biology

Biology: Shariff

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Welcome! You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Image Credit: dr_zoidberg, Sustainable Sunset
  1. Explore Your Subject
  2. Find Articles
  3. Use Websites
  4. APA Style

Explore Your Topic

Want to know more about Energy Usage, Transportation, Sustainability, or other topics related to biology? You'll want to start with a reference resource, which will provide you with a summary of a current topic, as well as

  • Visit CQ Researcher. This database will provide summaries of many current events, including timelines, data, pro/con websites, and important context that will help you to better understand an issue, whether it's the ecology of the Arctic, or whether investing in an electric car is a good idea. Use the Table of Contents to help guide your search.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library is an online reference database that will help to define unfamiliar terms and provide context on a variety of topics.
  • Finally, Issues and Controversies will introduce you to many different environmental controversies.

Finding Articles in Databases

Once you've gotten background knowledge on your topic, you'll want to look at library databases to discover both popular and scholarly articles on your topic. Here are the top two databases to look for information.

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching. Confused about the difference between popular and scholarly articles? Learn more about them here.

Science Direct is a scholarly article database that provides full-text access to scholarly articles on a variety of scientific topics. A bit confused about how to read the articles you're finding there? Check out How to Read Research Articles.

Not finding what you need? You can check the full list of biology databases.


Evaluating Websites

There are websites that can provide a variety of insights into your class topics. Some of the best options are:

For topics like Energy and Sustainability, in particular, there are helpful websites that might provide data or help shape your thinking on this topic. Check out the following:

The Earth Charter initiative, which will give you some guidelines to thinking about sustainability.

Following the Earth Charter Initiative, think about changes the county might be able to make to become more sustainable. Want to investigate some data? The following sources provide some clues that might direct your thoughts:

US Department of Energy: SLED (Stats and Local Energy Data)
This site provides detailed information about energy usage, talks about buildings and efficiencies, renewable power, transportation, etc. You can look up a few cities in DuPage County by zipcode and see what recommendations the Department of Energy might have for the county.

Google Maps will show you a good physical layout of the county, from greenspace to public transportation options to whatever else you might be able to imagine.

Data USA will provide county-level data about demographics such as income, housing, and health. This database draws upon census data and was constructed by MIT.

The Chicago Metropolitan Area for Planning has a lot of good county-level data that you can use to help your county sustainability plan.

Searching On Your Own

If you search for websites on your own, you'll want to remember: when it comes to science, nearly everyone has opinions: should we be labeling genetically modified food for consumer's awareness? What will fracking do for our economy or our groundwater supply? Your job is to evaluate the information you can find through Google to find the good websites--those written by authors you can trust, with good and up-to-date information.

Authorship: Who created this website? What is their background on the topic? Are they trustworthy?

Bias: Why was the website created? What point of view does the author have? Does that limit the facts they present or how the facts are presented?

Date: How old is the information that is presented? Is it still accurate?

Questions? Check out the COD Library's guide to evaluating information.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the APA Style Blog, which includes sample papers.

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Transportation/EROI Lab

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Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: Mark Spearman, Double Track Railroad Bridge
  1. Gather Research
  2. Find Articles
  3. CSE Style

EROI Numbers

Here are some sites what will help you to figure out EROI numbers:

Inman, M. (April 2013). The True Cost of Fossil Fuels Scientific American, 308, 58-61. https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican0413-58

Hall, C. A. S., Lambert, J. G., & Balogh, S. B. (2014). EROI of different fuels and the implications for society. Energy Policy, 64, 141–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2013.05.049

Switch Energy Project: Energy Primer has 14 videos on key energy sources, and issues with each.

Energy Reality Check Energy by Numbers for EROEI ratios.

Finding Articles in Databases

You'll want to find a source in one of the following databases:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

Academic OneFile is a great place to find a mixture of scientific and popular articles as well. Just like in Academic Search premier, make sure that you're using a good source for this project while searching.

Science Direct is a scholarly journal article database. Use Science Direct to find current research on your topic.

Having trouble reading a scholarly article? Take a look at How to Read a Research Study.


