“Stealing an idea from one source is plagiarism; stealing from many sources is research.” This quote has been attributed to so many people I won’t bother trying to list them here. But the point is a lot of what we do as professors is spend our time digging into the literature to look for substantiating or conflicting evidence for the ideas were interested in testing. As a grad student back in the 1980’s, a time-honored tradition was to spend the afternoon at the library combing the stacks for journal articles, loading volume after volume onto a cart and then schlepping off the library copy center. With the mechanical hum in the background and green glare of the scanner radiating off the walls, we’d wear our toner smudges like a badge of honor as the copy machine counte kept track of our progress.
Today, of course, things have changed dramatically. The hardcopy CAB abstracts have been replaced by Google Scholar and Web of Science. For those of us at major universities, hundreds of journals are available at our fingertips through on-line subscriptions through our libraries. And an electronic interlibrary loan request can usually produce a .pdf of even the most obscure reference with a couple of days. Unfortunately for those of us working in landscape horticulture some of the hardest to find journals were the ones that we often wanted most. For example, journals from the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) were only available to members and just recently became open access and indexed through Web of Science and other indexes. Fortunately the situation is improving for two other sources that contain the type of applied research we are often after. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry (formerly Journal of Arboriculture) and Journal of Environmental Horticulture are both available on-line (or partly available on-line). More importantly for GP blog readers, neither requires a subscription or university log-in.
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry is available at http://auf.isa-arbor.com/
Journal of Environmental Horticulture is available at http://www.hriresearch.org/index.cfm?page=Content&categoryID=174
Both journals include a search function to make it easier to find related articles.