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Rangeland Resource Science


Rangeland resource science literature is part of the larger scientific literature and is composed of applied research in range and basic research in related disciplines. 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. This scientific knowledge base 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.

Scientific Research/Publication Cycle

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):

Scientific Research/ Publication Cycle

Rangeland Resource Science Serials

Rangeland resource science serials can be grouped into the following three categories:

  • Journals - regularly issued publications that contain papers reporting the results of scholarly research in the discipline
  • Magazines and Newsletters - contain popular reports on developments in the discipline
  • Monographic series - irregularly issued publications that, in most cases, contain the results of scholarly research

Copies of papers contained in serials that are not available in the HSU Library can be requested through the Library's Interlibrary Loan Service.

Since many rangleland resource science databases and "Reference Cited" lists abbreviate serial titles the following sources can help you find the unabbreviated serial title:

For a more expanded distinction between journals and magazines see Journals - Scholarly or Popular?

The research paper published in a scientific journal represents the most important "primary" source of information for the range scientist and manager. Papers published in journals generally go through a "peer review" process before acceptance and publication. Presently there are over 25,000 peer reviewed scientific journals that are being published. Fifty percent of the range literature is published in this format.

Databases listed in Articles and Databases: Rangeland Resource Science can be used to find individual research papers by author, subject, taxonomic category, habitat, time period, chemical substance, or geographic area. In addition many journal publisher websites now maintain a searchable database of articles that have been published in their journals. If you need to locate indexing for a specific journal.

The following list contains journals available in the HSU Library which publish research of interest to range scientist and manager. For a more comprehensive list, see Agricultural and Animal Science Journals and Serials: An Analytical Guide (Jensen) 1986 (ref S 493 J45). There are many other related journals in the Library which publish forestry, water, wildlife, fisheries, and planning research. Check the Journal and Newspaper Finder for specific holdings and call number and for other titles that are not on this list.

Agronomy Journal
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
American Journal of Botany
American Journal of Veterinary Research
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research
Biological Conservation
Botanical Gazette
Botanical Review
California Agriculture
Canadian Journal of Animal Science
Canadian Journal of Plant Science
Canadian Journal of Soil Science
Conservation Biology
Crop Science
Ecological Applications
Ecological Monographs
Forest Science
Grass and Forage Science
Great Basin Naturalist
International Journal of Wildland Fire
Journal of Animal Science
Journal of Applied Ecology
Journal of Dairy Science
Journal of Ecology
Journal of Forestry
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Journal of Wildlife Management
New Zealand Journal of Agriculture
Northwest Environmental Journal
Northwest Science
Plant & Soil
Plant Physiology
Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly Journal of Range Management) (Society for Range Management)
Sheep & Goat Research Journal
Soil Biology & Biochemistry
Soil Science
Soil Science Society of America Journal
Southwestern Naturalist
Weed Science

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.

Arid Lands Newsletter (University of Arizona Office of Arid Lands Studies)
BLM Newsbeat (Docs I 53.12/1)
Grazier (Oregon State University Extension Service)
High Country News (print copy available in periodicals S 900 H5)
Holistic Management in Practice (Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management)
Outdoor News Bulletin (print copy available in SK 351.08)
Quivira Coalition Newsletter
Rangeland Crossroads (Colorado State University Department of Rangeland Ecosystem Science and CSU Cooperative Extension)
Utah Science
Western Livestock Journal
Western Wildlands

Monographic Series
While the results of most range research are published in journals, perhaps 20% of the research is published in individual issues of monographic series. Longer contributions resulting from scientific research are often published in this format. Monographic series typically have the following characteristics:

  • They are published by government agencies, major universities or professional organizations.
  • Individual issues are collectively published in a continuing series which has a distinctive name. Typical names include BulletinSpecial ReportSpecial PaperTechnical Report, and Technical Paper.
  • Individual issues in the series are consecutively numbered, e.g. Technical Report No. 38.
  • Each issue has a distinctive author and title.
  • There is no regular publication schedule in contrast to a journal.
  • Individual issues contain the completed results of a single research project.
  • Individual issues range from several pages to several hundred pages.

A typical example is:

Neff, Don J.; et al.(a) 1979. Forest, Range, and Watershed Management for Enhancement of Wildlife Habitat in Arizona.(b) Arizona Game and Fish Dept.(c) Special Report(d) 7(e)
where a=individual author; b=individual title; c=series author; d=series title; e=series number

To locate monographic series in the HSU Library you need to consult the following sources:

  1. For federal and California State agency series consult the catalogs and indexes listed in Natural Resources Agency Government Documents and Reports. They are located in the Documents Collection.
  2. For all other monographic series use the HSU Library Catalog or the Journal and Newspaper Finder. The key is to look for the series of which an individual issue is a part. You must look under either the series title (Special Report in the above example) or the sponsoring organization (Arizona Game and Fish Dept. in the above example). In the above example there is no listing under the author "Neff" or the title "Forest, Range, and Watershed Management..." since these are the author and title of the individual issue. The catalog will note each number held by the Library in a particular series, e.g., #1-25, 26-30, 35-.

As with individual journal papers databases listed in Articles and Databases: Rangeland Resource Science also can be used to identify research published in this format.

The following monographic series of interest to the range scientist and manager are found in the regular bookstacks of the HSU Library:

  • California. Agricultural Experiment Station.
    • Bulletin
    • Circular
  • Colorado State University. Range Science Department. Range Science Series
  • Montana. Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin
  • Montana. Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. Bulletin
  • New Mexico State University. Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin
  • University of Arizona. Agricultural Experiment Station. Technical Bulletin
  • University of California. Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Publication
  • University of California, Davis. Department of Agronomy and Range Science. Range Science Report
  • University of Idaho. Forest, Wildlife and Range Experiment Station. Station Note
  • Utah. Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin
  • Wyoming. Agricultural Experiment Station.
    • Bulletin
    • Research Journal
    • Science Monograph

Theses and Dissertations

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.

Conferences Papers

Papers presented at national and international conferences, symposia, and workshops are another source of "primary" scientific information in rangeland resource science. For many conferences the presented papers are eventually published in a "proceedings" or "transactions" volume. Those available in the HSU Library are listed in the HSU Library Catalog under author (generally the name of the conference, individual editor or sponsoring organization) and title.

Some databases listed in Articles and Databases: Rangeland Resource Science provide subject, taxonomic, geographic, and author access to individual conference papers.

Following are some of the regularly recurring range conferences received by the HSU Library. In addition there are many other one-time specialty conferences listed in the HSU Library Catalog.

  • American Society of Foresters. Proceedings
  • International Grassland Congress. Proceedings
  • International Rangeland Congress. Proceedings
  • International Stockmen's School. Beef Cattle Science Handbook
  • North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. Transactions
  • Society for Range Management. Abstracts of Papers Presented at the Annual Meeting
  • Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference. Proceedings
  • Vegetative Rehabilitation and Equipment Workshop (Docs A 13.2 V52)
  • Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Proceedings

Monographs (Books)

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 HSU Library Catalog. For guidance in use of the HSU Library Catalog and library catalogs in general see Finding Books in Rangeland Resource Science.