Finding Articles in Full-Text

Find an article that you'd like to read but don't know how to find the full-text?

Enter the Journal Title (not the article title) into the Journal Locator.
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Look at the list of results that will tell you if the journal is in our databases, and if so, for what years. If the article you want is available, great! Click the link and search by article title. In the example, we have access to the title in a range of spaces, including print in the library.

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If you don't have access to the title, head to the Interlibrary Loan request forms. Copy and paste info about your article into the form and then fill out your contact information. Usually you will get an email with a link to the article in about 5 days.

Confused? Check out this video that shows you how to check to see if an article is in our databases.

Using CSE Style

First of all, we have a copy of Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers in the library. You'll want to head to the downstairs reference desk (2nd floor, SRC, to request a copy).

There are also many websites which will help you to format your citations in CSE style. Here are some of the best:

Further questions? Contact me using the information at the right of the screen.

Biology 1100: Lozano Porras

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Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: Michigan DNR: Black Lake sturgeon
  1. Picking a Topic
  2. Finding and Reading Scholarly Articles
  3. APA

Finding (and Narrowing) a Topic

You'll want to start with a topic that interests you, and one that you're willing to spend time on this semester. If you're struggling to get started, try looking at the New York Times Science section to see what information they have about current biology topics.

Have an idea, but it's too broad? (If you thought "climate change" above, this includes you.) Great! You'll want to work to narrow that topic a bit before you start looking for articles, or you will be swamped with results. You can try the following strategies to narrow a topic:

  • Visit the Gale Virtual Reference Library in order to narrow your topic. "Stem cell research" is incredibly broad, but learning that Stem Cell Research is being used to study (and possibly alleviate) Parkinson's Disease will help you to look at a focused set of articles. Gale is also wonderful about teaching you important terms you'll be seeing in your research articles.
  • A Google news search can give you headlines from around the world on topics like "invasive species Illinois."

Finding Scholarly Articles

Scientific research can be best found in academic databases. Here are the top two databases to look for information:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. Make sure that you search using at least two terms. You'll also want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching: how current is your article? Have you narrowed down to scholarly articles only?

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Science Direct
is a database with scholarly articles that focuses on the sciences. It has many more journals in the sciences than Academic Search Complete, so try looking here if you're not finding any articles you'd like to use in Academic Search Complete.

Having trouble reading your research article? Check out my Reading Research Articles link above.

Requesting articles via Interlibrary Loan

Find an article that you'd like to read but don't know how to find the full-text?
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Enter the Journal Title (not the article title) into the Journal Locator.

Look at the list of results that will tell you if the journal is in our databases, and if so, for what years. If the article you want is available, great! Click the link and search by article title. In the example, we have access to the title in a range of spaces, including print in the library.

Journal_Bioscience_1.PNG

If you don't have access to the title, head to the Interlibrary Loan request forms. Copy and paste info about your article into the form and then fill out your contact information. Usually you will get an email with a link to the article in about 5 days.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources in APA Style on the library citation guide.

You can also always check out the Purdue OWL website, which has APA citation guides and even a sample APA paper.

Google Scholar will also create citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions? Contact me using the information at the right of the screen.

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Sustainable DuPage County

DuPage River
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: Lotzman Katzman, DuPage River
  1. Gather Research
  2. Find Articles
  3. CSE Style

Sustainability Guides

Start with the Earth Charter initiative, which will give you some guidelines to thinking about sustainability.

County Data Sources:

Following the Earth Charter Initiative, think about changes the county might be able to make to become more sustainable. Want to investigate some data? The following sources provide some clues that might direct your thoughts:

US Department of Energy: SLED (Stats and Local Energy Data)
This site provides detailed information about energy usage, talks about buildings and efficiencies, renewable power, transportation, etc. You can look up a few cities in DuPage County by zipcode and see what recommendations the Department of Energy might have for the county.

Google Maps will show you a good physical layout of the county, from greenspace to public transportation options to whatever else you might be able to imagine.

Data USA will provide county-level data about demographics such as income, housing, and health. This database draws upon census data and was constructed by MIT.

The Chicago Metropolitan Area for Planning has a lot of good county-level data that you can use to help your county sustainability plan.

