Whenever a scientist makes a discovery or for the first time in history brings together a mass of information in a new synthesis, thescientist's work is published in a scientific journal. Scientific journals are likemagazines, except for these points:

One magazine that comes close to being a scientific journal is Scientific American, but even its subject matter is too general, and its format too commercial, to be considered a real scientific journal.

Scientific journals are important to naturalists who develop burning interests in specialized topics -- such as bird migration, the toxic effects of heavy metals on animals, or the exact identities of obscure forms of fungi growing in backyard soil. Mostamateur naturalists will never need to go to scientific journals. However, since some ofus become so involved in our studies that we just keep digging and digging for information, and scientific journals are the place to dig.

Scientific journals are found in university libraries and research facilities, and large or specialized libraries of the type nearly always found only in or near major population centers. If you are far from any university or fair-sized town, probably you will not be able to find an appropriate journal and you just go surfing on the internet. . Sorry about that.

Happily, nowadays more and more scientific journals present some or all of their works on the Internet.  Here is a list of some sites you may be interested in visiting:

  • American Journal of Botany..Abstracts
  • Bioscience....................Editorials Online
  • Ecology and Society..........Articles
  • HortScience...................Abstracts
  • Nature.........................Articles (free registration)
  • You also might look at the NewJour site, "the Internet list for new journals and newsletters available on the Internet." Some of these journals and newsletters cost and some are free. There are lots of them, though, so it's worth browsing through them.