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Wildlife literature is part of the larger scientific literature and is composed of applied research in wildlife 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.
The following chart illustrates common steps involved in the scientific research process and the publication sequence of "primary" and "secondary" literature.
Wildlife serials can be grouped into the following three categories:
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 most wildlife indexes 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?
Journals. The research paper published in a scientific journal represents the most important "primary" source of information for the wildlife 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 being published. Seventy-five percent of the wildlife research literature is published in this format.
Databases listed in Articles and Databases: Wildlife 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.
The following list contains many of the print and online fulltext journals available through the HSU Library which publish research of interest to wildlife scientists and managers. Check the Journal and Newspaper Finder for specific holdings and call number and for other titles that are not on this list.
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.
Alaska Fish & Game
Arctic Birds: Newsletter of International Breeding Conditions Survey
Arizona Wildlife Views
Birdscapes: News from the International Habitat Conservation Partnerships (US Fish & Wildlife Service) (print copy also available in Docs I 49:100/4)
California Biodiversity News
Endangered Species Bulletin (US Fish & Wildlife Service) (see also Issues and Articles Online)
Field and Stream
Fish & Wildlife News (US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Game Bird Breeders and Conservationists Gazette
High Country News
Illahee: Journal for the Northwest Environment
Nature Conservancy Magazine
New Mexico Wildlife
Outdoor News Bulletin (print copy available in SK 351.08)
Outdoor News Bulletin
Monographic Series. While the results of most wildlife research are published in journals, perhaps 10% 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:
A typical example is:
Wheeler, W.E., R.C. Gatti, & G.A. Bartlett.(a) 1984. Duck Breeding, Ecology and Harvest Characteristics on Grand River Marsh Wildlife Area.(b) Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources(c) Technical Bulletin(d) No. 145(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:
As with individual journal papers databases included in Articles and Databases: Wildlife also can be used to identify research published in this format.
The following monographic series of interest to wildlife are found in the regular bookstacks of the HSU Library.
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.
You can 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 wildlife:
Papers presented at national and international conferences, symposia, and workshops are another source of "primary" scientific information in wildlife. For many conferences the presented papers are eventually published in a "proceedings" or "transactions" volume. Papers with no published proceedings may be refined and reworked for formal publication in a journal. Proceedings available in the HSU Library are listed in the HSU Library Catalogunder both author (generally the name of the conference, individual editor or sponsoring organization) and title.
Some databases included in Articles and Databases: Wildlife provide subject, taxonomic, geographic, and author access to individual conference papers.
Following are some of the regularly recurring wildlife conferences received by the HSU Library. Check the HSU Library Catalog for call numbers and specific holdings. In addition there are many other one-time specialty 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 HSU Library Catalog. For guidance in use of the HSU Library Catalog and other library catalogs in general see Library Catalogs and Subject Classifications in Wildlife.