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FW 317: Mammalogy (Ecampus)

Doing a literature review requires a certain discipline in searching for information and then analyzing it. This page provides tips and help in finding the information. The reading, summarizing and critical thinking are up to you.

Ecampus Services

The OSU Libraries provides various services for students who are taking this course through Ecampus. The Ecampus library services page has the most complete information.

 

Searching Tips

Keyword searching:

  • Most databases are very literal.
  • If you search for "salmon" but an article only refers to the term "anadromous fish" you will not get that article.
  • So, think about your topic and generate useful search terms is your first step.

Controlled vocabularies:

  • Some databases have a "controlled vocabulary" (a thesaurus).
  • If available, this is database feature is useful because it provides a consistent way to retrieve references to books and articles on a topic that may have many terms all referring to the same concept.

Combine terms using the Boolean Operators AND/OR /NOT:

  • "AND" narrows your search (fewer results)
  • "OR" broadens your search (more results)
  • "NOT" removes a word that connotes the wrong context (unpredictable results
  • If you have words that express different concepts use an AND
  • If you need a variety of words to get at the same concept, use an OR

Truncation or Wildcards:

  • Most databases allow for a symbol (often * ) to be used at the end of a word stem so that you don't have to type all the variant endings of that word.
  • This is known as a truncation symbol.
  • The symbols used for truncation may be different from one database to another.
  • Use the database's help menu to see what truncation symbol to use.
    (Example: fish* will retrieve fish, fishes, fisheries, etc.)

Citation Style

Format your citations for this paper using the "Citing the Scientific Literature" guide provided by your instructor.

sea lions USFW

Make sure someone else can find the resource you use.  Essential information for a citation:

  • Authorship
  • Title & subtitle
  • Name of journal or book
  • Volume number
  • Inclusive page numbers
  • Year of publication
  • Month or number if volume is not paged consecutively
  • URL if digital