Biology 124 – Paddack
About this guide
This guide provides students with recommendations for finding and evaluating information on topics related to evolutionary biology. Use the tabs above to navigate through the pages of the guide.
A group presentation and annotated bibliography using at least four sources, including at least one source from a scholarly peer reviewed journal.
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Reference sources are a great place to find scientific terms, definitions, and background information on your topic.
Online Reference Sources
The library subscribes to some online reference sources, including the following general reference books and subject-specific books. When accessing these resources off campus, you’ll be prompted for your pipeline username and password.
- Credo Reference Contains the full text of over 600 encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books covering all major subject areas.
Print Reference Sources
These books are available in the Luria Library Reference section. Ask a librarian for additional help finding reference books on your topic.
- Encyclopedia of Evolution — R 576.8 P133e
- Evolution: The Story of Life — R 576.8 P173e 2009
Search the library catalog for books on your topic. The library’s collection includes both print books and online ebooks. Your search results will include articles as well. Limit to books by choosing the appropriate box from the menu to the left of the results.
Articles from periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers) often provide the most current information on a topic. Some periodical articles are more scholarly than others. To find periodical articles on your topic, search through the library’s databases or some of the freely available resources listed below.
Magazine vs. Journal Articles
Before you search, you need to know the difference between “magazine” and “journal” articles. Journals are also referred to as “peer-reviewed” or “scholarly” sources.A brief explanation can be found here:
The following subscription databases will require you to log in with your Pipeline information from off campus:
- Academic Search Premier A great starting point for research on any topic. This multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 4,600 journals, including full text for nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles.
- Science Full Text Select Provides full text for more than 400 journals in fields such as agriculture & agricultural research, biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, botany, environmental science, marine biology, microbiology, and much more.
Freely Available Resources
Online scientific journals and articles can also be found through these non-subscription resources:
- Directory of Open Access Journals The Directory of Open Access Journals “is a service that provides access to quality controlled Open Access Journals.”
- Highwire Press Journals Search here for scientific articles, but note that not all articles are available for free.
- PLOS (Public Library of Science) One is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication, with primary research from any scientific discipline.
Use Interlibrary Loan to request articles not available for free.
Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible:
- Purpose: How and why the source was created. Is it intended to educate, inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Do the authors, publishers, or sponsors state this purpose, or try to disguise it? Why was this information published in this particular type of source (book, article, website, blog, etc.)? Is the source designed for the general public, students, or experts?
- Relevance: The value of the source for your needs. Does the type of source meet your assignment’s requirements? Does the information answer your question, support your argument, or add something to your knowledge of the topic? Is it too general or too specific? Is it too basic or too advanced?
- Objectivity: The reasonableness and completeness of the information. Do the authors present the information thoroughly and professionally? Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong, emotional, manipulative, or offensive language? Do they leave out, or make fun of, important facts or alternative perspectives?
- Verifiability: The accuracy and truthfulness of the information. Do the authors support the information they present with strong factual evidence? Do they cite or provide links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic? Can you verify the information in other credible sources? Does the source contradict itself, include false statements, or misrepresent other sources?
- Expertise: The authority of the creators of the source. What makes the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source authorities on the topic? Do they have related education, experience, or other expertise? Do they provide an important alternative perspective? Has the source been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor or through peer review?
- Newness: The age of the information. Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as science, technology, or current events), or could information found in older sources still be useful? When was the information presented in the source first published or posted? Are newer sources available that would add important information to your understanding of the topic?
For more help locating reliable information online, see the Finding Credible Web Sources research guide.
The following magazine websites include online articles, blog posts, and other reliable information related to biology.
The web directories below allow you to search for information from lists of reliable websites.