The Chicago Tribune Online can also give you clues about local news stories that have run about your topic.

You can also take a moment to look at the DuPage County Government Center Sustainability Best Practices Guide.

Start with Possible Solutions

Come across some solutions for your problem in buried in the data you just found? Great! Now it's time to start testing those solutions against research.

Start by thinking through all possible solutions to your problem. Not sure where to start? Google or the DuPage County Government Center Sustainability Best Practices Guide are good idea generators.

Finding Articles in Databases

Now that you know which sustainability initiatives you'll be recommending for DuPage County, find an article that explains how at least one of your changes might make a difference. You'll want to find a source in one of the following databases:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

U.S. Major Dailies includes the full-text of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal. It's worth looking for long news articles about your sustainability topic to see what solutions other areas are implementing.

Science Direct is a scholarly journal article database. Use Science Direct to find current research on your topic.

Having trouble reading a scholarly article? Take a look at How to Read a Research Study.


Finding Articles in Full-Text

Find an article that you'd like to read but don't know how to find the full-text?

Enter the Journal Title (not the article title) into the Journal Locator.
Journal_Bioscience.PNG

Look at the list of results that will tell you if the journal is in our databases, and if so, for what years. If the article you want is available, great! Click the link and search by article title. In the example, we have access to the title in a range of spaces, including print in the library.

Journal_Bioscience_1.PNG

If you don't have access to the title, head to the Interlibrary Loan request forms. Copy and paste info about your article into the form and then fill out your contact information. Usually you will get an email with a link to the article in about 5 days.

Confused? Check out this video that shows you how to check to see if an article is in our databases.

Using CSE Style

First of all, we have a copy of Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers in the library. You'll want to head to the downstairs reference desk (2nd floor, SRC, to request a copy).

There are also many websites which will help you to format your citations in CSE style. Here are some of the best:

Further questions? Contact me using the information at the right of the screen.

Biology 1151: Hardy

Prairie_Splendor.jpg Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Contact me (info to the right), stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Image Credit: Paul, "Prairie Splendor," 2009
  1. Topic
  2. Find Articles
  3. Read Articles
  4. Request Articles
  5. CSE Style

Finding (and Narrowing) a Topic

Have a glimmer of a topic that you'd like to work on? Great! You'll want to work to narrow that topic a bit before you dive into the catalog and databases, or you will be swamped with results. You can try the following strategies to narrow a topic:


Still Feeling Lost?

Try looking at current magazines and/or journals to see what types of research are being done in biology. At our library, we have the following in print:
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  • Scientific American
  • Science News
  • Bioscience
  • American Scientist

Searching Databases to Find Scientific Research Articles:

Once you know what keywords or topics you'd like to pursue, it's time to head to the databases in order to find good sources.

Best bet databases for this project:

Science Direct
Science Direct is a database full of scientific scholarly articles. In order to search, try putting in two keywords and selecting "Subscribed Journals" on the initial search screen. Confused? Click below.

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Academic Search Complete.
Academic Search Complete is a database covering a wide variety of topics, with articles ranging from newspaper and magazine articles to scholarly articles. Therefore, you want to be very careful about looking at the results of your search to make sure that you have a scientific research article for class. Try using the same keywords you used in Science Direct, and then use the date and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed ) Journals limits to get started.

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For the Enzyme/Write Your Own Scientific Paper assignment

Check both databases above and also Google Scholar for relevant articles. You'll want to sort Google Scholar results by relevance and also check the Request Articles tab to figure out how to get the articles in full-text.

Distinguishing a Research Article From a Popular Article

Worried that you might be reading a trade article from a scholarly article, or a review article from a scientific research article?

