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Fisheries literature is part of the larger scientific literature and is derived from basic research in related disciplines and applied research in fisheries. Scientific literature is the principal medium for communicating the results of scientific research and represents a permanent record of the collective achievements of the scientific community. It is composed of the individual "end products" of scientific research and continues to expand as new research builds on earlier research.
Scientific literature is divided into two basic categories - "primary" and "secondary". Publications that report the results of original scientific research constitute the "primary" literature and include journal papers, conference papers, monographic series, technical reports, theses, and dissertations. The "primary" literature is eventually compacted into "secondary" sources which synthesize and condense what is known on specific topics. These include reviews, monographs, textbooks, treatises, handbooks, and manuals.
Availability of scientific literature varies depending upon its publication format. Some formats are widely available, e.g., journal papers, while others have limited distribution and are difficult to identify and acquire. This "gray literature" commonly includes technical reports, theses, and dissertations.
The following chart illustrates common steps involved in the scientific research process (inner circle), the dissemination of research results through the primary and secondary literature (outer circle), and the personal assimilation of this information resulting in new ideas and research (inner circle):
Fisheries serials can be grouped into the following three categories:
The research paper published in a scientific journal represents the most important "primary" source of information for the fisheries scientist and manager. Papers published in journals generally go through a "peer review" process before acceptance and publication. Seventy-five percent of the fisheries research literature is published in this format.To find fisheries journals ranked by impact see SCImago Journal & Country Rank or Eigenfactor.org - Ranking and Mapping Scientific Knowledge.
Another thing to note is that databases and cited literature typically abbreviate journal titles. Databases can be used to find individual research papers by author, subject, taxonomic category, habitat, time period, chemical compound, or geographic area. In addition many journal publisher websites now maintain a searchable database of articles that have been published in their journals.
The following list contains many of the print and online journals available which publish research of interest to fisheries scientists and managers.
Magazines and Newsletters
Articles appearing in these publications tend to be popular in format and scope. They may contain news and perspectives of professional societies and environmental organizations, report on research published in scholarly journals, report on environmental problems and new political initiatives, or contain articles aimed at the layperson.
While most fisheries research is published in journals, perhaps 10% is published as individual issues of monographic series. Longer contributions resulting from scientific research are often published in this format. Monographic series typically have the following characteristics:
A typical example is:
Serns, S.L.(a) 1984. An 8-Inch Length Limit on Smallmouth Bass: Effects on the Sport Fisheries and Populations of Smallmouth Bass and Yellow Perch in Nebish Lake, Wisconsin(b). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources(c) Technical Bulletin(d) No. 148(e).
where a=individual author; b=individual title; c=series author; d=series title; e=series number
To locate monographic series in the Library you need to consult the following two sources:
As with individual journal papers the Finding Aticles tab in the Fisheries Guide can be used to identify research published in this format.
The following monographic series of interest to fisheries are found in the regular bookstacks of the Library. Again, those published by federal and California state agencies are listed in Natural Resources Agency Government Documents and Reports and are physically located in the separate Documents Collection.
The outcome of graduate study conducted at universities is commonly a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation. In addition to the formal thesis or dissertation, research results are often communicated in other "primary" literature formats, such as the journal paper.
See Theses and Dissertations for how to find and acquire 1) HSU masters theses; and 2) theses and dissertations produced at other universities that are available in other libraries and on the Internet. In addition the following are specialized directories and databases to theses and dissertations in fisheries:
Papers presented at national and international conferences, symposia, and workshops are another source of "primary" scientific information in fisheries. For many of these meetings the presented papers are eventually published in a "proceedings" or "transactions" volume. Those available in the Library are listed in the OneSearch catalog under author (generally the name of the conference, individual editor or sponsoring organization) and title.
Subject, taxonomic, geographic, and author access to individual conference papers also is provided by databases listed in the Finding Articles tab of the Fisheries Guide.
Following are some of the regularly recurring fisheries conferences received by the Library. In addition there are many other one-time speciality conferences listed in the catalog.
Monographs generally are not part of the "primary" literature of science, but rather are "secondary" sources of information. They may be either scholarly contributions or popularizations on specific topics. Through scholarly monographs the "primary" literature on specific topics is condensed, summarized or reviewed. Most include references back to the "primary" literature. They may take the format of textbooks, treatises, taxonomic works, or a multitude of reference works, such as encyclopedias or handbooks. Monographs are listed in the Library catalog, OneSearch. For guidance in use of the HSU Library Catalog and other library catalogs see Finding Books on Fish and Fisheries.
Some of the content of this page was created in another format by Robert Sathrum, HSU Librarian, retired 06/2013.