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Veterinary - Information Sources: Types of Information Sources

Types of Information Sources to Use

  • The type of information source to use is determined by the kind of information you need.  
  • For academic research, use scholarly and peer-reviewed information sources.

  • When general knowledge or a quick consultation is needed: 
    • use textbooks, scholarly books, reference books, or clinical databases such as Vetstream.
  • When specific clinical answers or more current research information is needed: 
    • use ​scholarly/peer-reviewed journals or research databases such as PubMed or Web of Science.

Scholarly Books

  Textbooks / Scholarly Books (Print & Electronic)

  • Written about specialized subjects by experts in the field.
  • Author is a recognized authority on the topic and often has an academic affiliation.
  • Published by a university press, scholarly society, or an academic association.
  • A bibliography or list of references and an index to topic covered is included.

          How to identify scholarly books:

  • By publisher - Is it a university press or scholarly society?
  • By author - What are the author's credentials?
  • By content - Is there a bibliography or list of references cited in the text?

  Reference books

  • Provide basic information or an overview of a subject.
  • Organized and formatted to access information quickly; quick consultation.
  • Usually provide facts, figures, illustrations, graphs, and other helpful information.
  • Examples include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, formularies, etc.

Scholarly / Peer-Reviewed Journals

  Scholarly Journals (Print & Electronic)

  • Provide original research and commentary on current developments within a specific discipline.
  • Articles are written by scholars or professionals who are experts in their fields; usually written by the person(s) who conducted the research. 
  • Published by a university press, scholarly society, or an academic association.
  • A bibliography or list of works cited is included at the end of the article.
  • Intended audience is professionals, researchers, or students in the discipline.
  • Not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed, but all peer-reviewed journals are scholarly.

How to identify scholarly journals:

  • By publisher - Is it a university press or academic association?
  • By author - What are the author's credentials?
  • By content - Is there a bibliography or list of references cited at the end of the articles?
  • Consult Ulrich's Global Series Directory that will provide detailed journal information including whether the journal is academic/scholarly. 

  Peer-Reviewed (Refereed) Journals

  • These scholarly journals contain articles that are reviewed and evaluated by other experts in the same field of study before they are accepted for publication.
  • Published by a university press, scholarly society, or an academic association.

          How to identify peer-reviewed articles:

  • Many research databases give the option to limit search results to only peer-reviewed articles.
  • Visit the website of the journal which published the article and look for information about the editorial policy, submission process or requirements for author’s submission.
  • Consult Ulrich's Global Series Directory that will provide detailed journal information including whether the journal is reviewed or refereed.  
  • If you still cannot determine if an article is peer-reviewed, ask an SVM librarian.

Databases / Research & Clinical

Databases

  • Most are tailored to specific subjects or audiences.
  • Contain organized collections of citations to scholarly and peer-reviewed articles written by credible authors (researchers and experts in their field).
  • Provide powerful search tools for refining and narrowing results, filtering out any unwanted criteria, and allowing users to more quickly find scholarly information.
  • Most have controlled vocabulary that allows for precise searching. Often utilizes boolean operators, nesting, and word stemming.
  • Easy to cite in a bibliography and most create the citation for you. ​

          Examples:

  • PubMed
  • Web of Science
  • VetMed Resource
  • Cab Direct
  • Vetstream Clinical Reference

 

 

 

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