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiliations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

Once you are certain that you are looking at a scholarly article, make certain that your article is a scientific research article, by looking for the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References or Works Cited

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

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Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The (unmarked) introduction

Want to take a closer look? Cladophora (Chlorophyta) spp. Harbor Human Bacterial Pathogens in Nearshore Water of Lake Michigan is a research article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Note: need to find an experimental (rather than descriptive) study? You'll want to be sure to look at a research article, and then search the abstract for words like random or control.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • First, re-read the abstract. This will help you to understand the main point of the article.
  • Second, look at the structure of the article and break it apart into what you know about what the author is trying to accomplish: A Methods section, for example, explains the experiment design. The Discussion gives context to the experiment results.
  • Check out this short book on how to read scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Interlibrary Loan

Not finding the article you want in full-text online? Start by checking our journal locator to be sure that the article isn't just in another of our databases. Type in the journal name to see if we have access to the journal, and if so, for which dates.

For journal articles, bibliographic citations in the chemical literature tend to give abbreviated titles. Talk to Laura if you need help finding the full journal title when requesting an article. Guide to chemistry journal abbreviations from University of British Columbia will be helpful.

Still not finding your article?

Use Interlibrary Loan to get books and articles from other libraries. For books, be sure to get author, title and date whenever possible.

Chemical citations often do not give the title of the article or full range of pages, so you will need to fill in a topic: use parentheses: (About name of molecule) and starting page number with a + after it.

Interlibrary loan of books can take 10 business days and articles may take 5 business days, so give yourself time to get these materials.

Using CSE Style

First of all, we have a copy of Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers in the library. You'll want to head to the downstairs reference desk (2nd floor, SRC, to request a copy).

There are also many websites which will help you to format your citations in CSE style. Here are some of the best:

Tags: 

Biology 1100: Ajgaonkar: Issue/Lifecycle

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Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of these resources from off campus.

Questions? Feel free to contact me, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Want to know more about the COD library? Check out our orientation video.

Image Credit: Alessandro Grussu: "Cambridge-63"
  1. Pick a Topic
  2. Find Books
  3. Find Articles
  4. Use Websites
  5. APA Style

Controversial Environmental Issues

Trying to pick a controversial issue related to the environment? Try looking at library databases Issues and Controversies (look for the Energy and the Environment section) or CQ Researcher to get started getting some background data.

Life Cycle Assessment

Your professor has a great guide to picking a (simple) item in your instructions. After you do this, you might want to Google a bit to find the components of your item, just to start getting a list together.

Finding Books on Your Topic

For either topic, start by searching our catalog. You'll want to search by keywords that define your topic: for example, look for "Coffee production" or "Coffee and Environment" rather than coffee and life cycle.

Once you start to find books that look interesting, click on the title of the book and then on the Description to see more info about the title. You'll want to look for three things: the table of contents, the subject words, and the summary of the title. These will help you to know if your topic is focused enough.

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Once you've decided that a book is helpful, write down the following and head to the Reference Desk. We'll help you find the book:

  • The Title
  • The Location (often "General" or "Reference"
  • The Call Number (a string of numbers and letters, such as TX415 .P46 1999

Finding Articles on Your Topic

Databases can help you with a couple of types of sources for your paper. For the Environmental Issue paper, you can use newspaper and magazine articles as evidence of different viewpoints on your topic. Journal articles will help you hunt down specific details that will help you evaluate those claims. Details about production or the environmental impact of a type of material may show up in either newspaper or journal articles for the Life Cycle Analysis paper.

Best bet databases:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of types of articles (both journals and magazines/newspapers) on a wide variety of topics. Start here and then move on to other database options.

Science Direct is a scientific scholarly article database and might provide necessary details for your paper.

National Newspapers Core includes the full-text of the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and other major newspapers. It's definitely worth a look to see if you can find evidence of "Opposing Viewpoints" or long articles here.

Scientific American is a respected scientific magazine and can be found in full text through Academic Search Complete. Need an image or table from your article? The journal is in full-text in JSTOR except for the current 5 years, and we retain two years of the most current issues in our print collection.

Finding and Evaluating Online Sources

Some of you will find many of your sources using a search engine like Google. Just as in the databases, you'll want to be careful about how you frame your search. For example, if I google "What's in a Pencil?" I get resources different than "#2 pencil components."

Secondly, some of the sites you will find will offer other clues for finding information. This site on how pencils are made has a list of resources at the bottom. This is your cue to begin searching our catalog and databases to see if you can find any of the books or articles mentioned.

