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Working with the Literature Seminar for 4 th Year Projects students 5 October 2004, 14:00, LT-222 Andrew Long, Paul Soler University of Glasgow.

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Presentation on theme: "Working with the Literature Seminar for 4 th Year Projects students 5 October 2004, 14:00, LT-222 Andrew Long, Paul Soler University of Glasgow."— Presentation transcript:

1 Working with the Literature Seminar for 4 th Year Projects students 5 October 2004, 14:00, LT-222 Andrew Long, Paul Soler University of Glasgow

2 2 Seminar: Working with the Literature References (1) Why are references included in an article? Development of science is an evolutionary process; Investigations always build on previous work; References show the related research which has been carried out before, on which the current work builds; References help in proper scrutiny of work by the scientific community - peer review of articles; References acknowledge authorship of previous work (and hence help to avoid plagiarism!) Criteria for including a reference in an article. Previous related work (by same or other authors); Reliance on prior methods or developments thereof; Result already known - confirmed or extended in current work; Landmark papers - important previous work which has started the research field.

3 3 Seminar: Working with the Literature Example of a Paper and references Notes J.A.P. uses a version of Vancouver system Paper numbers:- 1,2 Related techniques 3-5 First observation of effect in 1D 6-8 General theory 9,10 Closely related measurements 11 Important influence on measurements 12 Simulation programme 13 Assumption in simulation 14 Results by different technique on similar samples 15 Theory directly relevant to experiment

4 4 Seminar: Working with the Literature References (2) Putting references into an article: Need to be punctilious. Get all the details correct and check them! Format of references (1): Harvard style: most common in humanities and some scientific journals (Author, date) in text. In alphabetical order at the end (add lower case letter to date if there is more than one reference from author in that year). Example: According to recent studies (Soler, 2003), the Harvard method of referencing (Long, 2003a) is one of the most popular in the humanities. …. Bibliography: Long, A.R. et al. (2003a), The Harvard method of citation, Journal of Applied Bibliography 35, Soler, P. (2003), Comparison of referencing styles in the humanities and sciences, Journal of Citation Styles 7, Note: et al.=et alii (and others). Generally used if more than 6 authors.

5 5 Seminar: Working with the Literature References (3) Format of references (2): Vancouver style: most common in science and medicine [Number]: numbered consecutively in the order in which the reference appears in text. Sometimes in the text as square brackets [1], brackets (1) or superindices 1. Example: Most physics and science journals adopt the Vancouver style of citing references [1], as opposed to the Harvard one [2]. …. References: [1] Soler P., Long A.R. and Ferrier R.P, Advantages of using the Vancouver referencing system, Journal of Scientific Bibliography 7 (2003), [2] Long A.R., Harvard method of citation. In: Long A.R. and Soler P. (eds.) Methods of Citation, Glasgow University Press, Glasgow, (2003), p Links to monographs on citation styles:

6 6 Seminar: Working with the Literature Forms of publication (1) Journals (1): Peer-reviewed by referees who accept or reject the articles submitted according to editorial policy; Letters - short articles with ground-breaking results, normally fast publication time (1-2 months); Long articles - more details for closer scrutiny and slower to publish (3-6 months); Journals are either very general (e.g. Nature, Science, Physical Review Letters) or much more specialised (e.g. Magnetic Resonance Imaging); Refereeing of papers is the main guarantee of quality of a journal.

7 7 Seminar: Working with the Literature Forms of publication (2) Journals (2): Paper journals - accessible from Library; Electronic journals - most paper journals are also available electronically through library web-page - For example - Physical Review Letters Search Physical Review articles using Elsevier journals through Science Direct IoP journals through Some journals are only published electronically; Articles from e-journals are normally available in PDF format; Journal pecking order: Impact Factor IF = (number of current year citations*) / (number of papers published in previous two years). IF has built-in bias associated with discipline. For example life sciences have much higher IFs than physics. eg: IF 2002: Nature IF= ; Science IF=26.682; Reviews Modern Physics IF=23.672; Physics Reports=12.645; Physical Review Letters IF=7.323; Physics Letters B IF=4.298; *Citations of a paper - reference of another paper which includes first paper in ref. list

8 8 Seminar: Working with the Literature Forms of publication (3) Books Mainly monographic topics or text books; Editorial control guarantees quality of book, but main responsibility of content is placed on author. Conference Proceedings Written version of presentations at scientific conferences; Normally quite short with restricted content but contain most up-to- date (at time of conference!) information; Refereeing of conference proceedings is not very strict so the quality is variable. Other outputs: Web pages - no guarantee of quality (beware!) but there is generally some useful information to be found in Web searches; Pre-prints - fastest publication time, accessible through respected data-bases, but no refereeing, so no guarantee of quality.

9 9 Seminar: Working with the Literature Databases (1) Databases: Allow quick search for publications on specified topics, by specified authors, in specified journals etc.; Glasgow University Library has list of important databases - Databases can also be used to search for citations which is useful; To access databases through library it is necessary to register first. Discipline specific databases: General science database - Web of Knowledge. Access through GU library (to prove electronically that subscriptions have been paid); High Energy Physics Database is called SPIRES (originally at Stanford but there is a UK mirror site at Durham); Preprints can also be accessed through appropriate databases (which are generally run as a service and do not have subscriptions).

10 10 Seminar: Working with the Literature Databases (2) Some tips for making Literature Surveys Start with a relevant paper or papers if possible; Look at papers referenced in these and continue this process; Make a search for more recent papers by authors involved in field; Search for citations of key papers (useful in finding more recent work by independent authors); Make a search by keywords or phrases (in the way one does on Internet with a search engine). This is rarely an efficient way of finding relevant literature; For background information, consider using the Internet, but treat any outputs uncovered with caution.


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