trade, and distribution.

CIA World Factbook

The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

World Bank Open Knowledge Repository

The World Bank open access portal to its publications and research from 189 member countries.  Example titles: Haiti Coffee Supply Chain Risk Assessment; Jamaica : Weather Insurance for the Coffee Sector Feasibility Study. 

Recommended Books

The coffee paradox : global markets, commodity trade and the elusive promise of development

  • E-book allows concurrent access to all users up to 365 uses

Beyond fair trade: how one small coffee company helped transform a hillside village in Thailand

Brewing change : behind the bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Brewing justice : fair trade coffee, sustainability, and survival

  • E-book available

Fair trade coffee : the prospects and pitfalls of market-driven social justice

  • E-book allows concurrent access to all users

UCD Library Catalog

Search for physical items held in the UC Davis Libraries.

All UC Libraries Catalog (Melvyl) 

Search the collections of all UC campuses in one place.  You can check the availability of an item for an interlibrary loan.

Libraries Worldwide (Worldcat)

Search the catalogs of many libraries across the world in one place.  The UCD Library can attempt to borrow an item from a partner library through interlibrary loan.

Interlibrary Loan

Starting from any of the above, you can obtain an item from another library by placing an interlibrary loan request.

Look for this button on an item record:

or click on the Interlibrary Request link.

Find a book on the shelf

Specialty Databases

Specialty databases provide records and/or full access to literature in specific disciplines or themes.  They offer an efficient way to find credible resources on subjects like the nutritional qualities of coffee.

Many of these databases use their own set of terms to index articles, which you can use in a subject search. Remember to look for the thesaurus for the database you are using, or note which subject terms are attached to a relevant article, to discover how the concept you are looking for is described.

In deciding which database(s) to use, it is helpful to note:

  • What dates are covered? (e.g. How well is historical literature covered? Does it include articles published in the last year?)
  • What is the geographical scope of the coverage? Does that match your research interest?

Find a Print Journal

If you can’t go directly to an article, you can search the library catalog for the journal title (see Journals A-Z on the Advanced Search Page).  Some of our records include article-level information, but many only show which titles, years, and volumes we have.

Google Scholar

If there is a record of a journal article on the open internet, you can use Google Scholar to find it. Accessing the article may require you to go through your library subscription, or to find a physical copy in the library.

You can access library licensed articles directly in Google Scholar if you configure your Google Scholar settings to work with our library subscriptions.

Open your Google Scholar settings, and choose “Library Links” from the menu bar.

Search for and select the following:

California Digital Library – Select California Digital Library – UC-eLinks

University of California, Davis- Select UCD-eLinks

You should see the following:

You can also add extensions/applications to legally access articles on the internet that are not provided through the library’s subscriptions.

Open Access Button

This extension searches for publicly available copies of articles, and (if none exists) asks the author to make a copy available.


This application searches a database of author-uploaded articles, and provides you a link to a free copy if one exists.

Please help make this guide a more useful resource by responding to this two-question survey.  Thank you!


Here are answers to questions you posed on your feedback survey.  Feel free to contact Leyla if you have more questions!

Is there anything we would ever have to pay for when using the online resources or at the actual library?

You have to pay to print in the library. The other library services are free to UCD students.  Some databases are designed to help you find records for resources, even if we don’t subscribe to them. If you are asked for payment to access a resource, contact a librarian.

It is still unclear to me exactly how to check out a book that I may use for research, and if I go to the library, where I might find it.

The first step is to find the book in the library catalogs (UCD or Melvyl for all UC campuses). If the item is available, use the library call number to locate the book in the library shelves. This course guide has a page about interpreting call numbers. The library information desk has maps to show you where the call number ranges are in the library. Take the book to the Circulation Desk on the first floor, and use your student ID to check out the book.

*Note: If the book you want to check out is assigned for a class, your instructor may have put the book on Course Reserves, which means it will have a shorter loan period and/or only be used in the library, to ensure equitable access to the library copy. Use the Course Reserves section of the library search bar to search by title or course code. Course Reserve books are shelved at the Circulation Desk, so you can go straight there to check it out.

