PLS 100c Library Course Guide

by Leyla R Cabugos – April 2, 2020

This guide will help you find resources for the completion of your research assignment, and beyond.

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


Leyla Cabugos

Research Support Services
Researcher Services Librarian


In this Guide:

COVID-19 Related Library Updates

Find the latest information about library resources and services.

Access VPN

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

Contact your Librarian

Leyla Cabugos, plant sciences subject specialist.  Leyla is available by phone, email, or contact her to set up a web conference via Zoom.

Need a basic question answered ASAP? Your fastest option is Ask A Librarian 24/7 chat. Note that this service is staffed collaboratively by libraries nationwide, so the librarian you talk with may not be at UC Davis.

Apply for the Undergraduate Information Research Prize!

Your research paper or creative work could earn you recognition and a cash award.

Information Resources in the Plant Sciences

A guide to get you started in your research, using recommended information sources.

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.

Manage Your Citations

This guide compares popular citation management software.

Take Notes!

It’s a good idea to document your research process, so you don’t have to spend time remembering what you’ve tried already.  The Research Log provided by Carrol Community College is a useful template for note taking.

Please help improve future library instruction by anonymously responding to this three-question survey.  Thank you!


Finding an Article with a Citation

If you want to find an article using its citation (a structured description of an item), one way is to find the journal in which it’s published, using Journals A-Z on the library homepage. Depending on the journal or vendor, you may need to locate the journal archive, then use the year, volume number and/or page numbers to find the article. Here’s a breakdown of the structure of a citation:

APA style

  • Journal name
  • Volume number
  • Issue number
  • Page range
  • Year of publication

Caloin, M., & Yu, O. (1984). Analysis of the time course of change in nitrogen content in Dactylis glomerata L. using a model of plant growth. Annals of Botany, 54(1), 69-76.

UCD E-links

Most literature databases provide a description of articles, or other literature resources, that allows you to find them among thousands of sources.  However, there is often another step required to access a full text copy. This extra step is facilitated through the UCD E-links button, found on the item record.

Not all articles will be accessible in this way, as UCD E-links can only connect you to material licensed or owned by the library. However, we can borrow material from other libraries, if you put in an Interlibrary Loan request.

Watch how to make an Interlibrary Loan request for articles not available in the library collection.

Use these databases to find curated collections of literature.  They offer an efficient way to find credible resources in the life sciences, plant sciences, and/or agriculture.

Many of these databases use their own set of terms to characterize the articles they contain.  You can use these to make your search more efficient. You can find these terms in the thesaurus for the database you are using (e.g. the CABI thesaurus).  Also look for Subject Terms in the record for a relevant article, to discover how the concept you are looking for is categorized.

When choosing which database(s) to use, note:

  • What’s in it? (e.g. articles, conference proceedings, data)
  • What time period is covered? (e.g. How well is historical literature covered? Is there an embargo period?)
  • What is the geographical scope of the coverage?

TIP: To find out which databases index a journal, look for the journal in Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, and see the Abstracting and Indexing section of the journal record.


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. Produced by CAB (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux) International (CABI) with more than 10 million records.

HISTORICAL SCOPE: Archive abstracts added in August 2005 go back to 1910 with 1,860,000 additional records. CAB DATABASE PDFs: As of January 2009, hard-to-find literature may be available as CAB Database PDFs (so noted *below* the UC-eLinks button).  These CABI Full Text items give users automatic access to over 350,000 journal articles, conference papers and reports – 80% of which are not available electronically anywhere else. NOTE: the default UCD Search Type is set to Advanced Ovid Search.

Coverage: 1910-present
Tags: Agriculture, Animals, Ecology, Plants, Science
Related links: Database Guide[OvidSP]
Agricola [via Ovid]


Published by the National Agricultural Library, the Agricola database describes publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture
AGRIS, International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology [via FAO]


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.
Coverage: 1975-present
Tags: Agriculture, Crops, Horticulture, Irrigation, Pomology, Soils
Web of Science Core Collection [via Clarivate Analytics]


Scholarly journals, books, and proceedings in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Navigate the full citation network.
PubMed [via National Library of Medicine (US)]


PubMed comprises more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.
BIOSIS Previews [via Web of Science] [via Clarivate Analytics]


BIOSIS Previews is a database designed by biologists for researching the biological sciences literature.

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.

Watch how to set up Google Scholar to provide access full text articles.

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:

Not all articles will be accessible in this way, as UCD E-links can only connect you to material licensed or owned by the library. However, we can borrow material from other libraries, if you put in an Interlibrary Loan request.

Watch how to make an Interlibrary Loan request for articles not available in the library collection.