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FE 499: Biomass Characterization, Harvesting and Transportation: Finding Articles

Guide to assist students in FE499/FE640 do library research related to a biomass harvesting and transportation system

Accessing Library Databases

You want to make your case with the best evidence.  The library purchases access to indexing databases which help you to identify articles on specific topics. Most databases are not freely available to the public and are only licensed to OSU Libraries for the OSU community of users.  They are independent of the holdings of any one library.  

To begin using these databases and locating articles in peer reviewed journals and other reliable resources, start on the OSU Libraries home page

    • Use the "FIND IT" tab and click on "Databases," then use the alphabet menu provided to locate the database you want to use, or use the "Refine by Subject" drop down menu to sort available databases by subject area.
    • If you are not on campus, you will encounter the "ez-proxy server" asking you to authenticate yourself as a qualified OSU user by entering your ONID username and password.

    Evaluating web sites

    Items are added to the library selectively so when you discover something via a Google search, be selective.  When evaluating a web site look for these attributes:

    1. Purpose : Is it there to inform? Persuade? Sell? Entertain?
    2. Authorship & Authority : What are the person's (group's) credentials? Can you tell? Is the person/group credible? An authority?
    3. Objectivity : Does the site have a bias? Can you articulate what it is?
    4. Accuracy : Are sources cited or acknowledged?
    5. Currency : How current is the information? Is this important?
    6. Completeness : Is the information complete or just a summary of information found elsewhere?

    Where possible look for additional sources of information to verify information you find on the web, particularly if your are unsure about its authority, accuracy, and currency.  Consider limiting your google searches to .edu and .gov sites.

     

    Selecting Databases to Search

    When considering a database, it is important to be aware of its content including:

    • Subject coverage
    • Types of publications indexed in the database e.g., research journals, scientific magazines, conference proceedings
    • Dates of coverage; this is usually available in the short descriptions on the database listing indicated by an small letter "i".  See the database suggestions for forest engineering below.