Do all the searching methods mentioned in the videos will give us the same results when putting in same keywords?

The methods shared in your videos will work with many databases, but not all. Typically, the database you are searching will have a section on Search Tips, or How to Search, etc. that will let you know if it is set up to accommodate those search methods.

Key word searches generally look for the exact word(s) you use, and they search in the title, abstract (sometimes full article text), and subject headings (if the database uses subject headings), with some variations.  Key words should work the same in different databases.

Subject headings are different from key words, in that they are part of a special vocabulary that may be specific to the database (such as the specialized agricultural vocabulary used in CAB Abstracts) or several databases (such as library catalogs, which typically use Library of Congress or Dewey subject headings). So you need to find the best subject terms to use in the database you are currently searching.

Where can I find my designated subject specialist in the library and whether or not they can help me?

Any librarian is happy to help you get started with your research, but if your question is very specialized, they may refer you to the person who is best equipped to help you.  You can use the library subject guides to identify the librarian who has the most expertise in the subject you’re researching.

What are the six boxes next to the search bar on the Library website? 

The six boxes next to the library search bar allow you to specify where you want to search: Course Reserves, various library catalogs (UC Davis, UC system, or worldwide), search for databases by name (or keyword), or find something on the website (e.g. if you want to know about borrowing policies or library hours and don’t know where to look).

Accessibility of UCD library resources to UC Cross Campus students.

While all “circulating” materials (those that can be checked out at the home campus) are available to students on any campus through interlibrary loan, electronic resources are restricted to users at their home campus.  There is some overlap in which databases and other electronic resources the campuses provide, but some resources recommended by your instructors may not be available to you. The library works with instructors to try to help them select resources that are widely available across campuses, but this remains a challenge for online courses offered across the UC.

I am wondering if there is a section under subject guides for the managerial economics major? I couldn’t find one under the agricultural and environmental sciences section. 

There may not be a subject guide specifically for your major. Start by looking in the broad area most related to your discipline (in this case, economics guides are filed under Social Sciences), and find the closest match. As a side note, many courses will not have a tailored guide like that produced for Just Coffee.

Citing your sources

The library has a guide, like this one, to help you generate and organize citations.  Refer to the Citation Resources on your class guide, or navigate to it from the library website: > Services > Guides and Tutorials > Managing Citations >Citation Styles

Words we use

Some points of clarification: A database is a structured collection of information about objects (such as journal articles). You can use the information stored about these objects to search for them efficiently.

Ex: the library catalog, Google Scholar, or the subject databases in the image below.  Many students refer to these as search engines, which is actually the program that

   enables you to search a database.

Many of you refer to the subject databases we looked at as Ovid.  Ovid is actually a platform (an interface specific to a vendor, think Apple software).  We may license more than one database through any given vendor, and each with have the same look and feel but different content. In the image below, the arrows are pointing to different databases we license from a common vendor, like Ovid, as well as different platforms (like Web of Science via the company Clarivate Analytics).

We try to keep jargon to a minimum, but we do need some common vocabulary. For help, see this glossary of library terms.


Borrowing books and media from other libraries via Interlibrary Loan (for free!)


UC Davis Library is able to borrow books (or anything that can be checked out) from other libraries on your behalf, through a service called Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  These items will be sent (at no cost to you) to our Circulation desk, where you can check them out.  If the item is short enough (an article or book chapter), it may be scanned and emailed directly to you.

To find and request books from outside of our library, select the All UC Libraries button (see arrow 1 below) search in the shared catalog for all UC campuses (Melvyl, see arrow 2 below) or a catalog shared by a collection of libraries around the world (Worldcat see arrow 3 below).

Once you’ve found an item you want in one of these catalogs, note whether it is available at UCD.  If so, you will find a call number in the UC Davis Library.  If it is not, you can request it through interlibrary loan, following the orange UCD Elinks button (see arrow 2 in the example below).  Contact your librarian for help learning to search these catalogs.


