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The Web is wonderful, but often it only gives quick facts and overviews of information, and can you really trust what you see?  Journals and books are published by companies that stand by the reputation of their publications.  Articles are reviewed by an editor, and usually by peers in their field as well before they are published. 

Also, journals articles tend to give you more details on how an experiment was carried out and what the raw results were.  This can help you determine whether the conclusions of the authors are reasonable or not.

For our next exercise, we will locate a relevant journal article.  Once you have, fill out the appropriate worksheet (see Sample and citation guide as well).

The following indexes will be useful in locating basic, less technical information on your topics:

      Wilson's Readers Guide (Omni File Full-Text Mega)
      Academic Search/Full-text Elite
Proquest Research Library

(you will need to use other indexes than just the above three as well, as they will not have the depth that the indexes below have). 

     Applied Science and Technology Abstracts - another introductory level index, this time concentrating on science and technology areas.
     GeoRef --  For articles about the geologic sciences
     PAIS -- for policy related discussions
     Environmental Index - A compilation of several indexes related to environmental science.
Web of Science -- tracks citations to and from articles.  A way to find out what other scientists think of a particular article       GPO Index --US Government Documents
      Science.gov--searches over 36 databases and 1,850 selected websites, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information, including research and development results.

sciencedirect.com-- compilation of Elsevier online science journals. Great source for desktop pdf's.

Also, try MegaSearch, which allows you to search several databases at once.

Where are the journals, anyway? 
Here are some helpful links: 
Ejournals Purdue Owns
Journals in the EAS Library
           Also, several databases have `check your library'-type links that query our catalog to see if we own the journal that the article comes from.  You may need to go to the EAS or another library on campus to find a journal for your presentation. 

How do you Read A Journal Article?
Scholarly journals are written by and for scientists active in their fields.  That makes it tough for newcomers to figure out what is in a journal article.  If you are curious about methods that make journal reading easier, check out a
multimedia guide

                   And now,  Your Presentation...




Last update: November 17, 2009

Prepared by: Michael Fosmire