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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 will explore in the HORT 1104 library orientation on September 17, 2020, via Big Blue Button. I will keep it up for you for the remainder of the semester. 

Before joining the live session, please take a minute to watch the following 3 short videos, in the boxes below.

1. Finding ebooks  @ KPU Library

2. Understanding Peer Review

3. Evaluating Sources for Credibility

Celia Brinkerhoff, Horticulture Librarian (

1. Finding eBooks @ KPU Library

2. Understanding Peer Review

From North Carolina State Libraries.

3. Evaluating Sources

Ask Yourself: Which source is the most credible?

What makes a good source of information for your assignments and lab reports?

We'll do this together as a poll activity in our live session together. 

Research question: You are looking for credible information on how soil compaction might impact nutrient uptake.

Which of the 4 sources below is the least credible? What are some of the criteria that help you decide what makes a good source of information?


Here's a Google Doc where you will find the links below and you can add your thoughts about each source and its appropriateness.

Start with a Summon search

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

If your question is: What is the effect of climate on soil formation?

Identify the key terms in your question.

What is the effect of climate on soil formation?

  • use 2 or 3 keywords to focus your topic; put phrases in quotation marks i.e. "soil formation" (and) climate
  • 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"

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. 

How do you check for credibility?

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

fake news

Why Citations are Important

Writing and Citing

Be sure you are familiar with KPU's Student Academic and Integrity Policy and it's accompanying Procedures. You can read more about these policies and the issues of Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism on the Library's Academic Integrity and Plagiarism guide.

In HORT 1104, you will be writing and submitting various assignments and lab reports. As part of the KPU community of researchers and scholars, students are expected to conduct themselves with honesty and to approach their work with integrity. This includes understanding and using a system of citation that clearly tells your readers (your instructors and student peers) where your sources of information are coming from, and by extension, what ideas or data are your own.


Discussion questions:

The following 2 scenarios are possible situations you might find yourself in HORT 1104. 

Scenario 1:

You find a diagram on an open (free) website that helps to convey the effects of compacted soil on root growth. You would like to include this diagram in your assignment. If you do include it, do you need to tell your reader where you found it? 


Scenario 2:

You have completed a lab and are now preparing to write up the lab report, when you notice that you and your lab partner missed an entire step in the experiment. Your results are therefore wrong, and do not support your hypothesis. Your lab partner suggests that you make up your results and just continue as if you did the experiment correctly. Would this be a violation of KPU's academic integrity policy? If so, what would be the violation?