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Electronically Searching for Biological & Agricultural research Articles


Prepare, before going online! Develop your search strategy

Step 1: Clearly state the topic in a sentence.
Sometimes we have a "fuzzy" idea of what we're looking for. It helps to put it into a concrete statement.

TOPIC: What research has been done on the effect of environmental stress on the membranes of tomatoes?

Step 2: Define concepts. Determine what concepts comprise the topic, and which terms may be used to express the concepts.

Your search may only require one concept, or it may require 2, 3, or more.

CONCEPTS

STRESS

MEMBRANES

PLANTS

TERMS:

heat
temperature
stress
drought . . .

tonoplast
plasma membrane
thylakoid
membrane . . .

tomato
Lycopersicon
Lycopersicum

Step 3: Form Concept Groups:

  • Use OR between terms describing each concept.
  • When expressing this in a search statement, enclose each Concept Group in a set of parentheses (see Step 4).
  • If the search engine lets you "build" your search, enter each Concept Group as as separate query. Later you can "and" them together.

Expressing the concept groups verbally:

Stress

heat or temperature or stress or drought...

Membrane

tonoplast or plasma membrane or thylakoid or membrane

Plant

tomato or lycopersicon

hort1

Expressing the concept groups pictorially:

Step 4: Combine Concept Groups.

  • Use AND between concept groups to retrieve records containing at least one term from each of the Concept Groups.
  • If the search engine lets you "build" your search, enter each Concept Group as as separate query. Later you can "and" them together.
  • If the search engine requires that the entire search be entered on one line (e.g., Web of Science), use parentheses to delineate Concept Groups.

Expressing the combination verbally:

(heat or temperature or stress or drought)
AND
(tonoplast or plasma membrane or thylakoid or membrane)
AND
(tomato or Lycopersicon)

Expressing the combination pictorially:

hort2

Step 5a: Select the appropriate database(s) on THOR, the Purdue Library website.

  • Using Netscape, go to the Libraries Webpage: http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu
  • Select "Indexes" from the first menu
  • Select the database of interest:

Web-Accessible Database

Type of Interface

Type of Connection

Agricola (agriculture), 1979-

OVID

Web

Applied Science & Technology Index, 1983-

WilsonWeb

Web

Biological & Agricultural Index, 1989-

WilsonWeb

Web

Biological Abstracts & BA/RRM, 1985-

WebSPIRS

Web

CAB Abstracts, 1972- (biology & all aspects of agriculture)

WebSPIRS

Web

Compendex, 1987- (engineering)

OVID

Web

Current Contents, most recent year

OVID

Web

Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management This is a collection of databases. Dates of coverage varies: mostly from the mid- 1980's-

CSA

Web

ERIC, 1966- (education)

OVID

Web

Food Science & Technology Abstracts [FSTA], 1969-

WebSPIRS

Web

GeoRef, 1785-

WebSPIRS

Web

Medline, 1966-

OVID

Web

ProQuest Research Library, 1986-

ProQuest

Web

SciFinder [Chemical Abstracts], 1966-

SciFinder

WTS*

Web of Science [Science Citation Index], 1977-

Web of Science

Web

WorldCat, any book/journal ever catalogued. (to verify book citations or locate books not at Purdue)

FirstSearch

Web

*WTS: Some resources are being made available over the internet in a special mode.
For full access to these resources, you'll need to load a sort of "plug-in" (the Citrix client).
Please refer to the WTS page for full instructions.

Note: to learn more about these dbases, see "Selected Electronic Journal Indexes Agriculture and logy" and "Quick Reference Guide to Online Bi Resources at Purdue", available in the Life Sciences Library and on the Web at: http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu/life/

Step 5b: Or, select the appropriate database(s) in a library (CD-ROM access).

Library

CD-ROM Resource

Type of Interface

Life Science

Agricola, 1970-1978
PestBank

WinSPIRS
WinSPIRS

Engineering

Earth Info (hydrologic data) U.S. Patent databases

Other
Other

Step 5c: Or, search the internet via an internet search engine or site.

