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FES 520: Posing Research Questions

Library guide to finding information resources in forest science and related fields.

Style Guides

Consistency is the rule of thumb in creating a bibliography. To this end, there are several style guides available and you can learn more about these from the library's page on Style and Citation Guides.   Another approach for consistency is to select a journal of note in your field and follow the instructions to authors writing for that journal.   To locate these, look for a link to  "instructions for authors" on the journal's website or on the cover pages of the most recent issue.   Since you will be citing some articles from the web, be sure to note their instructions about how to do this.

You may want to plan to use a software package like EndNote to organize bibliographic sources as you find them and later to reformat them for specific publications.  This software is not free, but may pay for itself in saved time.  Or you might consider using one of the free bibliographic services such as Zotero.  The Library provides  workshops on EndNote and Zotero several times during the year or you can learn quite a bit by visiting their websites as well.

Copyright and Open Access

Honor copyrights: It is common for people to prefer electronic copies of journal articles as they are portable and seemingly easy to share with others.  You should be aware that unless the copyright holder specifically states that you have permission to share their article via the web or distribute it, you are likely in violation of their copyright.  Unless the author specifically retains his/her copyright for a published article, more than likely the copyright for it is held by the journal publisher.  In most cases the publishers are making a good deal of money licensing electronic access to the articles in the journals they publish.   So not surprisingly they will not want to find you have posted it on the web for free.  The general exception to this is that works by employees of the federal government (notably the US Forest Service) are in the "public domain" before and after publication.  There is some debate about how this applies to co-authored works and it is probably best to link to public domain items rather than host them on your own server.

Consider your options for managing your own copyrights: One option for this is to include a Creative Commons License that indicates indicates when you are willing to share a copyrighted item freely (with attribution). 

Add a copyright addendum from ScienceCommons which will allow you to retain you right to (among other options) provide access to an article your write immediately after publication via an open access repository such as the ScholarsArchive@OSU.

Participate in and promote Open Access:  In addition to "open access" journals (free to the user), a growing number of publishers (thanks to some legal and economic pressure) have  liberalized their standard copyright transfer agreements to include the right of the author to "self-archive" pre-prints and/or post-prints in their local institutional repository (IR).  At Oregon State University, that  repository is the the "ScholarsArchive@OSU" located on the web at .  Items in such repositories are much more visible to your scientific peers and the world.  When you have defended your thesis or dissertation, you will contribute a copy of it to this archive.  Refer to the guide to Scholarly Communication for tips on how to become an active participant in open access.

How to deposit your publications in ScholarsArchive@OSU

ScholarsArchive@OSU is Oregon State University's Open Access Repository.  The College of Forestry has an open access policy which encourages the deposit of at least a manuscript version all research publications.   

You will be required by the graduate school to deposit your thesis and/or dissertation to the ScholarsArchive@OSU when you have have successfully defended it. 

  1. Connect to ScholarsArchive@OSU
  2. Click on "Login" in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  3. Use your ONID Username or ONID email address and your ONID Password to login
  4. Click on “start a new submission.”  The first question you will be asked is to select a collection.
    • If there is more than one option, look for the collection beginning  "Electronic Theses and Dissertations"
    • If you see no collections, email
  5. Respond to the questions asked about the item being submitted.
  6. It is okay to leave a field empty – there are only a few which are mandatory.
  7. If you are confused by a question, you can:
    • Move to the next page and proceed adding the information you have at hand or,
    • “Save and Exit” – your submission will be there when you login again.
  8. As you proceed you will see your progress in the submission process at the top of the screen;
  9. We encourage you to select a Creative Commons License as well to help you manage your copyrights, the most commonly used option is non-commercial use with attribution "CC-NC" (you can opt out of selecting a license if you choose);
  10. When you deposit your thesis or dissertation in the ScholarsArchive@OSU, it is openly accessible -- you do NOT need to opt for this on the Proquest form as well.  
  11. Your submission will not be "live" until it is approved and at that time, you will receive an email which provides the URL you should use to guide people to the deposited version.