This is the "Reference Resources" page of the "Science Faculty: Resources for Creating Library Assignments to Enhance Science Students Learning" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
UC Davis Homepage UC Davis Library Questions? Chat, Email, Phone, Ask Us! VPN Subject Guides Course Guides Topic Guides

Science Faculty: Resources for Creating Library Assignments to Enhance Science Students Learning  

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
Reference Resources Print Page

Librarian Subject Specialist

Profile Image
Ruth Gustafson
Make an Appointment
Contact Info
Biological, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Reference Librarian
Shields Library, 3rd Floor

Phone: (530) 752‑1883

Your Experiences ... The best and the frustrating

With a partner, take 3-4 minutes to discuss your experiences as an undergraduate or graduate student and any assignments which required library research:

1) describe a positive experience with library assignments

2) describe a frustrating experience with library assignments

For each team, pick one "best" example for each category and the member to share each of these.


Information literacy; information competency, information fluency ... a rose by any other name ...

Get to Know Your Subject Specialist Librarian

CO-INSTRUCTOR:  Library Assignments to Enhance Student Learning in the Sciences,  Ruth Gustafson --

As a major university research library, the University of California Davis University Library has librarians assigned to each department, major, professional school and research center at UCD.   These Subject Specialist Librarians: 

*  Assist Faculty with library components to integrate with instructional technology & research technology (including Canvas & EndNote)

*  Provide focused presentations for classes, research groups, centers, labs (@ campus locale or library)

*  Buy library materials in your discipline(s) including materials for your Class Reserves

*  Provide consultations at the library, or in departments, about your key library resources and databases


Scientific Publication Cycle

  • Scientific Literature Publication Cycle [Diagram]  
    University of New Mexico

    Illustration of scientific research process using a clockwise timeline with indication of earliest research output to latter outputs of research process. Describes the type of literature generated at different points in the publishing cycle and the types of assimilation into secondary and tertiary literature.

Sample Library Research pre-test

  • Sample Library Research pre-test [via Survey Monkey]
    Author: Ruth Gustafson

    Sample of a pre-test used with an upper-division sciences class. Library sessions were provided for all sections of a required lower-division course for the major but transfer students may have been accepted without having taken the lower-division course.

Research Help

Journal Ranking

Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports is a comprehensive tool for assessing the importance of research journals in disciplines and subdisciplines including medical specialties.

NOTE that review journals tend to be listed as top ranked titles, taking space away from original research titles, so use with caution.  Typical review series may have the following words in their title: Advances in ... ; Annual Review of ...; Critical Reviews in ... ; Current Opinion in ... ; Expert Reviews in ... ; International Review of ... ; Progress in ... ; Trends in ...

  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR)  
    Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is an annual publication by Thomson Reuters with each yearly data analysis being completed in the summer of the following year. JCR indicates: most frequently cited journals in a field: highest impact journals in a field; and largest journals in a field. JCR Science Edition contains data from over 7,300 journals in science and technology. JCR Social Sciences Edition contains data from over 2,200 journals in the social sciences. NOTE: For disciplines that have longer timespans for citation, consider sorting for ranking by using the 5-year Impact Factor sort.
    Release Coverage: 1997-2015 (for 1996-2014 data)
    Information for New JCR Users
    Impact Factors in Wikipedia: validity, manipulation, and misuse of Impact Factors
    Using JCR

Peer-Reviewed Journal Databases

Peer Review

A process through which manuscripts submitted to a journal are evaluated for quality -- by one or more subject experts in addition to the editor -- before being accepted for publication.

ProQuest article databases (such as PsycINFO and PAIS) include a checkbox to limit to "Peer Reviewed" articles. For journals retrieved from other databases, use the online Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to locate your journal and then look for the black symbol indicating the publication is "Refereed".

  • Ulrich's Periodicals Directory  
    The standard source for information on virtually every active and ceased periodical, annual, irregular publication, and monographic series published throughout the world (plus thousands of newspapers). Indicates whether a publication is a refereed (peer-reviewed) title.

    NOTE: search by journal title, NOT article title. Ulrich's provides information on the entire publication (journal, magazine, newspaper, annual review) NOT on the work within.

Library Catalogs

  • UC Davis Library Catalog  
    Replacing Harvest on August 18, 2016, the new UC Davis Library Catalog includes the collections of all four UC Davis General Libraries. It does not include the holdings of the Law Library. If you log in (My Account) using your UCD login and Kerberos passphrase, you can renew books online, and request items that have been checked out to another borrower, or are in storage.
  • WorldCat [via FirstSearch/OCLC]  Icon
    OCLC catalog of millions of records for books, journal titles and materials in other formats from approximately 12,000 libraries worldwide.
    Coverage: 1000 A.D.-present
  • Placing Materials on Course Reserves
  • Assigning a Proxy Borrower -- for Course Related Items
    Enables you to assign TAs and others to borrow course materials under your instructor’s account

Subject Guides

The majority of literature databases licensed by the UC/UCD libraries has a feature called Alert or Update.  This is a current awareness feature which enables you to store searches on your favorite topic(s) and set up automated email alerts/updates when new literature has been published matching these search topic(s).  

Don't forget to explore resources under the EDUCATION subject guide -- literature and tools to help you as a new(er) instructor.

  • Subject Guides
    Use the Subject Guides to identify additional databases to search for information on your topic.


Did you know?   If the UC Davis University Library doesn't subscribe to or own a publication you need for either your teaching or research needs, you can get a FREE copy from anywhere in the world?   This service is called InterLibrary Loan and is available to all faculty, students and staff at UCD -- just use the REQUEST button from UC-eLInks or UCD-eLinks as noted in the link description below.

PLEASE NOTE:  If your item requires a one-time purchase, your librarian subject specialist may even buy the item to add to the UC Davis University Library collection.    Your input is valuable to building the breadth of the UCD library collection in your area -- for you and your students!

  • UC-eLinks
    Brought to you by UC libraries! UC-eLinks helps to link you to *choices* to find the item(s) you are interested in. UC-eLinks appears in most library literature databases and provides a consistent way of getting to online articles (if licensed) or to information about which print issues of a journal we own. If we do not own a journal or book, you can use the UC-eLinks service to Request that the item be sent to you for free from another UC library -- often using Web delivery if the item is an article or book chapter.


  • EndNote Instructional Webpage
    Author: UC Davis Libraries

    EndNote, licensed for all UCD full-time students, faculty, researchers and staff, is a bibliographic reference manager which enables citations to be stored, searched, and quickly inserted into research papers in the format of many scholarly journals.
  • EndNote Intro for BioAgEnvi Sciences Researchers [Course Guide]  
    Author: Ruth Gustafson

    This webpage is the step-by-step guide for the bi-monthly in-person EndNote Intro course taught in Shields Library.

Geeking it -- a super Guide for Science Graduate Student Library Users

  • Guide to the Library PDF
    Author: UC Davis Science Librarians
    Although this is written for new UC Davis Science Graduate Students, many of the tips and detailed information in this 26-page Library Guide will be useful to Cooperative extension researchers and staff.
    Date: September 2016

Loading  Loading...