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PSYC 338: Animal Behavior: Getting Started

For students researching animal behavior from a biological and/or psychological perspective.

Goals and Objectives for Library Session


Provide an introduction/refresher to effective searching methods to maximize accurate and relevant results to database searches.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to . . .

  • Name 2-3 databases where they can find scholarly information on animal behavior, and identify when to use each.
  • Locate scholarly articles on an animal behavior topic
  • Find additional sources by tracking the scholarly conversation through time by utilizing citations
  • Access materials whether through Milne Library's holdings or via an IDS request

The Assignment

A table of contents project that pulls together the best of the literature on a chosen topic relating to animal behavior.

Students are asked to perform an extensive literature review that focuses on a major behavior of a selected animal (i.e. migration, competition, foraging), organizing scholarly references into "chapters" or subsections of the major behavior.

Dr. Ruddy has provided a very detailed set of instructions for this research project.  Be sure to read through everything carefully so as not to miss any important components and thus lose points toward your final grade.

When in doubt, ask Dr. Ruddy for clarification or assistance.  A reference librarian will always be available to help fill in any research gaps.

Browse Journal Table of Contents

Examining the table of contents of a relevant journal can provide topic ideas while getting you directly into the primary literature.

Browse Books

You can browse your textbook, reference books, and other books in Milne Library to select your topic.

You can easily browse animal behavior related books on the upper level of Milne Library starting at call number QL 751.

Keep in mind that most of the reference books or websites you consult won't be the scholarly resources you'll need to include in your project.

Search and Filter

You can do broad searches in the article databases, then take advantage of the sophisticated subject and keyword filters to narrow down your results to a managable topic.

From Scopus