Web Resource

Web Address

Altavista

http://www.altavista.com

AllTheWeb

http://www.alltheweb.com/

Hotbot

http://www.hotbot.com

Yahoo

http://www.yahoo.com/

Grants awarded by NSF, USDA.

http://fundedresearch.cos.com

PlantFacts [extension bulletins, USA]

http://plantfacts.ohio-state.edu/

 

Step 6: Perform the search. Use the correct truncation symbols and rules for combining Concept Groups required by the searching - software.

Search Engine

Truncation Symbol

  • Purdue Online Catalog, ProQuest Research Library

?

  • FirstSearch Databases (plurals, only) [WorldCat]

+

  • OVID Databases [Agricola, Current Contents, Compendex, ERIC, Medline]

$

  • WebSPIRS [CAB Abstracts, Biological Abstracts, FSTA]
  • AltaVista
  • Web of Science [Science Citation Index]
  • CSA (Cambridge Scientific Abstracts) [Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management]
  • WilsonWeb [Biological & Agricultural Index, Applied Science & Technology Abstracts]

*

Step 7: Evaluate the search results.

  • Look at titles and abstracts
  • of some of the records you've retrieved. Are there some other terms you should have included in yosearch?
  • Look at the subjectdings or descriptors. Can you use some of these to expand or limit your seh?
  • Was yoetrieval too large? Maybe you need to add another Concept, to limit your seh.
  • Was yoetrieval too small? Maybe you were too specific, and need to remove or change some terms in your Concept Groups, or even delete a Concept Group.
  • Are there some subjects you're getting that can be gotten rid of by "NOT"-ing some term(s) to your query? e.g., (membrane* and tomato*) not (chloroplast*)

Step 8: Revise the concepts or terms, and re-do the search.

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Performing the Search

Reminder: As an example, the "need" we're searching in these sample searches is to find information about research done on the effect of environmental stress on tomato membranes.

The vocabulary we've decided to start our search with is: (heat or temperature or stress or drought) AND (tonoplast or plasma membrane or thylakoid or membrane) AND (tomato or Lycopersicon)


A. Performing the Search in the Pe Libraries Catalog

Use the "Catalog" when you are looking for a book about a particular subject. Also use the "Catalog" if you know the name of a journal and are trying to determine which Purdue library has the journal. Note: Use the "Indexes" if you are trying to find if a journal article has been written about a topic.

Finding a book on a particular topic:

URL:http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu
Click on "Catalogs"
Click on "West Lafayette"
Click on "Keyword Search"

1. Type each concept group as a "keyword" search, to get a feel for the depth of the database.

  • Use OR between terms.
  • Use quotation marks around phrases.
  • Boolean terms (AND, OR, NOT) must be capitalized; it doesn't matter if other words are capitalized, or not.
  • Phrases must be within quotation marks.

    Type:

    # HITS

    heat OR temperature OR stress OR drought

    5918

    tonoplast OR "plasma membrane?" OR thylakoid? OR membran?

    918

    tomato? OR lycopersicon

    151

2. Combine concept groups, using AND.

  • Note that parentheses are used to hold together OR'd concept terms.
  • Notice, too, that I didn't "and" tomato onto this search. Since there are only 151 tomato books, I felt adding this term would be too restrictive.

    Type:

    # HITS

    (heat OR temperature OR stress OR drought) AND
    (tonoplast OR "plasma membrane?" OR thylakoid? OR membran?)

    14

3. Evaluate the search:

  • Look at some of your Retrievals . . . Are there some other terms you should have included in your search? e.g., cold, lipids, vacuoles
  • Look at the subject headings. Can you use some of these to expand or limit your search?
    e.g.: Membrane Lipids--physiology; Temperature--Physiological effect
  • Was your retrieval too large?
    • Maybe you need to add another Concept. However, notice in this example that we didn't AND the tomato concept, above. Since we got so few hits with the <"stress" AND "membrane"> concept, there's no need, in this case, to be more restrictive!
    • Maybe you can NOT out some retrievals. For example, if I didn't want any records that were about photosynthesis, my search could be: ((heat OR temperature OR stress OR drought) AND (tonoplast OR "plasma membrane?" OR thylakoid? OR membran?)) NOT photosynthe?
  • Was your retrieval too small? Maybe you were too specific, and need to remove or change some terms in your Concept Groups, or even delete a Concept Group. E.g., you might get more retrievals if you added other "stress" or "membrane" terms.

