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Resources for your research in horticutlure

Welcome to the HORT 1104 course page

This page provides a summary of the Library resources and research tools we explored in the HORT 1104 library orientation. I will keep it up for you for the remainder of the semester. Check back for search tips and resources as you work through your assignments.

Celia Brinkerhoff, Horticulture Librarian

Ask Yourself: Which source is the most credible?


You are researching the effects of soil compaction on nutrient uptake of plants.

Use your best critical thinking skills to evaluate the following sources.

Which source would NOT be a good choice to use in your assignments?
Soil compaction: 3 votes (20%)
Soil compaction: 0 votes (0%)
Shaping an optimal soil by root-soil interaction: 0 votes (0%)
The truth about compaction: 12 votes (80%)
Total Votes: 15

Start with a Summon search

Start your research with the library's search engine Summon.

If your question is: What is the effect of soil pH on nitrogen uptake?

Identify the key terms in your question.

What is the effect of soil compaction on nutrient uptake?

  • use 2 or 3 keywords to focus your topic; put phrases in quotation marks i.e. "soil compaction" (and) "nutrient uptake"
  • use the content filters on the side to limit to scholarly articles, books, or other material types

Need some background on your topic, or familiarize yourself with terminology, key chemical processes, or various perspectives? Try looking for a reference book on your topic.

  • The Library subscribes to several hundred encyclopedias, dictionaries and handbooks, many of which are subject-specific
  • From your Summon search, use the Content filter on the left side of the results list to limit to "reference"

Understanding Peer Review

Finding scholarly articles

If database searching is new for you, learn the benefits of using them in your research, with this short video from Yavapai Community College Library.

Don't know if KPU has a particular journal or magazine? Use the Journal by Title search to find out if the Library subscribes.


Once you've searched the Library's databases, check Google Scholar for more articles and reports. Use the "Where Can I Get This?" link to take you to articles available through KPU's subscriptions.

Using Google Scholar off campus? Go to "settings", then look for "library links". Add Kwantlen Polytechnic University Library, and your search results will include links to items available through the Library's collection.


Google Scholar Search

You've been asked to only use scholarly sources in your assignment, but how do you really know what you're looking at?

Check out KPU Library's guide on how to distinguish different kinds of publications.

Best Bets

Below are the research databases we recommend for starting your article search. You can use these to locate articles in scholarly journals as well as trade publications.

Remember: It's good research strategy to do your searches in MORE THAN ONE database.

To browse the more than 100 databases  the Library offers you, please visit our Research database page.

Free/Open Access Databases

 Try these free, open access databases for articles, research, and government reports.

Not all journals and academic publishers are legitimate. Some use deceptive tactics to lure authors into paying to have their work published in for-profit journals that use little or no peer-review.

Check this guide from University of Saskatchewan Library for further details. 

Is it any good?

From North Carolina State University Libraries.

How do you check for credibility?

Try asking these questions of any article, website, or post.

fake news

Writing and Citing

Take a minute to read this page from the Online Writing Lab at Excelsior College.

Pay attention to the various situations in which you need to credit your sources.

Then, answer the questions below.

1. You include this statement in the opening of your introduction:

"Soil provides nutrients and water to most plants."

Does a reference need to be provided for this statement?

Yes. Anything that is not your own idea must be given a reference.: 23 votes (85.19%)
No. It's common knowledge.: 3 votes (11.11%)
It depends on whether you are taking this from another source.: 1 votes (3.7%)
Total Votes: 27

2. You find a useful diagram on a public site on the Web that you want to include in your assignment. Do you need to tell your reader where it came from?

No. If it came from the Web, you can just use it without attribution.: 1 votes (3.85%)
Yes. Even though it may have come from a free site, it still requires attribution.: 25 votes (96.15%)
Total Votes: 26

3. You decide to use one of your own photographs to illustrate a point you are making in your report. How will you refer to this?

You don't need to if it's your own.: 2 votes (6.25%)
You still have to label it and refer to it in the body of your paper.: 26 votes (81.25%)
You have to number it, refer to it in the body of your paper, and include a refernce to it on your reference list.: 4 votes (12.5%)
Total Votes: 32