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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

FORMIS: A Master Bibliography of Ant Literature
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1 - Introduction
2 - Online Searches - FORMIS - 2012
3 - Downloads - FORMIS - 2013
4 - Registration
5 - Credits
6 - Contributions
7 - Updating

Ant headUpdating and maintaining FORMIS will require the cooperative efforts of myrmecologists throughout the world.

The simplest way to contribute to FORMIS is to send Dr. Porter your reprints or PDF files.

The best way to contribute would be to send new or modified citations in an EndNote, Word, or text file format along with the reprints and/or PDF files.

Please begin by inspecting citations of your own work for accuracy and completeness.  The addition of keywords and/or abstracts would be especially useful.

Potential Contributors of Specialty Bibliographies

It is hoped that this database will become a magnet and distribution mechanism for specialty ant bibliographies like the Fire Ant Literature Database.  Specialty bibliographies are needed for genera such as Formica, Camponotus, Myrmica, Pheidole, Monomorium, Messor and Cataglyphis to name a few.  Specialty bibliographies on subjects such as foraging, bioenergetics, myrmecophiles, and ant-plant symbioses would also be useful.  Geographic bibliographies for places like Hawaii, India, Mexico, Brazil, etc. could also be assembled.

Specialty bibliographies can range from a few dozen citations to several thousand; the only requirement is that they be thorough.  Assembling such bibliographies could be part of a thesis project and the resulting bibliography would be a publication in FORMIS.

If you or one of your students are interested in contributing a specialized bibliography to FORMIS, please contact Dr. Wojcik or Dr. Porter for suggestions about how this can be done and who else might be doing something similar.

A standard EndNote file would be the most convenient format, although other formats are also possible (contact Dr. Porter for format details).  To avoid copy write problems, please do not send citations downloaded from commercial databases.

References that are not in FORMIS should be sent in files named "ADDNEW".

References in FORMIS that need to be modified should be copied out of FORMIS and pasted into a file called "MODIFIED".  Once in the "MODIFIED" file, citations can be corrected, keyworded, and verified (see below).  Abstracts can also be added.

Duplicate citations or those not related to ants should be pasted into the "DELETE" file.

Bibliographies that are in text format can generally be automatically tagged using a word processor and read into EndNote using a tagged format.

If more than a few dozen citations in FORMIS are to be modified, please send a file with the unrevised citations and another with the revised ones.  The file with unrevised citations will be used to find and delete old citations from the database.

Standards Used in FORMIS

  1. Please inspect existing records and try to use the same style (see five example citations at top of database with the preceding equal sign).
  2. The last name of all authors should be followed by a comma and the initials.  Terms like Jr., III, de, and 'von' should be placed after the initials preceded by a second comma.
  3. Please don't use hard returns (except between authors), tabs or quote marks because these characters can confound efforts to export the database.  The apostrophe can be substituted for quote marks.
  4. Missing data is indicated by double question marks (??).
  5. FORMIS generally does not use issue numbers unless they are essential; if included, they should be placed in parentheses in the volume field.
  6. FORMIS uses five reference types: Journal Article, Book, Book Section, Thesis, and Report (see examples).  The number of types was limited to simplify construction of styles and to facilitate export to other applications (e.g. Pro-Cite). "Report" was used as a miscellaneous reference type with everything after the title being placed in the "institution" field.  Also don't use the "thesis type" field under thesis because this field is not used by other literature databases.  Place this information along with the page number in the "University" field.
  7. Because of copyright restrictions, please do not send citations that have been downloaded from other databases unless you include a letter of permission (very hard to get).
  8. Keywords: Whenever possible, a citation should include keywords.  Keywords should include all taxonomic names from class to species for the major study organisms.  Geographic keywords should indicate continents, countries, and states where the work was done.  General fields of research should be included along with any specific terms included by the author that are not in the title.
  9. Abstracts: Abstracts are particularly valuable.  They can be clipped out of word processor files or scanned in from reprints.  Include abstracts in all languages that are available.  Please obtain permission if you are including abstracts from papers other than your own.  Most journals have no problem with this.
  10. Verification: Citations that have been double checked against the original should be tagged in the note field as having been verified.  This lets users know that they can use the citation without comparing it to the original.  A verified tag should include the initials of the verifier (e.g., verified-SDP).
  11. Translated Titles: Translated titles should be placed at the beginning of the abstract field preceded by an equals sign (=) and enclosed in brackets, e.g. [=Vampire Ants of Transylvania].
  12. As a general rule, this database should include only formal published papers.  Papers that are "in press" can be included provided they are tagged as "in press" in the year field so that they can be automatically removed from the database after one year.  Inclusion of abstracts, conference proceedings or other informal non-refereed publications are not encouraged unless they are of exceptional merit and not available elsewhere.


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Last Modified: 7/23/2013
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