4. Edit your search, if needed!

Click on the "New Search" button to return to your search screen, and revise the search.
DO NOT USE YOUR "BACK" BUTTON WHILE IN THE CATALOG!! IT MAY CAUSE ERRORS! Rather, use the internal navigational buttons: "New Search"; "Titles; "Headings".

5. Other features of the Catalog:

  • Search by author, title, journal title, or call numbeou know the exact author, title, etc.
  • Use "Assisted Search" screen if you wish to limit your keyword search to specific fields (e.g., author, publisher).
  • Select records of erest, and then l, download or print them.
  • Patron Information lets ydetermine which books you have checked out, and renew the
  • Limit searches by date, library location, language.
  • Locattelaced on "Reserve" for a particular ss.
  • Recall items checked out by another person.
  • Online Help.
  • Request delivery of journal articles or books that Purdue does NOT have, via the online Interlibrary Loan form. The button for this is labeled "Request Article/Book", and is located on the main "Catalog" screen.

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B. Performing the Search in Current Contents: An example of using the OVIDWeb search software.

Selected other databases available via OVIDWeb include:
Agricola, Compendex, Medline, ERIC, PsychInfo.

Connect to the Indexes:

URL: http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu
Click on "Indexes"
Then click on the "WWW" link for Current Contents

1. Type each concept group as an individual search. Use OR between terms:

  • In Ovid databases, the truncation symbol is the dollar sign ($).
  • Words located side by side are searched as a phrase.

Search Number

Type:

# HITS

1

heat or temperature or stress or drought

101682

2

tonoplast or plasma membrane$ or thylakoid$ or membran$

34864

3

tomato$ or lycopersicon

1590

2. Combine concept groups, using AND:

Note: The "number" refers to the set number of the search. In this example, "heat or temperature or stress or drought" was the first set (set number one) typed. This method of combining is simpler than using the combine button, and will allow for the development of more complex search statements.

Type:

# HITS

1 and 2 and 3 (to combine set 1 and 2 and 3)

30

3. Displaying & Evaluating the results.

  • Click on "display" next to the set you are interested in evaluating.
  • Find articles that look promising, and look at the "complete record". Be on the lookout for additional vocabulary to enrich your search.
  • Edit your search strategy, if necessary.
  • Determine if Purdue has a subscription to the the journal (instructions below).

4. Print the results.

  • While viewing records, mark the items you are interested in by checking the box next to the first line of each record. Go through your entire list of "hits", marking as you go. (Note: you may also select the records when viewing the 'complete record' or the 'abstract'.)
  • From the menu ("Citation Manager") at the bottom of the page that shows the brief records (the "Titles Display"), decide which format you want (brief, with abstracts, with subject headings, etc.).
  • Sort the records by Source (the journals in Life Sciences are arranged alphabetically by title, so this will facilitate retrieving the articles!)
  • Press "Display". This will generate a new web page, with just the articles of interest displayed.
  • Use your browser's "Print" function to print the selected records.

5. E-mail the results.

Same instructions as "To Print", above. Except, press "Email" instead of "Display".
Then type in your email address.

6. Download the results to your hard drive.

Same instructions as "To Print", above. Except, press "Download" instead of "Display".
Select the location to save the file, and give it a name.

7. Save search strategy to be re-run at a later date.

Note: you may save as many searches as desired. For example, create one with just authors you want to keep track of! Create others for your research interests. And others for your teaching interests.

To save a search:
When on the screen where queries are entered (the "Main Search Page")...

