Student Services Librarian
by Ruth Gustafson – December 2, 2020
Science Topic Ideas and Search Terms
Useful sources for finding recent research in all sciences, where you might find interesting topics, are the weekly magazines SCIENCE NEWS and NEW SCIENTIST. In addition, the premier journals SCIENCE and NATURE include the latest innovative research across the sciences. Use the Journal Citation Reports to find top-cited peer review journals in your discipline or topic area.
Once you’ve picked a topic, you will need to think of search terms to use for locating articles and other publications. Search the UC Davis Library online catalog (for books, DVDs and more) and use the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and also (for books owned at the medical libraries) the National Library of Medicine (NLM) terms. Each library subject database also has subject lists/thesauri that can help you precisely search your topic, e.g PubMed has MeSH and BIOSIS Previews has Concept Codes and more.
DID YOU KNOW? Shields Library is open – Check out real-time number of people in the building for the open hours @ https://www.library.ucdavis.edu/plan-your-visit/
More about the UCD Libraries during COVID time at https://www.library.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/
Options to seek assistance now are:
1) book an appointment with your class instructor (see above)
3) email your Librarian Subject Specialist directly
The UC Davis campus has 3 separate science libraries (two of them in health sciences) and one BioAgEnvi sciences area on the 3rd floor of Shields Library. Important science information, including maps, is also found as part of the Government Information Collections of Shields Library, Lower Level.
The UCD Libraries selectively buy materials on writing in the sciences. Browsable subject headings that bring up these types of publications include: Biology — Authorship; Chemistry — Authorship ; Communication of technical information; Life sciences — Authorship ; Proposal writing in biology; Proposal writing for grants; Proposal writing for research; Report writing; Scientific Illustration ; Technical writing ; Visual communication in science
NOTE: If all books in this area are checked out, selected books on science writing may be found in the BioAg Reference collection, 3rd floor Shields. These Reference books are noted as “Library Use Only” which means they should always be available for you to review and copy.
SPECIAL NOTE: Temporary online access is available for some print-only UCD materials. Look for the gray elephant icon with the link label “Full Text Available at HathiTrust.” Also note that the “Physical copy is Library Use Only”. Follow the HathiTrust link and LOGIN using your UCD credentials.
COVID TIME DUE DATES EXTENSION: For any items “checked out, due dates are being extended indefinitely. If you are in the [UCD] area and would like to return materials, you can deposit returns via the remote book drops or at Shields or Blaisdell Medical Library. Materials may also be mailed back at no cost to you. Contact email@example.com for additional instructions and to receive a postage-paid mailing label.”
Guide provided by the UCD Health Sciences Libraries to their eBook collections including a select list of major texts, organized by medical specialty.
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, GeoRef or Ag & EnviSci database) 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” or 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