Choosing databases for the
Articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals are important for finding the
most current and concise research information for your topic. The best way to
find those articles is to use a database. But which one will you choose?
Choosing a Database
- What type of periodical (scholarly or popular) is
required or most appropriate? Look at your assignment!
- Think carefully about possible terms, synonyms, and
alternate spellings for your topic. Try to use the jargon and language of the
How do I know if it is from a Scholarly (Research; Peer-Reviewed)
- The articles will include reports of original research,
review articles, and information aimed at experts in the field.
- The articles will have footnotes and cited references.
- What does peer-reviewed mean? In order to be accepted
for publication, articles must be reviewed by a group of peers in the field.
The reviewers are not agreeing or disagreeing with the article, but reviewing
the methodology to be sure that it is sound. This is the only category of
periodical where this type of rigorous review is required.
Once you have determined which type of source is needed, choose your
is an agriculture database produced by the U.S. National Agricultural Library.
It covers agriculture and related subjects including animal and plant science,
entomology, agronomy, horticulture, rural sociology, agricultural economics,
family living, food and nutrition. The following are indexed: journal
articles, books, book chapters, USDA, State Experiment Station, State
Extension service publications. There are several ways to access Agricola
through the Community of Science (OSU), through EBSCO or at the
National Agricultural Library (free global access), Each search interface has
advantages and disadvantages. Your best bet is to choose one and perfect your
searching through it. Use the others in case you can not reach your first
choice. Ask your librarian about the differences.
and Agricultural Index covers 150 journals in general agriculture, botany
and zoology. It is a good index to use if you need only a few detailed
articles on a topic within agriculture.
Abstracts (BIOSIS) is THE premier database for all of biology and covers
microbiology, biochemistry, and human biology particularly well. Covering
1985-present, it is updated quarterly.
CAB Abstracts is an electronic database that brings together the information
from all of the individual discipline based indexes published by CABI
Publishing. It provides excellent coverage of all aspects of the agricultural
sciences (plant sciences, animal sciences, entomology, forestry, agricultural
economics, nutrition, agricultural engineering, veterinary medicine). CAB
Abstracts includes the information from all of the print indexes that CABI
published including: Animal Breeding Abstracts, Index Veterinarius, and
Veterinary Bulletin. Covering 1973-present, it is updated daily. This database
also contains a new database specifically for veterinary medicine called Vet Med
Resource. This source contains full-text references, as well.
is a medical and biomedical database compiled by the National Library of
Medicine. It contains more than 11 million records covering 1966 to the
present focusing on primary literature. Medline records describe journals
(articles, editorials, letters, and commentaries), conference proceedings
(papers, poster sessions, and presentations), book chapters, government
guidelines, etc. The link in this description will take you to a page that
describes Medline and gives you three search interface choices available to
the OSU community: PubMed, EBSCO, and Web of Science. PubMed
is freely available without a subscription. If you link directly to PubMed
from off campus (without going through the proxy server); however, you will
not be entitled to link through to the full-text online journals.
This page was updated by Lynne Simpson, Assistant Professor/Agricultural Sciences Librarian. This page was designed by Heather K. Moberly, Associate Professor/Veterinary Medicine Librarian.
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