Chapter 4: Abstracts and Indexes
Chapter 4: Abstracts and Indexes
This chapter can be seen as a companion to Chapter 2, “Searching the Biological Literature”. Abstracts and indexes are used to locate articles, proceedings, patents, dissertations, books, and book chapters in various subjects. Because the literature of biology is so vast it should come as no surprise to find that there are many indexes offering access to that literature. This chapter annotates the major indexes and abstracts that cover general science and/or multiple subjects in biology. Those indexes that deal with narrower fields such as entomology or plant taxonomy will be covered in the appropriate subject chapter.
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- AGRICOLA. Washington, DC: National Agricultural Library, 1970- . http://agricola.nal.usda.gov.
Covers the worldwide literature of agriculture, including journal articles, monographs, government documents, technical reports, and proceedings; from the National Agriculture Library (NAL). This database is valuable for life sciences students and researchers who are interested in plants or animals of economic importance. Available for free from NAL or through several other vendors by subscription. The ceased print version of AGRICOLA was the Bibliography of Agriculture. The list of serial titles indexed in AGRICOLA is available at http://www.nal.usda.gov/nal-catalog/journals-indexed-agricola-jia.
- Embase. 1974- . New York: Elsevier Science. Daily. Price varies. ISSN 0929-3302.
This biomedical database is a competitor to MEDLINE, and contains records from the 41 sections of the print Excerpta Medica indexes plus MEDLINE records. EMBASE covers more than 7,600 journals and 2,000 conferences, including many not covered by MEDLINE. EMBASE focuses on the European literature, especially in pharmacology and related fields. An EMBASE Classic version is also available, searchable back to 1947. The list of journals covered can be found at http://www.embase.com/info/what-is-embase/coverage. EMBASE is available directly through Elsevier or via several other vendors.
- Google Scholar. Mountain View, CA: Google, 2004- . http://scholar.google.com/.
Indexes scholarly articles, theses, books, white papers, court opinions, and Web sites harvested from academic publishers, professional societies, scholarly repositories, and universities in all areas of scholarly endeavor. Libraries can link their holdings and subscriptions to Google Scholar, allowing users to connect directly to subscription-based resources. The index also indicates who has cited indexed works, and users with Google accounts can create alerts to keep up to date.
- Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patents. Washington, DC: US Dept. of Commerce, US Patent and Trademark Office, Information Products Division, 2000s- . http://www.uspto.gov/news/og/patent_og/index.jsp.
Listing of patents; includes abstract and sketches. The USPTO site includes PatFT, a searchable database containing the full text of all US patents issued since January 1, 1976, and full-page images of each page of every US patent issued since 1790. AppFT lists patent applications since 2001.
- Open WorldCat. OCLC Online Computer Library Center. http://www.worldcat.org/.
This is a freely searchable database that corresponds to the subscription WorldCat database, the largest library catalog in the world. Users can search for books and journals and find out which libraries hold the material. The majority of the participating libraries are in the United States, but most of the large national and academic libraries from around the world are also included.
- PubMed. Bethesda, MD: NCBI, 1949- . http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed.
PubMed is another version of the MEDLINE database and offers a number of useful services aimed at the biological research community. It is available for free at the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) site. The PubMed database indexes articles that are not included in the main MEDLINE database, including all articles from journals that are indexed selectively in MEDLINE. Citations show up earlier in PubMed than in MEDLINE as well. PubMed also provides links to articles from over 700 full text journals and to the molecular biology databases of DNA/protein sequences and 3-D structure data that have been developed by NCBI. Researchers can set up Current Awareness searches through the “MyNCBI” account. There are also a number of other useful services such as browseable databases for journal titles and MeSH headings, and citation matching services.
- Scirus: For Scientific Information Only. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Science. 2001- . http://www.scirus.com.
Free database of scientific information, including scientists' homepages, courseware, pre-print servers, patents and institutional repository and websites. Results can be limited to journal articles, trusted Web sites, other Web sites, and file types (PDFs, Word documents, etc.). Similar in intent to Google Scholar (above).
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- Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General's Office. 1st-5th series, 1880-1961. Washington, DC: GPO.
This series indexes the publications held in the library of the Army’s Surgeon-General and predates Index Medicus. The articles and transactions are indexed in a mixed author and subject list. The Index-Catalogue was the most comprehensive biomedical index of its time. The full text of the Index-Catalogue is freely available at NLM's site at http://indexcat.nlm.nih.gov/.
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