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Mammalogy - BIOL 4164 - James Demastes  

Guide for locating research on specific mammals. Tips on where to search and how to search.
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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In-Class Questions

When considering the 2 provided articles, think about & discuss:

1. Who or what were the subjects of study?

2. What data set was used/analyzed?

3. What were the overall findings/results?

When considering the 1 article we're going to focus on, think about & discuss:

1. Who are the authors? What do we know (or can we Google) about them?

2. Where was this published? What do know (or can we Google) about it?

3. How current is it?

4. What further research is suggested?

5. How would we find more like this?

OneSearch Tips/Tricks

How to find research articles on your specific mammal with OneSearch

  1. Go to the Rod Library website –   (or just Google UNI Library)
    Use the main search box, OneSearch, which searches many of Rod Library's paid resources including scholarly articles, books, e-books, etc. Using the Advanced Search will give you more options.
  2. Type in your topic and search.  
    Try both common and scientific names.
    Scientific name lookup: Catalogue of Life
    Use quotation marks around logical phrases, such as scientific names (ex. "ursus maritimus")
    Borrow Subjects that are listed for articles of interest (under About) to do new searches on related topics.
  3. After you get results you can refine by using options in the left column:
    • Check the box labeled Peer-reviewed Journals to limit your search to quality research.
    • Adjust the Publication Date slider bar to a recent date range e.g. 5 years ago to present if you are looking for more current research.

    • Select Expand My Results checkbox to search for more than articles UNI has access to through our paid subscriptions (ie. if you want to search a larger universe of research literature - and are willing to use Interlibrary Loan.
  4. For more detail about any source, select the About button. To get that source, choose the Find Online box, then click on the database link provided. Usually a PDF will be available for download. If not full text, Sign In using your CatID to request through Interlibrary Loan.


Biology-Focused Databases

Web of Science (Thomsen Reuters)

Cross-disciplinary database that combines several search tools, including Biological Abstracts, Zoological Record, Science Citation Index, and more.

Biological Abstracts

Very large biology-focused database covering years 1995 - present.  Search may be limited to "topic" or "title".  Like Web of Science, Biological Abstracts provides direct access to the citation software EndNote Web.

Zoological Record

For recent research (2009 - present) on animal focused biology, Zoological Record, like Biological Abstracts and Web of Science, can be searched by "topic" or "title" and plays well with EndNote Web.

PubMed (the original)

Very strong in biomedical research.  Use advanced search and try limiting to Title/Abstract.  This link provides the Find it! @ UNI when off campus.

MEDLINE (PubMed via Web of Knowledge/Science)

This version of PubMed works very well with EndNote Web.  Though it Includes Topic, Title, and MeSH search options there is no searching by Abstract. This link provides the Find it! @ UNI when off campus.


Another database for locating more historical biological research (back to ~ 1840).  You may wish to "narrow by discipline."  When you first arrive at JSTOR, scroll down the page and check on or more of the following boxes:

ScienceDirect  (Elsevier)

This large science database provides access to the extensive Elsevier journal collection from 1995 - present.  Use the "Advanced Search" option which hides in the upper right-hand corner of the first screen.

SpringerLink  (Springer)

This large science database provides access to many Springer journal articles from 1997 - present.  Use the "Advanced Search" option which hides under the "gear" icon to the right of the search box. 


Google Scholar: Tips/Tricks

1. Use the Rod Library Google Scholar link. This will ensure that citations link to Rod Library subscriptions, and the library's Interlibrary Loan service if needed (that's free for UNI faculty, staff, and students). Alternatively, you can set up your Google Scholar account to link to Rod Library using the Settings > Library Links option. Use your UNI CatID when prompted.

2. Be specific with your keywords. Do some background research to determine the most effective search terms and/or combinations of search terms. Using scientific terms, for example, rather than general terms or slang, will usually mean better results when searching for scholarly sources.

Using the "Cited by" and "Related articles" links below each article can be very useful in gathering many relevant articles quickly. More search tips from Google Scholar are available here.

3. Use limiters. After searching, you'll see options on the left sidebar to limit by date and other criteria. You can also use the Google Scholar Advanced Search to see all limiter options as indicated on the Rod Library Google Scholar page. This allows searching by author, journal, etc.

4. Shop around. No single database has everything. To explore Rod Library subscription databases, see the Databases A-Z or Databases by Subject lists. See also subject guides created by Rod Library librarians.

Keep in mind that Google Scholar (and regular Google) only search the surface web, not the deep web (much larger than the surface web!) that can't be indexed by search engines.

5. Evaluate everything. Not all scholarly articles are created equal, and Google Scholar includes more than just scholarly articles. Consider the author and their credentials (including agencies/offices that collectively author sources), the publication itself (ie. journal), the research methodology, the date of publication, etc.

Want some one-on-one suggestions for your research?  Contact a librarian!  See contact information elswhere on this guide.

Your Librarian

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Anne Marie Gruber
Contact Info
(319) 273-3711
Spring 2017 Office Hours: most Mondays 1:30-3:30 outside McCollum 201; Tuesdays/Wednesdays 8am-10am in Rod Library 270
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Finding Journal Articles with a Citation

Timesaver Strategy!  Once you have found an article, borrow the citations to find more. Here's how:

If you found the article in OneSearch,

  • Use the Cited By box if provided. This will list articles cite the original article (use it as a source).
  • You can also use the Citations box if provided to see what sources are in the original article's bibliography.

In either case, use the links provided (Find Online if available through Rod Library subscriptions) to access each relevant article.

Or if you have citations for articles you want, search by journal title (not article title) in Rod Library Journals A to Z list.

Or if you have citations for articles you want, use the Rod Library Citation Linker to enter as much citation information as you know about an article you want.

Journal Abbreviations

Many citations you see for scholarly articles will include journal abbreviations. Google abbreviations to determine what they stand for. Also try:

Evaluate Journals

  • Google
    Search by journal title to find journal webpage. Use About Us & other links provided to determine journal focus, editorial process, etc.)
  • UlrichsWeb
    Search by journal title to find out if it is peer reviewed ("refereed"), how often it is published, which databases its articles and/or citations appear in ("abstracting & indexing"), etc.

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