The format of a citation often defines where the information may be found.
The ideal is to find an exact verification. Sometimes you have to make do with less, or use secondary sources as stepping stones to the complete information.
Author(s). Book Title. City of publication: Publisher; Year. Total Number of Pages.
Ohlsen, Merle M.; Horne, Arthur M.; Lowe, Charles F. Group Counseling. New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston; 1988. 416 p.
Book Chapter or Part
Chapter authors. Chapter Title. IN: Book Editors. Book Title. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date of Publication. Inclusive pagination.
Anderson, Robert J.; Schrier, Robert W. Acute renal failure. IN: Braunswald, Eugene; Isselbacher, Kurt j: Petersdorf, Robert G., etal. Editors. Harrison 's prinicples of internal medicine. 11th ed. New York : McGraw-Hill; 1987. p. 1149-55
Authors. Article Title. Abbreviated Journal Title Year Month (if available); volume(issue): inclusive pages.
Hebert Jr, Barone J. On the possibile relationship between AIDS and nutrition. Med Hypotheses 1988 Sep; 27(1):51-4.
Authors. Title of Paper; Paper Presented at: Name of Conference; Date of Conference, Place of Conference.
Papoulas, O.; Kingston , Robert E. Analysis of c-myc binding to enhancer motifs. Paper presented at: 6th Annual Meeting on Oncogenes; 1990 Jun 26-30; Frederick MD.
Not infrequently, a meeting abstract or poster will be published as a supplement or part of a printed journal. Then it would look similar to the Journal Article, with perhaps a notation of meeting abstract, or A added to the page number. More recently, the meeting abstract may initially only be available through the Conference website. In that case, adding the URL to the site and date last visited should be added in lieu of page number.
Tips and Thoughts
Gather all of the information that is available - if you only need 3 authors for the citation, but all are listed - list them all, with Inclusive paging. You can always remove information, and it is much easier than going back to find more.
There are a number of resources available to verify books - to name only a few major resources:
Other Library Catalogs is a more complete listing of large regional catalogs, such as OhioLink and the Big Ten links available through the University of Minnesota can be useful as well, as well as national and international resources.
EndNote direct connections can also be used to check online catalogs.
Don't overlook Amazon.com - libraries typically list only the first editor plus et al if there are more than three. Amazon not infrequently has all of the authors - and with it's Look Inside feature (and now the Search Inside the Book) you may also be able to get chapters and pages.
Not well covered in any database - although PsycInfo, CINAHL do provide information in their subject areas. Current Contents has indexed multi-authored monographs since 2001.
Some library catalogs add the Tables of Contents of books.
Don't forget Amazon.com
Meeting abstracts are indexed spottily in some databases: BIOSIS, Web of Science. More and more of the meeting abstracts are published on the web prior to being issued as a journal supplement. Some societies are simply foregoing journal supplements altogether. MEDLINE will occasionally identify abstracts for the meeting published in a journal (but not the individual abstracts).
If the meeting is not available there, checking OCLC Worldcat or the British Library may identify a journal volume/supplement or printed abstracts. And, if all else fails, a search for the association as a phrase (in quotes, e.g. "Infectious Diseases Society") on Google or AltaVista for the association may reveal the abstracts on a third-party site such as Medscape or Abstracts-on-Line.
Most of the databases available on Ovid cover primarily articles; the table below provides some idea of other formats, and the years covered.
|MayoAuthors||1871- present||Articles, Books, Audiovisuals, Chapters, Abstracts||2 weeks||8 weeks||Materials published by Mayo authors, early authors being added|
|MEDLINE||1950- present||Articles only||Weekly||3 weeks||Biomedicine|
|EMBASE||1988- present||Articles only||Weekly||6 weeks||Drugs, European literature|
|Current Contents||1996- present||Articles, Table of Contents, Books and Chapters||Weekly||1 week||Multidisciplinary, Science|
|PsycInfo||1887- present||Articles, Dissertations, Books, Book Chapters||Weekly||12 weeks||Psychology, Psychiatry|
|HealthStar||1975- present||Articles, Newsletters, meeting abstracts||Monthly||8 weeks||Healthcare Administration, Management|
|Nursing & Allied Health||1982- present||Articles, Dissertations, Books, Book Chapters, Software, some Full Text||Weekly||8 weeks||Nursing, allied health|
PubMed is the National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database. A portion of the database is MEDLINE. But PubMed also includes publications prior to being fully indexed, or published. Some journals have not yet been selected for inclusion in MEDLINE. Coverage is now 1950 to present.
PubMed has a tool "Citation Matcher" which allows verification of a citation in MEDLINE when only a few pieces of information are available. Ovid now provides a similar tool, available from the logon page, or as a tab "Find Citation" above the keyword box.
Correctly identifying what the full journal title is can be critical. PubMed at the National Library of Medicine also provides the Journal Database in the same menu as Citation Matcher. Journal titles can be searched by full title or by abbreviation.
EndNote provides direct connections to PubMed and individual Ovid databases so searching for known references can be coupled with adding to existing EndNote library in one step.
There are a number of databases listed in the alphabetic database list which include citation + abstract. Journals@Ovid can be searched as a database; OCLC WorldCat provides access to their ECO fulltext journal database, and ArticlesFirst. Even if the full text is not available, complete bibliographic information is.
What if the article is not found?
First, is the topic biomedical in nature? One of the above may be more appropriate - or Web of Science, which covers all areas of the sciences, including chemistry, agriculture, engineering and statistics. SCOPUS covers more than 14,000 journals in the sciences, social sciences and business.
Is it an older article? The Index Catalogue of the Surgeon General covers all areas of medicine from the 18th century through the middle of the 20th century.
Verify the journal title in the National Library of Medicine's Locatorplus or in the OCLC WorldCat. Both allow searching by keyword rather than exact title. Most entries list where the journal is indexed: Chemical Abstract, BIOSIS etc.
Pay attention! Some studies indicate that as many as 25% of entries in journal bibliographies are incorrect. Don't take a title match as the final step. Check the coverage years and volume numbers, too. If you have a citation to volume 2, 1985 and the journal is listed as beginning in 1902 - there may be a problem.
Check to see how others have cited the reference - Web of Science covers 1945 to present. How an article is cited is available for the full period - so you can see that 2 people cite an article your way, but 350 cite it with a different volume or year.
It may be necessary to go the the original article, or printed indexes. Plummer Library has earlier print indexes of Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, Excerpta Medica, and Index Medicus (back to 1880).
Ask the reference staff for assistance.