Marine Science Assignment (Amy Prendergast)

Assignment: Use GeoRef or Biological Abstracts to find an article on a topic such as global warming.

How to:

    1. Find these databases in the alphabetical list of databases on the Library homepage under "Articles, Indexes, Databases."
    2. Start a search using keywords.
    3. Pick an article that looks good from the results. Click on the the "complete record" link and find the descriptor/subject headings field.
    4. Choose an appropriate descriptor, then go back to Search, and use a descriptor to focus your search.
    5. Choose an available article from the results. To check if an article is available, if there is a “Link to” link, click it. Otherwise, click on “Check Full-text Journal List for availability.”
    6. Write a brief annotation, noting date of article, author affiliation if any, and any other relevant information. Indicate how available - full text, or in Library print or microform holdings.
    7. Search for a website on a Search engine like Google using the same descriptor/subject heading.
    8. Choose a website and write a brief summary or annotation.
    9. Compare the two with regard to authors (address or other biographical info, affiliation, qualifications), currency of publication/updating, and bibliography or other resource information given.

Support: Discuss the use, value and coverage of GeoRef and Biological Abstracts databases. Provide a list of relevant topics with one for each student to avoid copying.

Use: Homework assignment and short writing assignment. Have them compare their experiences verbally in class. For "W' classes, allow peer review, revision and a small percentage for a grade. Assign one-half of the class to each database.

Objectives: Make students aware of the value of this authoritative source for earth science literature. Encourage critical thinking and effective writing while exploring the differences and relative value of databases compared to websites.