Not all article databases provide you with access to the full text. Some just act as a discovery service that provides an extra level of description for each article.  This goes beyond what you will typically find in the library catalog, which contains a record for the journal, but you’d have to read the table of contents for each issue to learn which ones contain articles you want to read. If we only have the journal in print, use the Journals A-Z search in the library catalog to find the name of the journal, and use the citation to find the pages where your article appears.  See Citing your sources, below, for help reading citations.

If you know which article you want, and we don’t have access to the journal, refer to this video to learn how to request an electronic copy through Interlibrary Loan.

I want a library tour!

There are tours and workshops in the library throughout the year (most abundant at the start of each quarter).  Check our website for a calendar and descriptions. I’m also happy to host a tour for any group of PLS 007 students who want to get together and request one.

Getting help at the library

When you’re at the library, your first place to ask for help is the Information Desk, which is staffed by students familiar with library operations.  They are located to the left of the main entrance of Shields Library. They can also give you a map of the library that shows where each call number range is physically located.

What are my options for contacting a librarian/following up with questions?

Leyla is available by email, phone, or in person (best to make an appointment using either of the above to make sure I’m in).  You can also get help from one of our rotating librarians who staff the Research Consult Desk from 10am-5pm Mon-Fri and from 1-5pm Sunday on the second floor of Shields Library.

You can also contact us through any of the library’s service options.

There is a 24/7 chat service, note that this is staffed on a rotating basis by librarians at dozens of institutions, so is best used for help that any librarian can offer (such as search strategy), though we each get a cheat sheet that helps us answer common questions for a partner library.

How do I learn about additional databases and resources beyond what was presented for this course? My recommendation is to explore the subject guides for other disciplines.  You can also explore the Databases search on the library main page (see screen shot below).  We have started to tag databases with keywords, but note that this is a work in progress and is thus not yet a comprehensive way to search. I also recommend keeping an eye out for some of the drop in workshops, which provide an even deeper look at some of our resources.

VPN help

Do I have to download the VPN each quarter/class?

No, just once to access all library resources. You will have to connect to PulseSecure each time you fire up your computer to use library resources.

Here are the library’s VPN download instructions. See the webpage for a technical support form and list of known issues, if you have technical difficulties.

Is there a way to specifically search for primary sources (research papers) or secondary sources (reviews of research)?

Yes.  Some databases have an option to filter by resource or publication type/format, so look around for a reviews/review articles option.  Otherwise, you can add review as a search term, because review articles will often have the word “review” in the title or somewhere in the record. You can also use the Boolean operator NOT to exclude records where this term appears, but if you do this, I’d recommend limiting the field to Title, otherwise you may inadvertently pass over some primary research articles that have the term somewhere in their text. Since review articles are in the minority, there isn’t as much need to filter them out, anyway.

How can I tell if what I’m reading is credible/high quality?

You will always need to use your own informed judgement to evaluate the appropriateness of a resource, but there are some standards you can refer to.  See the section of the Just Coffee Course guide titled, Investigating the Credibility of Information Resources.

When citing a book from the UC Davis databases, do we have to cite the UC Davis library as well?

No. It isn’t helpful to cite the database through which you discovered an electronic resource, because there are many paths to the same resource. A description of the item itself is sufficient.

What’s the difference between internet books and pdfs? I believe that you have to go to different searches for each type.

PDF is a file format, used to deliver both journal articles and some e-books (or e-book chapters).

Some databases allow you to search for both electronic books and journal articles, and to filter your results by format. Some databases are only for e-books.  Some are mostly for journals. Most are a mix, so it is important to read the description of the database to learn what you can find in it.

If we physically check out a book how long do we have until we have to give it back?

You can find that information on the library policies page.  There is a link at the bottom of the library main page.   Here is a direct link:

Library Privileges for User Policies