Biology 415   Winter Term, 2001
Guidelines for constructing a digital bibliography

Due Mon., Apr. 2, 2001

10 points

Objective: To learn to use a bibliographic program, ProCite, to process the results of a database search and to construct a short bibliography (maximum 10 references) on a topic which is related to Bio 415 and is of special interest to you. This may be the same or different from the topic you choose for the 2nd short paper.

This is a powerful tool, and you will find it useful. This exercise does, however, assume/require some basic knowledge of using computers and databases.

Specific tasks:

  1. Decide your topic and the keywords you are going to use.
          Note that you may have to narrow your search (e.g., limit to this year or combine it with another keyword) if
          you get too many returns.

  2. Select a database to search, preferably Medline or Citation Index, which are available to you online through Mirlyn-Indexes or through the following links:


    Science Citation Index

    You can use other databases if you wish, but until the database is repaired, we will not use Biological Abstracts (Biosis) in this exercise; however, you may want to use it to find material for your short paper #2.

  3. We will not use the UM Library catalog Mirlyn here; however, you can find information on using ProCite to process Mirlyn records at this linked site, and an on-line short cut is available at another site.

  4. Using the database software, select and save no more than 10 references that you think are particularly good.
          Save (download) as a text file (.txt) named to indicate the database used and your intitials,
             e.g., Medline-LDN.txt or CitIndex-LDN.txt.

            For Medline, select the Ovid format and the fields titled "Citation and Abstract",
             so that the abstracts be included in addition to the reference itself.   
             For Citation Index, select, "Easy Search" and Science Citation Index.
            After you select references that you want from each screen, you will have to submit them and then
            they will show up on a marked list that you can view and download. When you download (save)
            your marked references, be sure to select the abstract field.

            It is best to save this and subsequent files on a floppy disk (i.e., a:---).

  5. Using ProCite, convert this text file to ProCite files (e.g., CitIndex-LDN.pdt and CitIndex-LDN.pdx) with the same name, and then, convert these ProCite files to a text file (reference list) using one of the styles (e.g., Chicago B or your favorite journal) offered by ProCite.
          Save (download) this final bibliography as a text file with your initials (e.g., LDN-refs.txt).

             Procite will be available to you at the SLC and at the Computing Sites.
             This link will take you to step-by-step instructions for using ProCite 5.

  6. E-mail your search results, the ProCite files and bibliography to me ( as attachments.
  7. In the text of the e-mail, briefly (3-4 sentences), explain your search topic and keywords.

Return to the Bio 415 home page