Student Services Librarian
by Ruth Gustafson – January 10, 2019
Biological Sciences Topic Ideas and Search Terms
The top journals SCIENCE and NATURE include peer-reviewed articles. Top licensed biology-focused journals include: Biological Reviews, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences (oldest continuously published biology journal in the world), Quarterly Review of Biology, BioScience, FASEB (Federation of the American Societies of Experimental Biology) Journal and BioEssays. Top open-access journals focusing on the biological sciences which might provide ideas for topics include PLOS Biology, eLIFE and BMC Biology. Premier licensed medical journals include JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine), Lancet, BMJ (British Medical Journal), and Nature Medicine. Top open-access medical titles include PLoS Medicine and BMC Medicine.
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 PubMed — also uses subject lists that can help you precisely search your topic.
UC Davis has one life sciences collection in the Shields Library (Biological, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences) and 2 separate health sciences libraries. Important biosciences information may also be found as part of the Government Information collection of Shields Library, Lower Level. Veterinary information is located at the Carlson Health Sciences Library.
The UCD Libraries has many books on biomathematics. To locate books that are focused on biocalculus or have chapters on calculus type in this search:
Subject is (exact) biomathematics
AND Any field contains calculus*
General Calculus books are found at the call number locale of QA 303.2 … ; books on biocalculus are found at the call number locate of QH 323.5 …
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 or ASFA) 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” (peer-reviewed).
Clarivate Analytics Journal Citation Reports is a comprehensive tool for assessing the importance of research journals in disciplines and sub-disciplines including medical specialties.
NOTE that *review* journals may often 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: 1997-2016 (for 1996-2015 data)
•Impact Factors in Wikipedia: validity, manipulation, and misuse of Impact Factors
•Using JCR Wisely
Guide provided by the UCD Health Sciences Libraries to their eBook collections including a select list of major texts, organized by medical specialty.