Guides for Better Searching
If you really don't know where to start, start here!
This page concisely indicates which resources to use to find information in bSeptember 20, 2006 when looking for biological vs agricultural vs general, information. It also includes a handy summary table on which search features and truncation symbols supported by the the various search engines are summarized.
Note: The same information that is in "Selected Electronic Databases for Biology and Agriculture" and "Quick Search Tips for finding Biological & Agricultural Information", above, is available as a flyer in the Life Sciences Library, printed on a single sheet, double-sided. Come in an pick one up, or contact us, and we'll send it out to you...as many copies as you need (e.g., if you need to distribute it to a class)!
For the major Bio/Ag databases, provides:
- summary description of the database
- update frequency
- coverage dates
- number of journals indexed
- information about whether the index includes abstracts
- the paper title from which the database is derived (important if your search must go back further in time than the electronic resource provides)
Note: this resource is used in Graduate-level training classes.
Learn the steps to effective searching:
- Define your search topic
- Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), nested parentheses and truncation.
- Refine your search using terms.
Specifically, you'll learn how to...
- Search for a book topic in the Purdue Libraries online Catalog
- Search CAB Abstracts (as an example of using the WEBSpirs search interface)
- Search Current Content (as an example of using the OVID search interface)
- Search Web of Science
- Learn to how to determine easily if Purdue has a subscription to a journal.
A Quick Reference Guide to Online Bio-Ag Resources at Purdue better searching skills will enable you to perform better searches.
|Database Help||Purdue Help|
|Web of Science Help|
|CAB Abstracts||much of this help file would also apply to searching Biological Abstracts or FSTA|
|OVIDWeb Help||for Medline, Current Contents, Agricola, etc.|
|Cambridge Scientific Abstracts Help||for Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management, Aquatic Sciences & Fisheries Abstracts, etc.|
We have access to the database, Medline, via two search engines: OVID and PubMed. Both have advantages. Determine which is right for you.