  • Press the "Save Search History" button.
  • Give your search a name (no more than 8 characters)
  • It's a good idea, in the "comments" field, to indicate which database the search is for. This is because you should NOT run a search saved in one database (e.g., Current Contents) in another database (e.g., Medline). Rather, you should re-type your search.
  • Select to save your search permanently or temporarily.

  • To run a saved se, later...
    When on the Main Search page...
  • Press the "Run Saved Search" button.
  • Select the search to be run.

Note: Do not run a search created in one database in another database. Sometimes it will work ok, but more often it will not because of unique "fields" within the various databases.

8. Create an AutoAlert request.

AutoAlerts (termed SDIs - Selective Dissemination of Information - by OVID) cause your search to be run automatically against the database whenever the database is updated (weekly, monthly or quarterly), generating an email message that contains new citations that match your search.

  • Login to the database of choice.
  • Create your search. If it's a multe-step search, make sure the overall summary search is on last line.
    For example, if your first search is: (1) "ATPase and vacuol$", and your second search is for the author, (2) "Sze, H$", but you want to keep track of both of these topics, you'd want to create a third search: (3) "1 or 2". This would pick up articles about ATPases and vacuoles, but also pick up any articles by H. Sze (regardless of whether they wereout ATPases). SDI's are only run against the final search stent in a saved query. For more information about formulating searches in the OVID system, refer to the online OVID help.
  • Click on the button, "Save Search History", which is located right below the search history table.
  • In the section titled "Save Search", click on "as an AutoAlert (SDI) Service. (AutoAlert (SDI) output format below)".
  • In the section titled "General Parameters", give the search a name (no more than 8 characters). Also write a descriptive comment that will remind you what this SDI is about; I recommend that you include the name of the database being searched.
  • In the section titled "Email AutoAlert (SDI) Search Output", type in your email address. You may change the Subject message to reflect the content of the email, or leave it as "Ovid citations".
  • In the section titled "AutoAlert (SDI) Output Format", indicate whether you wish to see the search strategy for the SDI each time you receive the email update, and the format you require.
  • Click on the "Save Search" button. You'll now see a table with all of your saved searches and SDIs. These profiles are saved in a Purdue Libraries computer, according to your ID number.
  • If you wish to create another, different SDI in the same database, you'll want to first delete all your search statements, and begin with a clean slate.

9. Some other options with OVID software:

  • limit by language.
  • Searchindividual fields, e.g., institution (Purdue!), volume number, etc.
  • >Search by author.
  • Sh by journal name.
  • Several databases (e.g., Medline, ERIC, Compendex, PsInfo) have built-in indexes teir subject headings. During your initial search, have the feature labeled "Map to subject headings" turned on to use these power tools. Note: this feature will only work if you're searching a single topic; don't have any "and"s or "or"s in your keyword search when you want the software to 'Map to subject heading'.
  • Determine if Purdue has a subscription to the journal of interest (see below).
  • In Current Contents, youy also view Table of Contents of particular issues of journals.

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C. Performing the Search in CAB Abstracts:
an example of using the SilverPlats WebSPIRS Interface

Selected other databases available via the WebSPIRS interface include:
Biological Abstracts & Biological Abstracts RRM, GeoRef, and FSTA.

Connect to the Indexes:

URL: http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu
Click on "Indexes"
Click on the "WWW" link for CAB Abstracts

WebSPIRS databases are available to Purdue University students, faculty and staff. Those logging in from a computer outside of the "purdue.edu" domain (e.g., at home or while on sabbatical) must use the proxy server to obtain access. For simple instructions on modifying Netscape or Internet Explorer so they will use the proxy server, see http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu/proxy/.

1. Type each concept group as an individual search. Use OR between terms. Search using "Words Anywhere" or "Subject."

  • The truncation symbol for WebSPIRS databases is an asterisk (*).
  • Words located side by side are searched as a phrase.

