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Michigan State University

Agriculture Research Guide: Article Research

This is a general guide to finding information on agricultural subjects including crops, soils, forages, farm management, agricultural and biosystems engineering, and sustainable agriculture (SARE).

Article Research at MSUL

Articles contain the most current information published in a field of study.

Most professors and researchers prefer articles that are "scholarly" in nature.  Characteristics of scholarly journals are that they have the following qualities:

  • The articles contain original research (such as scientific experiments, surveys and research studies)
  • A list of references or sources is provided at the end of each article
  • An editorial board, composed of experts in the field, reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted; this is also known as "refereed," "peer-reviewed," "professional," or "academic".
  • Uses a specialized vocabulary for that field.
  • Contain few if any advertisements. If included, they are highly specialized and specific to scholarly discipline (i.e. specific laboratory equipment, medical tools and drugs).
  • If you are uncertain about the scholarly nature of a journal, you all look up the title or ISSN in the periodical database Ulrichs Periodical Directory (UlrichsWeb).  This database will tell you about the journal including the nature, it's audience, and in which databases it is indexed and abstracted.

The Library Catalog contains the TITLES to all of the print and electronic format journals to which we have access.  The Catalog does not list the articles within the journals. The individual articles can be found in the many article databases to which we subscribe.

Citation searching:

If you have a citation to an article, the easiest way to locate the article is to look up the title of the journal in the catalog.  Identify whether we own the journal and the format, print or electronic.  If in electronic format, do we have that year/volume? If yes, you can click on the link provided to go directly to the online articles and find the one you need.  If it is not online, do we have it in print?  If so, identify the call number and go to the stacks to find the proper volume and issue.  If we do not own the journal or issue, you can request the article through Interlibrary Services.

Article Research - General Research

International Agriculture

For agricultural topics outside of the United States, try these resources after searching CAB Abstracts.

Specialty Databases

Agriculture Librarian

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Suzanne Teghtmeyer
Main Library
366 W. Circle Dr.
East Lansing, MI 48824

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Using the DOI to locate an article

The new edition of the APA style manual endorses the use of DOIs to help locate material.  Note the DOI at the end of the article citation:

Lerner, R. M., von Eye, A., Lerner, J. V., & Lewin-Bizan, S. (2009). Exploring the foundations and functions of adolescent thriving within the 4-H study of positive youth development: A view of the issues. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30(5), 567-570. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2009.07.002

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier.  It is a system that provides a persistent URL (web address) for documents on the Internet.  Publishers must register a DOI for articles.  The system is pretty new, so some publishers will use it and others may not.

There are several ways to locate an article using the DOI:

  • Type the address into your browser, starting with, as in
  • Go to the DOI system link resolver page and use their lookup service []
  • Google the entire DOI phrase "doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2009.07.002"

You will then be taken to the webpage for the article on the publisher's website.

Important!  The full-text of the article will only be available if the publisher recognizes that you are an MSU student and if we have a subscription to the journal. 

To be recognized as an MSU student, you will need to have authenticated through the proxy server by logging on to any MSU Libraries subscription resource.  You can also add the phrase "" to the beginning of the DOI link (e.g. to force the proxy server login page.  However, if MSU does not have a subscription to the journal the full-text will not be available.  Use the library catalog to check to see if we subscribe to a particular journal.