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CROP/SOIL/SUS 325: Ag and Environmental Predicaments: A Case Study Approach

Guide to support literature searching for students in OSU's CROP 325, SOIL 325, SUS 325.

Start Broadly - 1Search

Find books, online scholarly articles or newspaper articles that OSU subscribes to.  If you need to find specific items, such as books by a particular author, use the advanced search option for more precise searching. Access 1Search from the library's home page.

1Search search bar showing two links: Databases A through Z and eJournals A through Z


Google Scholar

Google Scholar

You do allow embedded content.

A simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.

Find out how to set your preferences in Google Scholar, so you can use OSU Libraries subscriptions to get free access to content that is not free on the web:

How to use Google Scholar (without Paying for the Articles)

Recommended Databases for Crop & Soil Science

Search with Subject Databases

Watch the Searching in Subject Databases video below to learn:

  • the benefits of using subject-specific databases
  • how to find subject databases in your area at OSU Libraries
  • how to narrow your results, think of new keywords, and set up saved searches
  • how to troubleshoot your search, especially when you have few or no results.

Note - use the chapter menu (three lines in the upper left corner of the video) to jump to different topics.

Text box reading "Searching Subject Databases in Oregon State University"

Finding the full text of an article

 Look for the 360 link to full text button to open the full article.

Options for getting to the PDF will open in a new window. Sometimes the link will take you to the journal, not the individual article. Use the citation information for the article to get to the right year, volume and issue of the journal.

If the library doesn't have it, request the article for free from Interlibrary Loan: On average, articles arrive digitally in 13 hours.

Types of Scientific Literature

Most common types of scientific literature

  • Research articles - These are your standard scientific articles.  Most often published in peer reviewed journals, primary research articles report on the findings of a scientist's work.  They will almost always include a description of how the research was done and what the results mean.
  • Review articles - Published in peer reviewed journals, but seek to synthesize and summarize the work of a particular sub-field, rather than report on new results. Can provide helpful background information. Read about how to find review articles in the database Web of Science, or simply try adding "review" as a keyword to your topic search. 

Other types of literature

  • Editorials/Opinion/Commentary/Perspectives – An article expressing the author's view about a particular issue. These articles can be well researched and include a lot of citations to the peer reviewed literature, or simple items without citations, but are not themselves peer reviewed.
  • Trade publication articles - These publications are often aimed at professionals (doctors, brewers, teachers) or particular disciplines.  Articles in these publications may be several pages long and include a few references, but they are usually summarizing research published in other publications or reporting on industry news.  These can be helpful for keeping up with your discipline or finding a research topic.
  • News – Science news articles can be found in a wide variety of publications.  Popular newspapers and magazines, trade publications and scholarly publications can all have science news articles.  These articles often will refer to a recent study published as a primary research article.
  • Blog posts - Blogs can be a great way to get involved in the scientific community, and many scientific blog posts can point you back to the peer reviewed literature.
  • Technical Reports – Government agencies and NGOs often do scientific work.  The reports they produce are not often peer reviewed, but can be an important part of the scientific literature.
  • Dissertations/Thesis – These are the final products that result from research conducted for a PhD or a Masters degree. While they undergo exhaustive review by academic advisers and committee members, they wouldn’t be considered “peer-reviewed”.

Adapted from Bonnie Swoger's Types of Scientific Literature post.