For those of you working on the Life Cycle Assessment paper, the EPA has several websites you might be interested in, including Design for the Environment Alternatives Assessments, Design for the Environment Pesticides, Chemicals and even Detergents. They also have a site that talks about Climate Change and the Life Cycle of Stuff.

Other tips:

  • Want to search only governments or educational sites? Try adding site:.gov or site:.edu to your searches to see if this helps you to find more credible information.
  • Wondering if you've got a good or bad source for your project? Check out our library's guide to evaluating websites.
  • Remember that you'd evaluate a video you found through YouTube in the same way you'd evaluate a website.
  • Feeling lost or confused about anything on this guide? Email me and I'll be happy to help.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the Purdue OWL APA website, which includes sample papers.

Tags: 

Prairie Research

KirtPrairie.jpg

Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, contact us.

Questions? Feel free to contact me, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Want to know more about the COD library? Check out our orientation video.

Image Credit: COD Newsroom: Russell Kirt Prairie. No alterations.
  1. Prairie Books
  2. Prairie Articles and Websites
  3. Using the Archive

Books

Books can provide good research about a variety of prairie topics, including history, ecology, and related subjects.

General Prairie Books

Working on a prairie-related topic? If so, try looking through the books on the following topics. I have not listed every book we own that focuses on the prairie, but these will get you started.

Tallgrass Prairie by John Madson and Frank Oberle QH104.5.M47 M34 1993

Grassland Dynamics: Long-Term Ecological Research in Tallgrass Prairie by Alan K. Knapp. QH105.K3 G73 1998

The Ecology and Management of Prairies in The Central United States by Chris Helzer QH104.5.M47 H45 2010

Illinois Wilds by Michael R. Jeffords, Susan L. Post, Kenneth Ray Robertson. QH105.I3 J4 1995

Prairie: A Natural History by Candace Sherk Savage, David Suzuki Foundation. QH102 .S38 2011

Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie by Aimée Larrabee and John Altman QH104 .L33 2001

Plants of the Prairies

Prairie Plants Of The Midwest: Identification And Ecology by Russell Kirt. QK938.P7 K5 1995 (in Reference and On Reserve)

Prairie Plants Of Northern Illinois: Identification And Ecology by Russell Kirt. QK157 .K5 1989x

Prairie Establishment And Landscaping by William E. McClain, Illinois. Division of Natural Heritage., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. QK938.P7 M24 2003

Best Groundcovers And Vines For The Prairies by Hugh Skinner, Sara Williams, Lesley Reynolds. SB432 .S552 2007

Edible Wild Plants Of The Prairie : An Ethnobotanical Guide by Kelly Kindscher. QK 98.5 .U6 K56 1987

Medicinal Wild Plants Of The Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide by Kelly Kindscher. E78.G73 K56 1992

Animals of the Prairies

The Prairie Gardener's Book of Bugs: A Guide to Living With Common Garden Insects by Nora Bryan, Grace Buzik, Ruth Staal. SB931 .B79 2003

Grassland Dynamics: Long-Term Ecological Research in Tallgrass Prairie by Alan K. Knapp. QH105.K3 G73 1998 *See description

The Ecology and Management of Prairies in The Central United States by Chris Helzer QH104.5.M47 H45 2010 *Includes animal info

The Russell R. Kirt Prairie

First, start by checking out the books we have that were authored by Kirt:
Plant Species And Management Plan For College Of Dupage's Marshes And Woodlands by Russell R. Kirt, College of DuPage. QK157 .K49 2000

Prairie Plants Of The Midwest: Identification And Ecology by Russell Kirt. QK938.P7 K5 1995 (in Reference and On Reserve)

Prairie Plants Of Northern Illinois: Identification And Ecology by Russell Kirt. QK157 .K5 1989x

You can also check out the Archives tab above to see what unique items appear in our collection.

The Prairie Ecology sections of the collection are QH104-105 and QH541.5. Feel free to browse our collections. However, keep in mind that plants (QK, SB) and animals (QL) have their own subject areas where you may also find interesting items...

You can also use I-Share to request books owned by other libraries in Illinois.

