This is the "AIP Students" page of the "AIP Student Guide" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
sdzglibrarybanner San Diego Zoo Global Library

AIP Student Guide  

Research instructions, tips, resources, and links for Advanced Inquiry Project (AIP) students at San Diego Zoo Global.
Last Updated: May 3, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
AIP Students Print Page

Library Help for AIP Students

red river hog babies

Red river hog babies at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. © San Diego Zoo Global. All Rights Reserved.

Topics on This Page

Research assistance. San Diego Zoo Global librarians offer reference services to SDZG staff and volunteers. We're happy to help AIP students as time permits, in person (M-F 8:00-4:30) or by phone (760-747-8702 x5736) or email. A much larger selection of databases is available through the Miami University LIbraries (see guide on right). The MU librarians offer research assistance by phone, text, and chat.

Research tips and tutorials. Would you like to make your own literature searches easier and more productive? The information below can help!

We welcome comments and suggestions.

Research Help

  • 15 Steps to Good Research
    A brief introduction to how to successfully plan and carry out a research project, step by step. Includes links to key resources. From Georgetown University.
  • Scholarly Research Tutorial
    Wondering where to start finding sources for a paper? Not sure where to go beyond Google? Here is a quick but thorough tutorial in effective research methods for scholarly papers. From University of St. Mary.

Writing Help

  • 1. Academic Writing
    Are you facing your first college writing project, or the first one in a very long time? This excellent, big-picture guide is a good place to start. Topics include organization, logic, clarity, conciseness, and word choice. From the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
  • 2. The Writing Process
    This guide gives you detailed, step-by-step advice for how to plan and write an academic paper. From the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
  • 3. Grammar & Spelling
    Grammar and spelling guidelines. From the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
  • 4. Punctuation
    Punctuation guidelines. From the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
  • 5. Strunk's Elements of Style (E-BOOK)
    William Strunk, Jr. 1918. The Elements of Style. This is a classic, very helpful guide to writing style. Offered in ebook format by (1999).

Citation Help

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary source: Authoritative firsthand account, or original creative work

  • Examples: Research data, letters, diaries, speeches, original photographs

Secondary source: Summary, interpretation, critique, or analysis

  • Examples: Encyclopedias, textbooks, reviews, editorials, commentaries

Tip: An article from a scholarly journal or newspaper may be either.

  • Is it an original account (primary), or a review/commentary (secondary)?

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Peer-reviewed (scholarly) journals have long been the gold standard for publishing research findings. When you search literature databases, look for the option to limit results to peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.

The following guide will help you determine if a journal article is peer-reviewed. Also, please note the Warning: Predatory Publishers box below!

Reliable Websites

Anyone can publish anything on the internet! These guidelines will help you identify reliable online information sources:

Warning: Predatory Publishers

Unfortunately, newcomers looking for a quick profit are muddying the waters of scholarly publishing. These so-called predatory publishers do not rigorously review or fact-check articles before publishing, but they falsely advertise themselves as "peer-reviewed." Such scams are becoming disturbingly common.

Before you cite information from a journal, submit a manuscript, or agree to serve on an editorial board, please check the links below and take the following steps:

  1. Make sure the journal is not on Beall's List (below).
  2. Confirm that only research articles that have successfully passed an expert review process are published by the journal.
  3. Check with colleagues or online to find out if the journal has a good reputation.

Many open-access journals are reputable and authoritative university, society, or other non-profit initiatives.  Keep in mind, not all open-access journals are from predatory publishers. 

Google Search Tips

SDZG Library: How to Find Books and Articles


MU Libraries: Guide for AIP Students

Miami University Libraries Website

Contact an MU Librarian



Useful Research Guides

Howe Writing Center

  • Online Consultations 
    • You and your consultant meet in real-time and talk through video, audio, and/or chat. 
    • Send your paper as a Microsoft Word document or Google Doc. Your consultant will provide written feedback.

Useful Databases

All of these are available on the MU Libraries home page at Databases A-Z:

Biology, Conservation, Environment

  • Web of Science is an interdisciplinary database best-known for the natural sciences. Its key feature is citation tracking (look up an article and find related, more recent papers that have cited it. Coverage includes 1965-present.
  • Biological Abstracts/BIOSIS Previews gives the most comprehensive coverage of literature in the life sciences, including journal articles, meeting abstracts, and books. It covers both basic and applied biology broadly, e.g. agriculture, biochemistry, ecology, medicine, neuroscience, and physiology. Coverage includes 1969-present.
  • ScienceDirect is a leading full-text scientific database that offers journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 peer-reviewed journals and more than 11,000 books. It currently includes more than 9.5 million articles/chapters and offers sophisticated search and retrieval options.
  • AGRICOLA is the index of the National Agriculture Library. It covers animal welfare, plant science, fisheries, ecology, nutrition, environmental sciences, and veterinary science topics.
  • Environment Complete covers environmental aspects of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts, and urban planning.
  • PsychINFO is the principal lit database for basic and clinical psychology and includes excellent coverage of animal behavior and neuroscience literature.


  • ERIC is an education literature database that indexes more than 600 journals. In addition, contributors have given ERIC permission to display more than 115,000 full-text materials in PDF format - at no charge.
  • Education Research Complete covers all levels of education from early childhood to higher education, and all specialties, such as multilingual education, health education, and testing.
  • Education Full Text covers educational topics including administration and supervision, preschool, elementary, secondary, higher, and adult education; counseling and personnel service, teaching methods, and curriculum. It also covers contemporary educational issues.
  • Professional Development Collection is a highly specialized collection of 520 high quality education journals, including nearly 350 peer-reviewed titles. This database also contains more than 200 educational reports.


Our Mission. The Library is dedicated to supporting San Diego Zoo Global’s mission by providing outstanding
information resources and research services to advance knowledge and strengthen our organization’s capacity to save
species worldwide. Our Vision. We will empower San Diego Zoo Global to lead the fight against extinction by serving as
the organization’s information hub and facilitating research of the highest quality.

© 2016 San Diego Zoo Global — All Rights Reserved

Our Family of Sites

  • Zoo logoSan Diego Zoo
  • Park logoSan Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • ICR logoSan Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
  • SDZ Global logoSan Diego Zoo Global

Loading  Loading...