Tips for finding & citing literature

Finding Citations at ESF/SU:

The first three search tools are interdisciplinary SUMMIT databases.  Go to the databases main menu under “research tools” at to find the databases alphabetized by name.

Another SUMMIT database, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, allows the user to enter a journal title to get a link to detailed information on that publication, including whether it is refereed.  The advanced search in Ulrich’s also allows searching by subject or keyword, with an optional limit for “refereed,” to display lists of publications. 

Other good sources available free on the Internet:

Google Scholar ( is a search engine for scholarly publications from peer-reviewed journals, professional societies, books, theses, and other sources.

Highwire Press (  offers free articles in biological, physical and social sciences and medicine.  The site includes a search engine. Highwire has also put together a webliography of links to other large archives of scientific resources (

Public Library of Science (  or available through our library catalog—search “PLOS” as a keyword), is a nonprofit scientific/medical organization making articles available free.

BioMed Central ( publishes a number of journals that are available as open access, including Environmental Health and the Journal of Biology.  Others are available free to registered users. 

OAIster --pronounced “oyster”— ( indexes over three million digitized resources worldwide and can be limited to text, images, audio, or video files.

The Directory of Open Access Journals ( includes articles from more than 700 titles from around the world.  Syracuse University is adding these to the e-journal list linked from the SUMMIT database home page, so you can search for specific titles or browse topics. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, Fishery Bulletin, Journal of Construction Education, and Biopolicy Journal are just a few of the titles included.

Scitopia ( is a federated (“one-stop shopping”) search portal for publications of a number of professional societies in the areas of science and technology.  Over three million documents, including patents and government publications, can be found here.

Not  “open access” (available free to anyone), but available through the SUMMIT system : Knovel: Answers for Science and Engineering.  This database includes over 500 books online, with more added each month (for some titles, not every chapter may be available electronically).  Book 24x7 ITPRO Collection, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, and Gale Virtual Reference Library are other sources of reliable information available within the SUMMIT database collection.

                                                                   Jo Anne Ellis
Rev.  8/07

Finding an article once you have a citation:

also: writing_tips.htm#Advice on Literature Reviews

On inaccuracy in citations:

Todd, Peter A.  Darren C. J. Yeo, Daiqin Li and Richard J. Ladle. P. A. Todd2007. Citing Practices in Ecology:  Can we believe our own words?  Oikos 116: 1599-1601 PDF

And other aspects of scientific integrity:

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.  1995. On Being A Scientist: Responsible Conduct In Research. National Academy Press,  Washington, D.C. HTML     PDF (purchase download copy)

Help with statistics:

also:  Calculating Detectable Differences

Help with poster presentations:

Beth A. Fischer, B.A. & M.J. Zigmond.  1999.  Attending Professional Meetings Successfully.  University of Pittsburgh.  PDF.

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