Type:

# HITS

heat or temperature or stress or drought

221694

tonoplast or plasma membrane* or thylakoid* or membran*

54814

tomato* or lycopersicon

40303

2. Combine Concept Groups, using AND

Note: The "number" refers to the set number of the search; notice that you have to use the pound sign (#) in front of the number. In this example, "heat or temperature or stress or drought" was the first set (set number one) typed. For simple "and" combinations, you can click on the checkbox next to the set number; then click on the "combine checked" button.

Type:

#HITS

#1 and #2 and #3 (to combine set #1 and #2 and #3)
(or, you can check the box next to each set, select "and" and click on "combine checked".)

137

3. Viewing and reviewing the results.

  • To view the "hits", click on the highlighted search set, or click "Display Results".
  • Review the descriptors. Some of them may suggest another term for searching.
  • Re-do your search, using a descriptor, if necessary. To return to your original search screen, click on the "Back to Search" button not the browsers "Back" button.
  • To search on a descriptor term, click on the descriptor; this will take you to the Thesaurus. To see the definition of the term, click on it's hyperlink. To search for the term, click on "search" (or choose a better descriptor from the lists of narrower, broader, or related terms).

4. Print the results

  • While viewing records, mark the items you are interested in by checking the box next to the first line of each record. Go through your entire list of "hits", marking as you go.
  • From the menu at the bottom, click on "Print".
  • Decide which records you want (e.g., the marked records).
  • Decide which fields you want (if the way you were viewing the records was ok, no need to change this).
  • To sort the records before printing, click on the "Change display" window. If you sort them by Source [=title of journal or book] alphabetically, all articles from the same journal will be together, e.g., all the articles published in Crop Science would be grouped together. Since most libraries at Purdue arrange journals on the shelves alphabetically, sorting by Source will help you retrieve the articles. If you don't sort, the results are, basically, in reverse chronological order by date of publication.
  • Press "Print Records".

5. E-mail the results.

Same instructions as "To Print", above. Just press "Email" instead of "Print".
Then type in your email address.

6. Download the results to your hard drive.

  • Same instructions as "To Print", above. Just press "Download" instead of "Print".
  • Select the location on your hard drive or a diskette to save the file, and give it a name.

7. Save your search strategy(s), to be re-run another time.

  • After creating a good search, on the main page, click on "Save History". Type in the requested information.
  • It's a good idea, in the "comments" field, to indicate which database the search is for. This is because you should NOT run a search saved in one database (e.g., CAB Abstracts) in another database (e.g., Biological Abstracts). Rather, you should re-type your search, and save it as a separate search strategy.
  • To run a saved search, just click on "Load History", type in the requested information, and locate the desired search.

8. Create an Auto-Alert (SDI = Selective Dissemination of Information)

This will cause a search of your choice to be run everytime the database is updated, with the new results sent to you via email. Most WebSPIRS databases are updated 4x per year.

  • Login to the database of choice.
  • Create your search. If it's a multiple-step search, make an overall summary search. For example, if your first search is: (#1): "ATPase and vacuol$", and your second search is for the author, (#2): "Sze, H$", but you want to keep track of both of these topics, you'd want to create a third search: (#3): "#1 or #2". This would pick up articles about ATPases and vacuoles, but also pick up any articles by H. Sze (regardless of whether they were about ATPases).
  • Check the box next to the search number for which an SDI is needed.
  • Click on the button, "Create SDI"
  • Type in a name for your SDI. You can only use letters, and there can be no spaces. So, for example, you can name a search (use one word, e.g., "BAmembranesinTomatoes" but not "Biol Abst Membranes in Tomatoes". Try to include the name of the database, in the name you create, for easy reference.
  • Type in your email address.
  • Choose a frequency (most databases are only updated monthly or quarterly).
  • Write a comment, if you like, to remind yourself about the function of the search.
  • Click the button, "Create SDI".
  • To see a list of the SDIs that have been saved at Purdue, on the main search screen, click on the button, "SDI Account".
  • For more information about SDIs, see: http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu/life/newslett/99-05cov.html#sdi

