Library Resources for Research
Plant Biology Databases
Looking for handbooks and encyclopedias? Go to the Background Information page. Looking for datasets? Go to Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis
Dissertations Written by OU Students
- Visit OU Libraries Discover/Local Catalog
- Search by author or title.
- Online full text access to doctoral dissertations (Masters' theses are not available electronically).
- Print copies can be checked out (shelved by author's last name in the Great Reading Room, with overflow into the nearby Decks).
- SHAREOK Repository https://shareok.org/
- Joint repository of digital items for OU and OSU
- Since 2014, OU dissertations have been deposited there so that they are freely available
- Items can be found through a Google (or other search engine) search.
Dissertations & Theses from Other Universities
- ProQuest Dissertations & Theses – Formerly known as Dissertation Abstracts. Provides full text access 1997-present to most dissertations from U.S. institutions. Provides indexing information to dissertations 1861 - present. Many universities, including OU, no longer submit the full text of their dissertations in this database. Instead, they post their dissertations in an institutional repository (at OU, this is SHAREOK). If the dissertation is not available electronically, you can order through interlibrary loan.
- DART-Europe E-theses Portal – Dissertations from European universities
- UK Theses
Professional Societies in Plant Biology
To find grey literature, identify professional societies in your discipline and use a web browser such as Google to search their web sites for publications or report series or search for "grey literature" plus your discipline. The list below is non-exhaustive and adapted from Montana State. Want to recommend an addition to the list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- American Horticultural Society
- American Phytopathological Society
- American Society of Agronomy
- American Society of Plant Biologists
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
- Association for Women in Science
- Botanical Society of America
- Ecological Society Association
- National Academy of Science
- The National Association of Biology Teachers
Plant Biology Government Documents
- Environmental Protection Agency, Toxic Release Inventory Program
- Library of Congress: Botany
- Library of Congress: Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics
- Center for Disease Control
- Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
- Department of Health & Human Services
- Department of Health & Human Services: Healthfinder.Gov
- Department of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Office of Disability Employment Policy
- Emergency Access Initiative
- Fish and Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Program
- Library of Congress: Health/Medical
- Library of Congress: Science and Technology
- Library of Congress: Zoology
- Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health
- National Center for Biotechnology Information
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- National Institutes of Health
- National Institute of Medicine: National Institutes of Health: MedLine Plus
- National Library of Medicine: Pub Med
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- Smithsonian: Contributions to Zoology
- Vital Statistics of the US, 1900-Present
- European Union Homepage, Europa
- World Food Programme
- Library of Congress, Country Studies
- UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
- United Nations Homepage
- US Central Intelligence Agency, World Fact Book
- US State Department Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet (Background Notes)
- World Health Organization
- United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization
- Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology
- Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
- Oklahoma State Department of Health
- Oklahoma State Department of Health, OK2SHARE Service Databases
- Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
- Statistical Abstract of Oklahoma
Questions? Reach out to OU Government Documents Librarian Jeffrey Wilhite.
- World Bank Open Knowledge Repository
- GreyNet International
- Business Source Elite – covers business, management, economics, banking, finance, and accounting. Materials indexed include scholarly, peer-reviewed, and some trade journals. Some full text is available.
- ABI/INFORM (ProQuest One Business) – Now included in the ProQuest One Business database, this resource covers business and management topics with information on more than 60,000 companies through journals, newspapers, executive profiles, reports on market conditions, and in-depth case studies of global business trends.
- Industry Reports OU Libraries guide
Popular Treatments of Plant Ecology
Send us your recommendations: email@example.com
The Library's Role Is Providing Access
Databases are searching tools designed to help researchers find information. Check out OU Libraries' What are Databases? handout to learn more.
OU Libraries subscribe to both databases (paying for the indexing that the databases do) and to publications (paying for full text access). In the age of the internet, there are many ways to publish information; as such, the library connects you to many different types of resources. Don't hesitate to reach out to the Research Help Desk or the STEM Services team for assistance.
Struggling to find the full text of an item? Look for the OU Link to Article button in the database or try searching the library catalog. Check out OU Libraries' Finding Full Text guide. You can also try the interactive tutorial, Access Full Text. If we don't have a resource available here, often another library has it and is willing to send us a copy via Interlibrary Loan. The Lean Library browser extension can make accessing full text easier and will even direct you to Interlibrary Loan where needed.
Peer review is a system within the academic community that is widely accepted. Generally, the peer review process is an evaluation of an academic work (a submitted manuscript or preprint) done by other professionals (reviewers) in the same field. Scholars rely on peer review to check each others' work and ensure published information is factual and accurate. The peer review process is used to evaluate journal articles, but also books (also called monographs) and sometimes conference papers and grant applications.
Many scholars consider an article trustworthy once it has been peer-reviewed; when crafting a bibliography for a course assignment, it is often expected that most sources be peer-reviewed, and some professors require this for all sources (ask your professor!).
The question of what counts as "scholarly" is often answered by peer review, but there are other forms of vetting information, such as review from a committee or the oversight of a standard issuing body or government organization. This can start to fall into the "grey literature" region – think about your research needs and what each perspective might offer. It is helpful in the long term to learn how to differentiate between sources and recognize an article as peer-reviewed.
How can I know for sure if an article is peer-reviewed?
- Identify the journal's title, then visit their website to view their policies
- Search the journal or periodical in the UlrichsWeb International Serials Directory
- In Ulrichs, journals that have a icon are "refereed," which is a common term for peer review.
If you are still not sure, reach out to your librarian.
We went over peer review in detail, but scholars communicate with each other in many ways. Could your research question be informed by any of the following types of publications?
- Conference papers or proceedings
- Theses or dissertations
- Codes or safety data
- Industry websites
- Clinical trials
- Trade journals
- Technical reports
- Government documents
- Market and industry reports
- Interviews, newsletters, press releases
Library databases do a very good job of listing and organizing the published literature of a discipline – particularly articles and books. Many library databases also include these other kinds of documents. However, many disciplines produce information that might not be part of library databases.
For example, the discipline of engineering produces countless technical report series published by universities, funding agencies, government agencies, and professional engineering societies. Some, but not all, of these report series are indexed in the enormous database Engineering Village. It can be difficult to find documents that aren't published commercially and aren't readily accessible via library databases. As a whole, these documents are sometimes referred to as "grey literature."
Grey literature search tips:
- Identify the important professional societies in your discipline, and search their web sites for publications or report series.
- Examine the "works cited" section of influential published books and articles on your topic.
- Use a web browser such as Google to search for "grey literature in engineering" or "grey literature in economics" (or whatever your discipline is).
- Consult your librarian.
Popular works have their time and place in the research process. Newspapers and magazines are considered popular works – check out OU Libraries Newspapers & Magazines guide, and our Popular Magazines guide lists common magazines!
Popular sources do not face the scholarly publication timeline. So, while the information does not undergo a vetting process, it is often more timely. CQ Researcher is a resource that might fit better under grey literature due to its congressional association, but its reports explore "hot" issues in the news each week, including political, social, medical, international, educational, environmental, technological and economical issues.
Visit the News Literacy research guide for information on identifying fake news, teaching news literacy, and resources for fact-checking.