In this tutorial, you will learn how to:
Explore information sources in order get references for background information and increase familiarity with current knowledge.
Construct a search strategy using appropriate commands in order to find credible primary and secondary sources
Synthesize the relevant information in answering questions in your assignment and provide an annotated bibliography, justifying your choice of resources on the basis of scientific merit
Some sections have links to videos which will open in a new window. Please make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. If a video asks you to save or open it, open it with the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or IE.
On a Mac, use Firefox or Chrome, NOT Safari. Make sure you've enabled Flash.
See your assignment for due dates and submission instructions.
All instructions needed for successful completion are provided within the tutorial and your assignment. If you need help with technical issues or have questions about the research resources, send an email to Jeremy Cusker or Camille Andrews, your librarians, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. All other questions about the assignments should be directed to your TA.
From Wikipedia and on the web through Google and Google Scholar
At the end of Wikipedia articles (for example, this article on polyphenol oxidase), you'll often see references for the information used. You may also see references when you search with Google or Google Scholar. It's always a good idea to look at these sources to verify that the information is correct and to use these references to find citable sources.
You can also verify this information from encyclopedias or handbooks such as Access Science (a subscription resource) and PubMed Bookshelf (a public resource maintained by the National Library of Medicine). Depending on the resource, a search string such as "kinetics+penicillin" or "kinetics AND penicillin" is likely to retrieve relevant resources.
Access Science is just one of the reference resources the library has have. Other references can be found by searching the library website's Databases directory.
Where you look depends greatly on what you're searching for. Do you need articles, books or statistics? Current or historical materials? Different resources are better for different types of materials. For the rest of this assignment you will need to find scholarly, peer-reviewed, primary and secondary literature.
After getting some background information, you'll need to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge. Though you can find some scholarly articles with a general web search, you'll need to do a lot of evaluation to find out whether the articles meet your criteria. It is better to use scholarly resources through the Library website. For a thorough search, use a database specific to the field you are researching. Databases contain collections of articles from multiple journals or sources for a particular subject area.
Often, more than one database can be useful for your search, but we're going to make it easy for you in this assignment and show you how to search a scientific scholarly database called ISI Web of Knowledge (also sometimes referred to as Web of Science).
|Databases function differently from web search engines. You'll need to take the main concepts and keywords of your search and connect them using AND,OR, or NOT. We'll show you how to do this for a basic search in a database (such as connecting your main concepts with AND). For example, if you were interested in information on vaccines for ebola viruses, you can search for ebola AND vaccine in the Basic Search field of ISI Web of Knowledge.|
Sometimes your first search turns up far too much. But since databases are organized and structured, you can narrow down your results fast and easily using, in most cases, Advanced Search, OR, in the case of ISI Web of Knowledge, by using the sidebar entitled Refine Results.
SciFinder provides access to several databases in chemistry, all run by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS): CAplus, a database of chemical literature and U.S. and foreign chemical-related patents, CASREACT, and the Registry database from Chemical Abstracts Service.
One of the most important features is that it enables you to search by chemical substance: More than 33 million chemical substances may be searched by chemical name, chemical structure, substructure, CAS Registry Numbers (numbers assigned by CAS to chemicals), and formulae.
To access SciFinder Scholar for the first time, go here. Unlike most other databases made accessible via Cornell University Library, you will need to create a login and password the first time you use SciFinder Scholar.
Once you've created a login to SciFinder, then on future occasions you can log in through this link.
SciFinder maintains a guide, including a series of tutorials, both brief and in-depth.
Now that you've found the information you need, you have to compile and cite it properly.
Normally, a bibliography or list of references is just meant to show what prior research you drew upon when writing a paper or book. However, for a specific assignment like the one you are working on here, it is useful to create an annotated bibliography.
An annotated bibliography is essentially a 'narrative': a bibliography made more informative by adding extra information to each entry summarizing why each paper or resource you chose is specifically valuable and relevant.
You can find more details about creating an annotated bibliography at https://www.library.cornell.edu/research/citation/tutorial.