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Field Biology

About Databases

The James C. Kirkpatrick Library subscribes to over 175 databases covering a multitude of disciplines. Additionally, there are many databases offered by professional societies and special discipline interest groups that do not charge for access.

Most databases that your library pays for will be linked to JCKL ILL when you need to request the full text.

Book Reviews

Book reviews often appear in journals and consequently are indexed in journal databases. Book reviews provide critical reviews of books but they may not meet your professor's requirements of using a scholarly work. Check the book resources to find the actual book that's been reviewed.

About Articles

Articles are typically found in databases. The database records may or may not offer the actual article in full text. Carefully examine the record for links to full text, pdf, or html files. If the full text is not available then use the JCKL ILL system to place your request. You will not be charged for materials requested through JCKL ILL.

Sometimes book chapters are included in databases. When your citation is preceded by the word "IN" it is a sure signal that the following text is referring to a book title. Another clue is that books do not usually have volume numbers.  When in doubt ... ask the JCKL Reference Desk.


Citations, Citations and Abstracts, or Records?  What's the difference???
A database is made up of records. Records consist of a collection of related data fields. The fields contain specific types of information, such as author, title, citation, abstract, and many more.

The citation refers to a specific work, or part of a work, that includes pieces of information which are found in the record.  Citations provide the creator of the work, such as author(s), the title, and the source where the work was published. The source should contain the journal title or the journal title abbreviation, the volume, perhaps the issue, the pages, and the date of publication.

Abstracts are a brief summary of what the article is about. They can give the reader an idea of whether or not the article will be useful in their research.

It is not unusual for "citation" and "record" to be used interchangeably, even though there are distinct differences.


Scholarly or Popular?

Scholarly journals contain articles which are written by scholars or experts in their discipline. Scholarly articles are also referred to as peer reviewed or refereed. The articles in scholarly journals typically undergo a review by other experts in the discipline before they are approved for publication. The authors of scholarly articles will have extensive bibliographies of literature they used to write their article. These are usually lengthy articles and typically have definitive sections called abstracts, literature review, methodology, results, and/or conclusion.

Popular journals contain articles that are more like news items or trade information. These articles are usually written by journalists, staff writers, or generalists and are brief (one or two pages) in length. The articles will have brief bibliographies if there is a bibliography at all. Newspapers and trade journals would fall under the category of popular journals.

Databases usually have some mechanism to search for only scholarly articles. Look for a check box on the search screen which will allow you to limit search results to only scholarly journals if your professor requires a scholarly article.