Finding Articles and Websites about the Prairie

Need scholarly articles about prairie topics? Try the following databases:

Science Direct is a scholarly article database. Try searching by at least two keywords. Need help? Check out this tutorial. You'll need an active library card to access it.

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles, and has a variety of prairie-focused research.

Google Scholar indexes a variety of scholarly research about the prairie. Want to use Google Scholar to help identify what you have access to in our library? Watch this short tutorial on how to do that!

Websites

The Prairie Research Institute has good information about current prairie research.

Prairie Biotic Research, Inc. is an all-volunteer non-profit created to fund prairie research projects. You can search research projects by state, date, and topic.

The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (run by USGS) has reports on topics like honeybees and native polinators, wolves, and oil and natural gas development, among others.

Archives

Want to know more about the Russell Kirt Prairie on the COD campus?

More info can be found in the College Archives, including photos, documents and articles. Contact Jenny Dunbar using the Archives page to arrange a time to do research in the archives.

BIOLO 1100: Shaffer-McCarthy

Lactobacillus acidophilus.jpg
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: Lactobacillus acidophilus By Bob Blaylock via Wikimedia Commons
  1. Pick a Topic
  2. Find Articles
  3. Use Websites
  4. Citing Sources

Finding (and Narrowing) a Topic

Have a glimmer of a topic that you'd like to work on? Great! You'll want to work to narrow that topic a bit before you dive into the catalog and databases, or you will be swamped with results. You can try the following strategies to narrow a topic:

Finding Articles in Databases

Newspaper Databases

National Newspapers Core contains the full text of the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Washington Post, and many others. It's worth using this database to look for Level 2 sources for your project.

Academic Search Complete also contains newspaper citations and the full-text of many magazines and trade publications.

Scholarly Article Databases

Scientific research can be best found in academic databases. Here are the top two databases to look for scholarly articles for this project.

Academic Search Complete also has a number of scholarly articles on scientific subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for the assignment when searching.

Science Direct has a large number of scholarly articles that may be helpful for your project.

See the full list of biology databases.


Evaluating Websites

While you're doing Google searches to either narrow your topic or in order to dig up more information on certain subject, you want to be careful to decide if the information you find is trustworthy.

When it comes to science, nearly everyone has opinions: should we be labeling genetically modified food for consumer's awareness? What will fracking do for our economy or our groundwater supply? Your job is to evaluate the information you can find through Google and Bing to find the good websites--those written by authors you can trust, with good and up-to-date information.

Authorship: Who created this website? What is their background on the topic? Are they trustworthy?

Bias: Why was the website created? What point of view does the author have? Does that limit the facts they present or how the facts are presented?

Date: How old is the information that is presented? Is it still accurate?

Questions? Check out the COD Library's guide to evaluating information.


Class Exercise

Take a moment to look at your website. Is this information trustworthy? How do you know? Be prepared to tell your classmates your opinion.

Do Probiotics Really Work?
Probiotics Guide: Benefits, Foods, Supplements
Do I need to include probiotics and prebiotics in my diet?
Probiotics: In Depth

Using MLA or APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about MLA or APA style? Purdue OWL has great MLA and APA citation guides.

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Environmental Ethics

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Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus.

Questions? Feel free to contact me, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Want to know more about the COD library? Check out our orientation video.

Image Credit: COD Newsroom: Russell Kirt Prairie. No alterations.
  1. Find Books
  2. Find Articles
  3. Read Research Articles
  4. Example Paper

Finding Books

Books are great resources to use to get started on your paper topic. They often are written for a general audience but have focused chapters, and can give you necessary background to interpret scholarly articles.

In order to discover what print or electronic books we may have that will help your research, start by searching the library catalog.

Once you pull up the catalog page, type in a few words related to your topic such as prairie and medicine.
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A new tab will open with book results displayed. Write down the title, location, and call number of any books that look interesting. Bring that info to the library reference desk in order to have help finding the books.

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Prairie Research

Is your topic focused on the prairie? If so, check out the bibliography and other resources on the prairie research guide.

Finding Articles

There are two databases where you might find helpful articles for your topic. It is crucial, when you search databases, to use at least two words or ideas in your search. For example, a search of prairie in Academic Search Complete will get you almost 22,000 articles. A search of prairie and economics will drop that number to 650.

