BISC 495, Evolution, Spring 2017

Practice literature search

This assignment is due at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14. It will be worth 2 percent of your course grade, and you will get one-half point off for each day it is late. You must print it and turn it in. If you won't be in class on Tuesday, please bring it to my office (322 Wolf) before class; slide it under my door if I'm not there. If you have printer problems, car problems, etc. that prevent you from turning in the printed copy on time, e-mail the assignment to me to establish that you completed it on time. You must then give me a printed copy in the next class, because I won't grade the e-mailed copy.

Go to the page on searching the biological literature at UD and review what you did in class on Thursday. Then complete the following tasks, which are designed to give you practice in using the Web of Science and Delcat.

  1. Topic search: Using the Web of Science, do a topic search for the word "evolution" and the name of your favorite human body part. How many papers did you find? What year was the oldest paper published? What is its title, and what journal was it published in? How many times has it been cited? When you look at the list of papers that cited your oldest paper, what is the newest? What is its title, and what journal was it published in? (If your oldest paper was cited zero times (sad!), use your second-oldest paper.)
  2. Author search: Do an author search for yourself. (If you have a hyphenated last name, the combination is probably so unusual that you won't find anything, so just use one half of your last name.) Start with your last name followed by your initials (for example, I'd search for "mcdonald jh"). How many papers have "you" written? If the answer is zero, search using your last name and first initial, with an asterisk (*) after the initial (I'd search for "mcdonald j*"). This will search for anyone with your last name and first initial, no matter what their middle initial. Now how many results do you get? If the answer is still zero, search for just your last name; how many results do you get? What are the year, journal and title of the most recent paper that the person with a name most like yours has written?
  3. Ridiculous author search: Think of funny name; it could be an embarrassing, goofy, or R-rated last name, or a punning combination of initials and last name (like "H. Baum" or "I.C. London"). Do an author search. Keep trying until you find an author with a ridiculous last name. Give their full name, and the year, title, and journal of their most recent paper.
  4. Finding papers: You found an old paper and a new paper in question 1, a paper by someone with your name in question 2, and a paper by someone with a ridiculous name in question 3. For each paper, say whether the full text is online. If it isn't, use Delcat to see if it is in the library, and say what the call number is and whether it's in the Morris Library, Library Annex, or another library (Marine Studies, Chemistry, Agriculture, etc.).

Return to the Evolution syllabus.