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SA 3124 - Animal Behavior (Fortier)

Finding Behavioral Research

Presentation Proposal

During lab, the Library will discuss appropriate methods for searching the online databases at DelVal. You must identify two distinct hypotheses and find a minimum of 3 scholarly references. Your instructor will explain the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly works.

After completing your search, submit this form listing all information below. You may NOT use websites!  Scholarly journals only.

Sample Presentation Topics

Note: You may not use these topics from the past.

  • Why do male beetles guard their mates after copulating?
  • Why do female tree swallows mate with multiple males?
  • Why do some cichlids breed cooperatively?
  • Why do bumblebees sometimes leave nectar behind in flowers?
  • Is territory size driven by food availability in marine reef fish?
  • Is school size in small fish driven by the “group vigilance hypothesis”?

Where to Start

Identifying Peer-Reviewed Literature

Research Articles

Research articles are also often known as scientific or peer-reviewed articles. If the article is NOT written by the person or group who did the research, it is NOT a peer-reviewed or scientific article. Research articles are important for knowing what new discoveries have been made. This is why it is important to use recent articles, since they will be the first things published on a new scientific development. 

Here's a quick overview of how to identify these journal articles:

  • written by the scientist(s) who actually did the research
  • follows a specific format 
    • abstract
    • introduction
    • materials & methods
    • results
    • conclusions
    • references 
  • assumes reader already knows background information about the topic has been evaluated by experts
  • Tip:  Look for a statement about when the article was accepted for publication. Most peer-reviewed articles will include one.
Example of a Research Article


Review Articles

Review articles are written when authors read and summarize research on a topic. Review articles are useful for learning about what kind of research has been done previously on a topic.
Here's a quick overview of how to identify these articles:
  • current state of knowledge in the field
  • recent developments 
  • limitations of previous research
  • suggestions for future research
Example of a review article


Sources for Scientific Articles

Choose scientific original research articles containing data collection.*  Avoid "Review" articles.
You must choose 4 scientific original research articles containing data collection.

Start with Google Scholar. It searches most of the scientific literature and will direct you to journals that the library has access to. Look for the FullText@DelVal links to the right of the citations. PDFs to the right will usually open as well. Scholar will link you over to the scientific literature in the following library databases:

Science Direct includes full text of the journal Animal Behaviour (Delval has online access back to 1993 --microfiche back to 1979.)

Interlibrary Loan

If a book or article you want is not available, use Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The Library can order books and articles from other libraries. This process takes few days but is completely free for DelVal students, faculty, and staff.

Before you submit an ILL, check Google Scholar or Summon to see if we have immediate access or if it is freely available online.

Setting up RefWorks


RefWorks is a new way to collect, manage, and organize research.  You can read, annotate, organize, and cite your research as well as collaborate by sharing collections.

From simple bibliographies to papers formatted with in-text citations or footnotes, RefWorks handles it all. ​To learn more about RefWorks, use our RefWorks research guide.

To create a RefWorks account:

  1. Go to the link below and click Create account
  2. Fill in your information, making sure to use your DelVal email address.  
  3. Go to your inbox and click the email link to complete the activation process. 

Already have an account? Just go to the link below and click "Log In"

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