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Recent Articles Requested Through Discover:

NIH Public Access Policy. Did you know that most publications resulting from NIH funded research must be deposited in PubMed Central? The Library can help! Learn More

Agricultural & Biological Engineering Research Resources & Tools

50 Resources in 50 Minutes: Do you know about all these research tools for ABE?

A presentation given on February 1, 2008, to the faculty and graduate students of the U of I Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department by Dr. Katie Newman, Biotechnology Librarian: florador [at]

Outline of this page:

Links to seminar handouts:

Library "Homepages"

University Library Gateway important


Biotechnology Information Center

Grainger Engineering Library

Funk Family Library for Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences

Find a Journal or a Book

Online Rese arch Resources (ORR) -- E-journals and more important
From the Library's "ORR" (Online Research Resource) find out if the U of I has an electronic subscription to a journal.
Journal and Article Locator
Use this link if you know the name of the journal and the citation information such as volume, year, pagination.
Library Catalog
Search to determine if the U of I owns a book (or journal). Faculty, staff, and graduate students may request delivery of books to their office / departmental office / nearby library.
Easy Search important New!
From the main Gateway page, or from the Easy Search window, perform a simultaneous search of many databases at once. More resources being added to the simultaneous search function, soon.
Interlibrary Loan
If the University doesn't have the book or journal article that you need, request it! We want you to have the resources that you need. Delivery of journal articles is frequently faster than 7 days.
Biotechnology Information Center

ABE "Useful Links" (produced by the Funk Library) important

Major ABE Journals (put together by the Funk Library)

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Find a Journal article by topic -- Major ABE databases

Note: "Discover" links have been implemented in most of these resources. Click on the Discover link to access the full text of articles. If the article is not locally available, use the Interlibrary Loan link in the Discover window to request the article. Read more about "Discover".

Tip: Never rely solely on any one database! Take a look at a comparison of the number of articles on "Biofuels" contained in many of the resources listed below.

Worldwide coverage of agricultural research. Print equivalent: Bibliography of Agriculture. Indexes over 1000 journals, plus other agricultural resources. Many records contain abstracts. Updated monthly. Locally available: 1942-1970 in print; 1970- present, online. [WebSPIRS] Try also AGRIS (international Ag) and CAB Abstracts.

Biological Abstracts
Biological Abstracts provides abstracts of research in biological literature, including biochemistry, biology, botany, ecology, zoology, microbiology, medicine, etc. Coverage: 1926-present. Updated every 2 weeks. BA indexes about 6000 research journals. [Web of Knowledge]

CAB Abstracts important
The largest database for worldwide coverage of all agricultural research including engineering, forestry, veterinary medicine, & biological information. Indexes and abstracts over 10,000 journals, selectively. Available online: 1907 - present. Updated quarterly. [Web of Knowledge] Try also Agricola and AGRIS.

Compendex (part of Engineering Village, EiVillage) important
Worldwide engineering index covers all areas of engineering including environmental technology and biotechnology. Indexes over 5000 journals. Includes abstracts. Coverage is 1884 - present. Updated weekly. [EiVillage]

The USDA's Current Research Information System. It documents ongoing and recently completed research in agriculture, food, and nutrition. Free access.

CSA Technology Research important
Worldwide engineering index covers all areas of engineering including biomaterials and waste engineering. Indexes over 4000 journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, patents. Coverage is 1962-present; updated monthly. [CSA]

Dissertation Abstracts (ProQuest digital dissertations)
Identifies doctoral dissertations from U.S. & Canadian institutions. In many cases the full text for recent dissertations is available. Coverage: 1861-present; updated monthly.

Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management
Includes the following databases, which may be searched individually, or together as one database:

When searched collectively, Environmental Sciences indexes over 4000 journals. Most subfiles are updated monthly. Check the U of Illinois Catalog for the availability of the earlier, print versions. [CSA]

Faculty of 1000 New!
Particularly useful for graduate students and young scientists, this biology research tool highlights significant or controversial papers based on the recommendations of over 2,300 leading scientists, who pick new papers to review and comment on the significance of the papers. Reviewed papers date from 1999-present, for the most part.

FSTA  important
Cover all aspects of food science and technology, e.g. food processing, ingredients technology, food industry environmental issues and biotechnology. Indexes over 1800 journals; updated quarterly. Coverage: 1969 - present. [Web of Knowledge]

A deriva tive of the American Geological Institute's geoscience database. It includes geological records of North America from 1785 to the present, as well as geological records of the world since 1933. [CSA]

Google Scholar ( important
Searches for scholarly materials such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from broad areas of research. Searches a variety of undisclosed academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities as well as scholarly articles available across the web. Enabled with U of I's "Discover" links to allow you to access the full text of many of the articles. A popular feature links to papers that cited the target paper. Note: Use Zotero - a free Firefox plugin from - to help export multiple citations at once to EndNote or RefWorks.

