UWP 104E RG: Writing in the Professions: Science

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/

 

Ruth Gustafson

Student Services
Student Services Librarian

ragustafson@ucdavis.edu

530-752-1883

In this Guide:

  • Science Consultations

Options to seek assistance now are:
1) book an appointment with your class instructor (see above)
OR
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.

  • Biological, Agricultural @ Environmental Sciences, Shields Library:  The BioAgEnvi Sciences print collections are located mainly on the 3rd floor of Shields Library. Some collections in the environmental sciences are located on the 2nd floor in the G classification areas.
  • Blaisdell Medical Library, Medical Education Building, UC Davis Medical Center
  • Carlson Health Sciences Library, Southwest UCD campus
  • Physical Sciences & Engineering Library, Just NorthWest of Mrak Hall (currently closed for renovation)
  • Government Information Collection, Shields Library  — Choose Government Information gold button.  The UC Davis Library is a federal and state depository library with extensive historical and current collections in print, microform and electronic formats. We collect extensively from major international, intergovernmental organizations, selectively from local jurisdictions, and on a very limited basis from foreign governments. Agriculture, forestry, the environment and ecology are areas of strength. We collect comprehensively from the U.S. Congress and California Legislature, along with federal and state laws and regulations. The Library’s collection of technical report literature is extensive. We emphasize statistical data in all collecting areas. Most government documents and maps are listed in the Harvest UC Davis Library Catalog and the UC-wide MELVYL Catalog. Some materials, such as technical reports and historical documents, may require specialized indexes or assistance from government information librarians.

 

Scientific Literature Publication Cycle [Diagram]

University of New Mexico

Illustration of scientific research process using a clockwise timeline with indication of earliest research output to latter outputs of research process. Describes the type of literature generated at different points in the publishing cycle and the types of assimilation into secondary and tertiary literature.

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.

  • UC Davis Library Catalog
    Replacing Harvest on August 18, 2016, the new UC Davis Library Catalog includes the collections of all four UC Davis General Libraries. It does not include the holdings of the Law Library. If you log in (My Account) using your UCD login and Kerberos passphrase, you are prompted with your loan period, can renew books online, and request items that have been checked out to another borrower, or are in storage.

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 shieldsinterloan@ucdavis.edu for additional instructions and to receive a postage-paid mailing label.”

 

  • Understanding Call Numbers

    Author: Library Instruction Services, Shields Library

    Library of Congress Classification is used for all of the UCD libraries except the health sciences libraries (which use NLM — National Library of Medicine — classification). Learn about how books are arranged in the UCD libraries with this guide.

    Date: 2004

Guide provided by the UCD Health Sciences Libraries to their eBook collections including a select list of major texts, organized by medical specialty.

Health Sciences eBooks

Subject Guides

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

Newspapers and Current Events Subject Guide

Especially useful are the NewsBank collections: Access World News, America’s Newspapers, and California Newspapers. Also consider ProQuest Current Newspapers with current full-text of the Los Angeles Times, New York Times (including the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review), and the Wall Street Journal [these are NOT in the NewsBank license].

 

Peer Review

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.

  • Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory  Icon

    The standard source for information on virtually every active and ceased periodical, annual, irregular publication, and monographic series published throughout the world (plus thousands of newspapers). Indicates whether a publication is a refereed (peer-reviewed) title.

    NOTE: search by journal or publication title, NOT article title. Ulrich’s provides information on the entire publication (journal, magazine, newspaper, annual review) NOT on the work within.

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