9. Some other options with the SilverPlatter WebSPIRS search engine:>

  • Limit by language
  • Search by author. The best way is to search via the Index. Click on "Index": Type in the last name and first initial of the author; select the name(s) that seem appropriate, and "Search".
  • Search by individual fields. Click on the "Search Builder", type in the term(s), and select the field in which to search. For example, to search for articles by Purdue authors, you might search for "Purdue" in the Address fd.
  • Search by "subject". Note: "Subject", here, means the search engine will search in the descriptors and identifier fields. It will not search in the Abstract or Title fields.
  • Determine if Purdue has a subscription to the journal of interest by clicking on the "Check for holdings" button. (see below for a further explanation).
  • Online help.

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D. Performing the Search in Web of Science

Web of Science provides access to three indexes: Science Citation Index, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, 1977 - present. Abstracts are available for many articles.

  • This database is available to Purdue University students, faculty and staff.
  • Those logging in from a computer outside of the "purdue.edu" domain must use the proxy server to obtain access. For simple instructions on modifying Netscape or Internet Explorer so they will use the proxy server, see http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu/proxy/.

Connect to the Web of Science:

URL: http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu
Click on "Indexes" and select "Web of Science"

There are two primary search modes in Web of Science:

1. GENERAL SEARCH

  • Click on "Full Search"
  • Check the box next to "Science Citation Index" (or Social Sciences or Arts & Humanities or leave them unselected and search all three).
  • Click on "General Search"

To get started on a General Search:

1. Type the whole piearch on one line, using proper parentheses, truncation and Boolean search terms:

  • The truncation symbol for the Web of Science is an asterisk (*).
  • Words located side by side are searched as a phrase.
  • The search engine is case inve, so you do not need to capitalize words or Boolean operators (and, or, not).
  • Start with a simple search. You can later modify it easily (you won't have to re-type the search.)

    Type:

    #HITS

    (heat OR temperature OR stress OR drought) AND (tonoplast OR plasma membrane* OR thylakoid* OR membran*) AND
    (tomato* or Lycopersicon)

    156

2. Select (mark) records of interest. After selecting records of interest on a summary page, press the "submit" button, before proceeding to the next page of ten records.

Note: 10 records are displayed per screen. The "markall" button selects the 10 records on the current screen; to select ALL the records, you must visit every screen; be sure to click on "submit" before moving to the next screen.

3. To print, email or save records.

Note: It is recommended that you wait to print, etc., un've completed all the searches you wish perform to during a Web of Science session, i.e., right before you're ready to log off. This way, any duplicate records from similar searches will be removed. If you do wish to continue searching after you've printed results, and you will want to clear the marked records buffer. To do this, return to the Web of Science "home", and click on "New Session".

After selecting and submitting all the desired records:

  • Click on "Marked List" button (This generates a web page with the items you've marked.) You may "unmark" some items, if desired.
  • Click on "Select Fields" or "Set sort options", to indicate fields desired (abstracts, cited references, number of times cited, etc.), and the way you want the records sorted (by author, journal name [source], date, etc.).
  • To Print:
    • Click on "Format for Print". This generates a web page with the items you've marked in the format you've specified.
    • Click on the Web Browser's "Print" button.
  • To Save: Click on File / Save As, and designate a filename and location.
  • To Email: Click on the "Email" button, and type in your email address.
  • To Import into a bibliographic database management program:
    • Choose "Export" if you wish to save the file in a format suitable for importing into ProCor Reference Manager; you will also need to download the appropriate plug-in.
    • If you need a file where every field is on a separate line (e.g., for importing into EndNote), choose "Save to File" or "Email" the records the records to yourself.

4. Special features available when viewing the individual record for an article. All of these features are designed to lead you to articles that are, in some way, related to the current article.

