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BIOL 211 Introduction to Organismal and Population Biology Jorve Hoos

Get Started

BIOL 211 Jorve Hoos Getting Started

 For this assignment, you are required to:

  • read the Walther et al 2002 article (review)

  • find and read two additional primary peer reviewed articles from the scientific literature that include figures with temperature on the x-axis and some organismal response on the y-axis.

Link to in-class google slides: 

Tips on getting started: 

  1. Determine what species and performance you want to learn more about. 

    • Read through the Walther article and locate some of the articles summarized by the authors

    • Do some searching on the open web (Google, Bing, etc) for climate change and effects on performance

  2. Figure out your search terms:

    • "climate change" AND specific species latin name AND performance

  3. Give yourself plenty of time! 

    • You'll have to open/read through a lot of articles to find ones that include a graph that meets the assignment requirements. Begin searching now

What's a "primary" research article?

  Primary Articles Review Articles
  • present information on an original experiment
  • summarize current research on a topic or answer a question by reviewing lots of different primary articles
  • the authors are the same people who conducted the experiment
  • authors are typically experts in the field who have the authority/expertise to provide an overview
  • authors are not the same people who conducted the experiments mentioned in the article
  • articles report on experiments that were completed close to the time of publication 
  • articles report on studies that were completed in the past
reading level
  • can be very difficult to read for students because the language can be very technical 
  • written at a more general level than primary research articles (although can still be difficult to understand)
  • use information from primary articles as support for your hypothesis
  • cite these!
  • use information to learn more about a topic
  • look up articles referenced in the list of citations -- these are often primary research articles that you can use for your assignment


Finding Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

BIOL 211 Jorve Hoos Finding Articles

The recommended databases for this assignment are:

You may also want to do some searching in another Biology database if you're not finding what you need.

Tips on Searching

Tip Examples
Select appropriate search terms

Instead of "frog", search for a specific species:

wood frog, Rana sylvatica

Instead of "performance", search for a specific performance:

fecundity, breeding date, survivorship

Use keywords, not long search phrases

Instead of searching for "what are the effects of climate change on Rana sylvatica performance?", break down your search into the main keywords:

climate change, wood frog, Rana sylvatica, fecundity

Use AND to combine different keywords frog AND fecundity
Use OR to combine similar/related keywords frog AND (fecundity OR fertility)
Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together "climate change" AND "Rana sylvatica" AND (fecundity OR fertility)
Look for ways to limit your search in the database You can often limit by type of article (primary/empirical or review/secondary), year of publication, or searching only within the abstract/title
Start with the article provided by Dr. Jorve Hoos and look for related articles in the databases Search for the Walther et al 2002 article within a database and see if there are any related articles. This is sometimes called Related Records or Related Articles. 
Finding full text PDFs
  • Make sure to start from the CSUSM library website
  • Log in on the CSUSM library website with your CSUSM ID/password
  • In the databases, always look for either the PDF icon or the "GET IT" links
  • If we don't have the PDF immediately available, click on the link to "Request this item" 
    • The Library will obtain the article and email it to you in 2-5 days


APA (General)

What is APA style?

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. It is the citation style used in most of the social sciences as well as some of the natural sciences.

Official APA Style Manual at CSUSM Library

This is the official APA manual published by the American Psychological Association. It is the most recent and up-to-date edition available, currently the 6th edition.

  • Library copies (BF76.7 P83 2010) 
    The CSUSM Library owns several copies of the official APA manual that you can consult in person. Click on the link above to see where they are located.
  • The official APA website 
    Need access to the official APA guidelines right now but can't get to a copy of the book? Try out their website. It has helpful FAQs and basic guidelines.

Helpful Online Guides

What is a DOI? 

APA style requires that you include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) whenever you cite the online version of an article.  A DOI is a special number that identifies each unique article in a database.  Please note- some articles may not have a DOI.  

To find the DOI, Ask a Librarian or check out the follwing tools:

Using APA for Special Cases 

More FAQs at the official APA website...

Sample Paper in APA Style

Need Help?

Talitha Matlin

STEM Librarian
Office Location: 
KEL 3423
Office Hours: 
By appointment

Remember to follow the "15-minute rule" -- if you can't figure something out after 15 minutes, contact me!

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