ESCI 501: Research in Environmental Science - Library Resources: Home

Some Key Concepts

 

Primary Source: The original report of a piece of scientific research. Typically found in peer-reviewed journals, conference papers, doctoral dissertations, etc. (The definition may vary in different fields.)

Secondary Source: A piece of writing that cites a primary source. Often used to describe material that synthesizes or popularizes the current state of a field, such as textbooks or review articles.

Peer-Reviewed Journal: A scholarly periodical in which the articles have been selected by experts in the field, who typically do not know the identity of the authors when they review the articles.  "Academic," "refereed," and "scholarly" usually mean the same as "peer-reviewed."

Methods Paper: A research paper primarily concerned with the reliability, use, and usefulness of a method.

Reference Book: This can refer to any book that is in a library's reference collection, however it usually indicates books in certain categories, such as atlases, bibliographies, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, etc.

Abstract: A brief summary of an article. It may be written by the author, the editor of the journal, or by contributors to an index/database.

Some of the above was adapted from the work of Robert Sathrum.

 

OneSearch

OneSearch is Western Library's new catalog.  It allows you to examine in one search:

* The Library's books, journal titles, government publications, films, etc.

* The holdings of 36 other Washington and Oregon academic libraries.

* Many (but not all) of our periodical databases.

Here is a 2-minute video on how to use OneSearch.

Science Databases

Other Databases

Government Databases

Legal Resources

Laws: U.S. Code, or Annotated U.S. Code (in Lexis-Nexis Academic), Revised Code of Washington, Annotated Revised Code of Washington Annotated (in Lexis-Nexis Academic).

Regulations: Code of Federal Regulations (in FDsys), Washington Administrative Code.

Court Cases:  Lexis-Nexis Academic.

Evaluating Websites

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Rob Lopresti
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