  • "Related articles": click on Related Articles to see articles that have at least one cited reference in common with the current article. The more cited references shared, the higher on the "Related Articles List" the article will appear.
  • "Cited Reference": click on Cited Reference to see a list of the articles cited by the article.
  • "Times Cited": click on Times Cited to see a list of articles indexed in Web of Science and published since 1977 that have cited the current article. Usually an article has to be at least a couple of years old before papers that have cited it begin to appear in Web of Science.

2. CITED RSEARCH

Use the Cited Reference Search to locate articles published since 1977 that can author or article. The cited article may be of any age; but the articles citing it will be no older than 1977. One usually uses the Cited Reference Search to search via the author of an article. The Cited Reference Search is also useful when trying to verify a citation, as many references at the end of papers have been cited incorrectly!

    To get started on a Cited Reference Search: Click on "Full Search"

  • Check the box next to "Science Citation Index" (or "Social Sciences" or "Arts & Humanities")
  • Enter cited author name (e.g., Roth CB), or names separated by "and"s or "or"s (e.g., Roth CB and Lee LS). If you are uncertain of the second initial for an author, truncate it (e.g., Roth C* and Lee L*).
  • Click on "Lookup"
  • Select the references of interest (note: sometimes citations are cited incorrectly!)
  • Note: the Cited Reference Selection page(s) not only indicates the citations by a given author that have been cited since 1977; it also indicates how many times each article has been cited. If you want a complete record of cited articles by a particular author, cut and paste each page into a word processor.
  • Click on "Search" to find articles that cite the selected references.
  • Select articles of interest, putting them in your "Marked List", and proceed as described in steps 2 - 4, above, to print, download, email, etc.

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3. Determining whether Purdue has the journal of interest.

You can easily determine whether Purdue has a subscription to a joury opening another browser window at the same time that you are searching an Index, and searching the Catalog in the new window. Then you can switch back and forth between your Index window and the Catalog window. You will need to visit each window frequently, as all databases in the Purdue Libraries system are set to time-out after about 10 minutes of inactivity.

If you find that Purdue does not have a subscription to a journal from which you need an article, you may request the article via the online Document Delivery form; please allow at least two weeks for delivery.

To open another browser window (in Netscape, v. 4x), and search the Catalog for journal holdings information:

  • Click on "File"
  • Click on "New"
  • Click on "Navigator Window"
  • [or use the shortcut for opening a new windo: press "Control + N"]
  • Point your browser to: http://oldsite.lib.purdue.edu
  • Click on "Catalogs"
  • Click on "Author / Title / Subject / Call Number" search
  • Choose to search "Journal title"
  • Type in the full title (no abbreviations) of the journal. Quick Hint: You may be able to "cut & paste" the full title of the journal directly from the Index record for the article, into the search bar in the Catalog.
  • Look to see which library has the journal ("Location"), and which issues of the journal are at the location (

New Feature in the OVID and WebSPIRS Indexes: Direct Link to Purdue Holdings

In the past, when you were looking for journal articles, it was a two-step process: first you'd use an subject-specific index to locate articles of interest, and then you'd have to go into the Catalog, and type in the title of the journal with the article of interest to determine if one of the Purdue Libraries had a subscription to the journal.

This process recently got markedly easier! For all of the databases which aringcessed via t or WebSPIRS search engines, there is now a web link in every Index record which links directly to the record for the journal in the Purdue Catalog. Just click on the link in the index, and another web window will open up, displaying the Catalog record for the journal. Scroll down the Catalog record, and you can easily ascertain whether Purdue subscribes to the journal, and which library has the issue of interest. After you've ascertained whether we have the journal, you can go back to the window with the Index's search results. Pop back and forth between the Index window and the Catalog window, as needed!

In OVID databases, the link is located at the top of the record, and is labeled "Query for Holdings at... Purdue-West Lafayette". OVID databases include Agricola, Compendex, Current Contents, Medline, PsychInfo, and others.

In WebSPIRS databases, the link is located at the bottom of each record, and is labeled "Check for Holdings". WebSPIRS databases include Biological Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, FSTA, and others.

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Last update: April 3, 2008

Prepared by: Monica Kirkwood (monicacu@purdue.edu)