Students, researchers, and professionals in natural resources frequently need
to consult research and professional literature in their discipline.. This often
involves Searching the Scientific Literature
and the social sciences literature to find desired information. This research
guide provides basic advice for effectively and efficiently conducting a literature
search and lists appropriate print and internet research tools--library catalogs,
indexes and reference resources--that can be utilized in identifying needed
Research tools for identifying literature include:
- Library Catalogs. Library catalogs are generally used to locate monographic
(book) materials. These may be either "primary" publications--conference proceedings,
technical reports, theses, and dissertations;--or "secondary" publications--scholarly
or popular textbooks, treatises, handbooks, and other types of compacted publications
derived from the "primary" literature. See OWL
2: HSU and Other Library Catalogs and Biological
Searching in Library Catalogs for guidance in searching the HSU
Library Catalog and Other Libraries.
- Indexes. Indexes provide subject, taxonomic, geographic, and author
access to "primary" research literature, i.e., journals, monographic series,
technical reports, conference papers, and government documents. See NRPI
Indexes for available indexes.
- Current Awareness Sources. Alerting services allow one to keep current
about new literature and developments through regular, periodic email notices.
See Current Awareness in the Sciences for services
available through the HSU Library or for free on the Internet.
- Reference Resources. Reference resources--dictionaries, directories,
handbooks, statisictical compilations--serve a variety of purposes. They can
to used to find factual information; or can be used as part of a literature
search strategy to provide background information on a topic and to identify
important publications in the discipline. Many can be used as starting points
which lead to original research appearing in the "primary" literature. The
following guides list reference resources (both print and Internet) in areas
of interest to NRPI:
As the initial step in conducting a literature search
a "search strategy" should be developed which clarifies the type and amount
of information desired and logically organizes your search. Searching
the Scientific Literature discusses the two basic approaches for searching
the scientific literature--subject searching and citation searching.
Send comments and suggestions about this page to: Robert Sathrum
Last Updated: January 23, 2004