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BIO 102: Organismal Biology: Finding Information About Trees

Getting Help

This guide will help you find published research on your tree to include in your tree phenology project. Feel free to stop by the reference desk if you aren't quite sure how these resources work or where to start. If you are not in the library, you can use t he chat box, below.

image courtesy of Dave Morris

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Research Help:

Finding Primary Science Articles

Scientists put their observation in the context of what other scientists have discovered. For this lab, you will need to include references to four articles. Try searching for articles about your tree in the following databases. Use the yellow "find it" button to see if the article is available through our library. (In Google Scholar, "find it @ Gustavus" links appear to the right of the references if it's available.) In some cases, you may want to request an article from another library, so don't leave it to the last minute. 

Finding Basic Information About Your Tree

The reference section of the library has some field guides that provide basic information about plants, including these books.

Catalog Search

It is very worthwhile searching the Gustavus Library Catalog for your tree.  Try looking under both the common and scientific names.

Catalog Search Box

 
 

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Primary Articles in Science

You need four references that provide further information about your tree. At least two should be "primary" articles - articles that report on original research conducted by scientists (usually with a note explaining where they work) and written up with other scientists in mind. Generally, there will be an introductory section which reviews related research, a methodology section that explains how the research was carried out, results, and a conclusion. 

This example is a primary article by scientists, for scientists. 

This example is science journalism for general readers. 

For an example of what a primary article looks like, see "anatomy of a scholarly article" from North Carolina State University.

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