This source identifies information from the fields of computing, control engineering, electronics, manufacturing and mechanical engineering, operations research, environmental science, geophysics, nanotechnology, biomedical technology and biophysics.among others. Coverage: 1969-present; updated weekly. [EiVillage]

PubMed (Medline) important
The major index for articles in biomedical journals published world-wide; topics include clinical and experimental medicine, basic sciences as related to biochemistry, medicine, psychiatry, public health and veterinary medicine; indexes over 5,000 journals; includes abstracts; 1950s - present. Updated daily. Freely available to all, but use the U of Illinois' URL ( to see which full text articles are available for the U of I. [PubMed]

SciFinder Scholar (Chemical Abstracts) important
Use SciFinder Scholar to search Chemical Abstracts, which indexes "chemistry" in the broadest sense. Updated daily. Indexes & abstracts over 8000 journals. Coverage: 1907-present. Has cited & citing references from 1995-present.
Note: This resource is not web-based; it is only available for those who have loaded the SciFinder client program. For instructions for obtaining access to this program, go to theSciFinder Scholar at UIUC page.

Scopus important
Scopus is the largest science index, indexing over 2,500 social science and 11,000 science journals as well as millions of web sites. Particularly strong in medicine, with citations you won't find in PubMed. Has a "cited by" link to articles that have cited a given article (available for citations published since 1995) as well as "related documents" that share references, authors or keywords. Coverage: Variable from 1960.

Web of Knowledge important
Search multiple databases at once - Web of Science, Biological Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, FSTA, Medline, Zoological Record. Retrievals are de-duplicated, with the Web of Science record being shown by default. Coverage dates vary by database, with some going back to 1864 (from Zoological Record).

Web of Science (includes Science Citation Index)
Is the online version of Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Provides the most current index to over 9000 of the world's leading scholarly research journals in all disciplines; includes abstracts. Includes a "citation tracker" link to articles that have cited a given article. New: Create auto-alerts on topics of interest, receiving an email each week with new citations. Updated weekly. Coverage: 1970-present. [WOK]


Worldcat is not an index for journal literature. Rather, WorldCat is a one-stop source for the information about over 62 million books, journal titles, computer programs, etc. Very useful for completing book citations or for identifying and requesting books on a subject. Coverage: International; 1200 AD - present. [FirstSearch] A free public version can be found at:

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Other full-text resources...

ASABE Technical Library
The collection for American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering publications and standards. From the ASAE Technical Library, one can access the ASAE Standards, recent volumes of ASAE Journals, ASAE Annual Meeting Papers, and ASAE Conference Proceedings.

Electronic Reference Books for the Life Sciences
Includes free and subscription "reference" books for biologists, including Biographies, Citation Guides, Dictionaries, Directories, Glossaries & Thesauri, Encyclopedias, Handbooks and Manuals, Indexes, Methods & Protocols, Textbooks and more. Some titles of particular note...

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Patent resources

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Personal Citation Management and Formatting Software

Refworks important

Use RefWorks to collect citations for materials that you may later want to cite in your papers. Then, using the database that you've created, you can use RefWorks to help you automatically format your MS-Word documents in a proscribed style format. If you're familiar with EndNote, ProCite or Reference Manager, this is kind of like a web-based version, so you can access it from anywhere, as long as you can get to the internet. It is provided free to all U of Illinois students, faculty, and staff by the University Library and CITES.

To create an account, learn how to use RefWorks, or to find out how to export references from our various literature databases (Compendex, PubMed, CAB Abstracts, Web of Science, Google Scholar, etc.), please visit our RefWorks Support site. Note: RefWorks training sessions and tutorials are available. Check the Support Site for details.

EndNote important

Many researchers "grew up" using EndNote, and it's still a fine product. There are several differences between EndNote and RefWorks you will want to consider including:

The University of Illinois Library maintains an Introduction to EndNote LibGuide

CITES Technology Training offers several EndNote classes for students and staff. Students should consult the Student Technology Training site for availability, and faculty and staff should consult the FAST3 site.

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Scholarly Communication Issues important

" Scholarly Communication" is a U of Illinois resource to help you learn how you can make your articles more accessible to researchers worldwide -- for if they're more accessible, they'll be read, used, and cited more readily. Additionally, this site will help you become more knowledgeable about scholarly communication issues such as copyright, author rights, the benefits of open access publishing, why journals cost so much, and more.

One way to make your articles more accessible is to put a copy of your article in IDEALS important - Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship - a digital archive for the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students.

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