Skip to main content

ALERT: Learn more about the Krauskopf Library's Plan as we resume on campus services.

PS 3229 - Horticulture Techniques II (Ricotta)

Finding Research

Useful Databases

Use Google Scholar to search the scientific literature.   A Scholar search will tell you if your subject is well represented in the scientific literature or if your subject is too narrow.   If you only get 5-10 hits you'll need to broaden your topic.   On the other hand, if you get 10,000 hits  (not uncommon!) you'll know that you have to narrow your topic.   (Discovery only searches materials in the DelVal collection;  Google Scholar searches just about the whole world of current scientific literature.)

Also, try the following library databases individually--their holdings are included in Google Scholar but the individual databases include more precise search techniques and generally you will get better results.

Identifying Peer Reviewed Literature

Checklist for Scientific or Peer-Reviewed Article

  Did the author(s) of the article do the actual research?
  Can you find a statement about when the article was accepted for publication?
  Is there a sizable list of references?
  Do the authors assume you are familiar with their topic?
  Is it challenging to read?

If you have answered "yes" to these five questions you have probably located a scientific article.

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 (peer-reviewed) 
  • 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


Formatting your Bibliography

HortScience Style Citation Examples

The reference section should include only published, significant, and relevant sources accessible through a library or an information system. These include journal articles, books, theses, dissertations, proceedings, bulletins, reports, and published abstracts of papers presented at meetings

Journal Articles

Only initials of first names are listed. Order is last name, first initials for the first author. All other authors are listed by first initials and last name. Title of journal is abbreviated in most cases. Every line of each citation starts at the left margin--no hanging indents. See ASHA Style Manual for abbreviations 

Last name, Initials. Year. Article title, sentence style capitalization. Abbreviated journal title Title volume(issue, if available): pages. URL.


Converse, R.H. 1960. Physiologic specialization of Fusicladium effusum and its evaluation in vitro. Phytopathology 56:527-531. 

Journal article with multiple authors

Last name, Initials., and Initials Last name. Year. Article title, sentence style capitalization. Abbreviated journal title volume(issue, if available):pages. URL. 


Yates, I.E., D. Maxey, S. Lee, D. Sparks, and C.C. Reilly. 1996. Developing the pecan scab fungus on susceptible and resistant host and nonhost leaves. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121:350-357. 


Last name, Initials. Year. Book title, sentence style capitalization. Edition (if available). Publisher (short form), location. 


Hartmann, H.T., D.E. Kester, and F.T. Davies, Jr. 1990. Plant propagation principles and practices. 5th ed. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Book chapter

Last name, Initials. Year. Chapter title, sentence style capitalization, pages. In: Editors. Book title, sentence style capitalization. Edition (if available). Publisher (short form), location. 


Brown, A.G. 1995. Apples, p. 3–37. In: J. Janick and J.N. Moore (eds.). Advances in fruit breeding. Purdue Univ. Press, West Lafayette, Ind.

Conference Proceedings

Sponsoring society. Report title. Year. Conference number, City, Day Month (abbreviated) Year. (Proceedings, if known).


American Society for Horticultural Science. Tropical Region. 2000. Proc. XVIII Annu. Mtg., Miami, 25–30 Oct. 2000. (Proc. Trop. Reg. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 14).



U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1997. Agricultural statistics for 1996. U.S. Dept. Agr., Washington, D.C.

Theses or Dissertations


Reeder, J.D. 2001. Nitrogen transformations in revegetated coal spoils. Colo. State Univ., Fort Collins, PhD Diss. Abstr. 81-26447.