Academic Search Complete
Academic Search Complete will have a mix of scholarly and popular articles on many different topics related to the environment.

Science Direct
This database will be able to help some of you with more complex topics dig up information. When you search Science Direct, you'll be looking through a database of scientific scholarly articles. You will also find only full-text information as long as you leave "subscribed journals" selected.

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Notice the following:

  1. I've used at least two keywords.
  2. "Subscribed Journals" is checked.

Remember, if you find a great article for your topic, don't hesitate to look at the subject headings listed in the article-- maybe you could change your search terms to get more related articles!

Reading a Scholarly Article

Struggling to read your scientific scholarly article, even though it looks like it might be perfect for your purpose?

Try using the info below as a guidepost to help you understand the article.

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiliations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

If you are using a scientific research article, you'll see the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract: a paragraph summary of the research question and findings
  • Introduction: the research question: what did the scientists set out to know? Also provides context to the study: what did we know about the topic? Who answered the most important questions so far? Will include many citations.
  • Method: the experiment design
  • Results: The data gathered by the experiment
  • Discussion: analyzes the results. What do we understand about the topic after the experiment has been conducted?
  • Conclusion: lists further questions to be studied
  • References or Works Cited: functions just as yours will. What research has been referenced throughout the paper?

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, be combined together (results and discussion often share a single section) or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

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Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The (unmarked) introduction

Want to take a closer look? Cladophora (Chlorophyta) spp. Harbor Human Bacterial Pathogens in Nearshore Water of Lake Michigan is a research article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Review Articles

Scientific review articles aim to summarize current research on a topic, leading to a comparison of what is known about a topic as well as questions that remain to be addressed. Review articles will often summarize tens of articles, and so a long list of works cited is to be expected. Review articles also do not typically follow the structure of a research article. Often times, the word "review" will appear in the title.

Want to take a closer look? Infant Feeding and Risk of Developing Celiac Disease: A Systematic Review is a review article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • Remember to start with your abstract. The summary will tell you where the authors are heading and help you to fight through confusing sections.
  • Don't hesitate to read the article through twice.
  • Check out this handy guide to reading scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Student Example

Check out “Foraging Behavior of Rodent and Songbird Populations, Examined with Variation of Predatory Risk” by Abe Whiting for an example of student scientific writing at COD.

Biology 1100: Shaykh

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Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Contact me (info to the right), stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Image Credit: DNA Double Helix
  1. Pick Your Topic
  2. Find an Article in a Database
  3. APA Style

Picking Your Topic

The field of genetics can encompass anything from vaccines to food to human cloning. One of the best ways to find a research topic that interests you is to look at dictionaries and encyclopedias in order to figure out what studies in genetics are being done.

Start with the following:

Scientific Thought in Context
Gale Virtual Reference Library ONLINE
You can also browse through Google News reports to get a sense of good topics to investigate.


Still Feeling Lost?

Try looking at current magazines and/or journals to see what types of research are being done in genetics. At our library, we have the following in print:
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  • Scientific American
  • Science News
  • Bioscience
  • American Scientist

Searching Databases to Find Articles:

Once you know what keywords or topics you'd like to pursue, it's time to head to the databases in order to find good sources.

Academic Search Complete is a database covering a wide variety of topics, with articles ranging from newspaper and magazine articles to scholarly articles. Therefore, you want to be very careful about looking at the results of your search to make sure that you have a scientific research article for class. One way to do this is to limit your research to Scientific American while searching online.

To do this, start by clicking on Academic Search Complete.

Once you're in the database, click "Publications."
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Then, type "Scientific American" and hit browse.

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Click on Scientific American. Then, hit "search within this publication" on the left of the screen. You'll see that your original search box now saws JN "Scientific American".

Click on the second search box down and either type your paper topic or try typing in DNA OR Gene OR Genetic OR Genome.
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Start searching through the results. Remember, you want to summarize an article that is substantive (i.e. at least 2 pages long) and relatively recent (published in the last 2-3 years.)

Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the APA Style Blog, which includes sample papers.

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