PLSC 491

This course guide provides information to support and supplement what is covered in the PLSC 491 library session.

Peer Review and Original Research

See the following library guides for information about peer review and original research:

Finding Articles

Plant Science Databases

The library provides access to many databases that will have information about plant science research articles. Some of the most recommended databases for Plant Science are:

Help Finding Articles

See some of the library guides related to finding articles.

Remember to look for the Search @ NDSU button in the library databases. Clicking that button will open a new tab/window that will search the library records to see if the library has access to that article. 

If the library does not have access to the article, you can request it, for free, through Interlibrary Loan. For more information, see our How to Use Interlibrary Loan guide.

Tips for the Class Assignment

  1. Look for the methods and results sections. Generally, inclusion of these sections will indicate that the article contains original research. Examples: an original research article and a review article.
  2. Read the methods section. Do the methods match the requirements of this assignment?
    • Methods that work: 
    • Methods that don't work:
      • interviews, focus groups, questionnaires or surveys, it is not going to work for this assignment (here is an example)
      • meta-analysis will not work either (They will have a methods section explaining how they gathered, combined, and analyzed data from multiple original research articles by other authors. here is an example)

If the article contains original research and has a methods section that fits the assignment requirements, it has probably been peer reviewed. However, if you want to confirm whether the journal uses peer review when they publish articles you can check their website for indications of peer review. Some sections to look for on the journal's website include: Aim & Scope, Instructions for Authors, Guidelines for Authors, Author Guidelines, Author Resources, Contribute, or Submit. Here is an example from Agronomy Journal

Contact the Librarian

Nicole Juve, Agricultural Sciences Librarian

In-Class Activities

Activity 1: Original or Review

Determine whether each article is an original research article or a review article. Explain your answer. (Submit responses on this Google Form:

Article 1

Dutta, S., Mohanty, S., & Tripathy, B. C. (2009). Role of temperature stress on chloroplast biogenesis and protein import in pea. Plant Physiology, 150(2), 1050–1061.

Article 2

Pérez-Montaño, F., Alías-Villegas, C., Bellogín, R. A., Del Cerro, P., Espuny, M. R., Jiménez-Guerrero, I., ... & Cubo, T. (2014). Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: From microorganism capacities to crop production. Microbiological Research, 169(5-6), 325-336.

Activity 2: Methods

Below are excerpts from the methods sections of three research articles. From the excerpts, determine whether each article would work for the requirements of this class assignment. You may also view the below details in this PDF, or use the URLs in each reference citation to access the full text of the article. Submit responses on this Google Form:

Article 1

Dutta, S., Mohanty, S., & Tripathy, B. C. (2009). Role of temperature stress on chloroplast biogenesis and protein import in pea. Plant Physiology, 150(2), 1050–1061.

Excerpt from the article's methods section:

Plant Material

Pea (Pisum sativum) seeds were obtained from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. These seeds were first treated with 0.1% HgCl2 solution for 2 min and then washed with tap water several times. They were grown in vermiculite in cool-white fluorescent light (80 μmol photons m−2 s−1) at 25°C for 12 d.

Stress Treatment

For temperature stress treatment, plants were transferred to 7°C (for chill stress) and 40°C (for heat stress) in light (80 μmol photons m−2 s−1) for 24 or 48 h. One set of plants was kept at 25°C as control.

Recovery from Stress

After 48 h of stress treatment, plants were transferred to 25°C and kept for 24 h in light (70 μmol photons m−2 s−1), and their Chl a fluorescence was measured as described below...

Chl a Fluorescence Measurements

All measurements of Chl a fluorescence were performed with a portable PAM-2100 fluorometer (Walz). Before each measurement, the sample leaf was dark-adapted for 20 min (Demmig et al., 1987) in respective temperature regimes with leaf clips provided by Walz...

Article 2

Zhang, J., Zhang, S., Cheng, M., Jiang, H., Zhang, X., Peng, C., Lu, X., Zhang, M., & Jin, J. (2018). Effect of drought on agronomic traits of rice and wheat: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(5), 839.

Excerpt from the article's methods section:

Data Collection

Using the Web of Science (Thompson-ISI, Philadelphia, PA, USA) and the China Knowledge Resource Integrated Databases, a survey on the wheat and rice response to drought from 1980 to 2017 was completed. The database was built based on keywords such as wheat or rice, water stress, water deficit, drought, growth, yield, and productivity. Only studies that met the following selected criteria were included in the database: (1) involved plants that experienced drought under field conditions and pot studies, (2) the reported effect data of a water deficit was taken from the experiments including two datasets of a well-watered control group and a drought condition treatment group without other treatments (e.g., addition of fertilizer, modification of temperature, CO2 or O3), (3) contained any of the plant growth parameters of rice and wheat listed in Table 2, and (4) included replication in the experimental design. Data from the figures were digitized using data extraction software (Plot Digitizer-Windows). In total, 120 cultivars from 60 published wheat studies and more than 70 cultivars from 55 published rice studies were used in the global meta-analysis, which excluded all additional treatments (see Table S1).

Article 3

Liebig, T., Jassogne, L., Rahn, E., Läderach, P., Poehling, H.-M., Kucel, P., Asten, P. V., & Avelino, J. (2016). Towards a collaborative research: A case study on linking science to farmers’ perceptions and knowledge on arabica coffee pests and diseases and its management. PLOS ONE, 11(8), e0159392.

Excerpt from the article's methods section:

Agro-ecological context of the study area

The study was conducted in three neighbouring Ugandan districts (Bulambuli, Sironko and Kapchorwa) on the slopes of Mt. Elgon, the fourth highest (4320 meters above sea level) mountain of Africa. In a first step, the study area was clustered according to the key variables of climate and topography (annual temperature, annual rainfall, altitude, slope inclination, slope aspect) (Fig 1)...

Selection of participating farmers.

The selection of farmers per altitude range followed a stratified random sampling using the “RAND” function of Excel (Microsoft Excel 2013). ... a total of 300 coffee farmers (50 per sub county) were invited for Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA)...

Farmer survey.

A structured interview with a mix of closed-ended and open-ended questions was used to inquire information about farming structures and management practices, the farmers’ socio-economic background and perceptions about a selection of nine CPaD (Table 2). For the latter, farmers were asked a sequence of repetitive questions (Table 1) which were reformulated for the different CPaD

Activity 3: Assessment

Determine whether the following article is an original research article or a review article. Also determine whether it is appropriate for this class assignment or not, and explain why or why not.

Brown, J. K. M., & Rant, J. C. (2013). Fitness costs and trade‐offs of disease resistance and their consequences for breeding arable crops. Plant Pathology, 62, 83-95. 

If the above link doesn't work, try this one:

Submit responses on this Google Form: