Biology 1151 Research
FIND JOURNAL ARTICLES
Marge Peters . (630) 942-2337 . firstname.lastname@example.org
1: FIND YOUR TOPIC
- What's the easiest way to find an interesting journal article? BROWSE through research journals! Go to the Periodicals section and look at scientific journals such as Science, Nature, American Journal of Botany, American Naturalist, or health journals JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet and more.
- To start your research in full-text article databases, think about what interests you: a disease that runs in your family, what you should eat (or not eat!), the effect of a drug (use chemical name, not name sold under), prairies, tropical rain forests...
- Sometimes browsing topics in issues of newspapers or popular/science magazines such as Prevention, Readers Digest, Scientific American, Discover may suggest topics.These popular articles often give you a source to start with, but (BE CAREFUL!) not all of these sources may be research articles -- sometimes you find reports from presentations at conferences, press releases from university labs, or review articles that summarize the consensus of current research.
2: RESEARCH YOUR TOPIC IN JOURNALS
- The words you use are important! Make a list of the terms you want to find in articles you retrieve.
- Find articles in refereed journals (sometimes called peer-reviewed)
Click on "Databases" on top bar and choose from "Find a database by title". Each of these databases has a slightly different way of searching . Most allow you to limit to only scholarly journal articles or to full-text only:
- Let's try a search in Academic OneFile. Click on "Advanced Search " on the top banner. Type in the terms you want to match, being sure to link separate ideas with "and" in separate boxes. (The database searches for various forms of a word when you put an asterisk (*) after the root term: insect* matches insect, insects, insectivorous...). Can limit to only Full Text articles and Refereed Journals (research articles). May also want to limit "by publication date" to a particular time period if your teacher requires more recent articles.
BE CAREFUL! Although the articles retrieved may be from scholarly journals, they may not be research articles. They could be editorials, bibliographies, review articles and other less research-oriented publications. Be sure that your article has the six essential elements of a research article: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References.
- How to Read a Research Article
- Articles may be full-text / PDF (digitized image) or may be abstract only. If the Library does not have holdings of the journal, be sure to get interlibrary loan of your article if it is abstract-only.
Special help for other databases
- Science Online
Search by keyword or browse issues, either the current one or previous issues through 1997.
- Academic Search Premier:
Checkmark "Peer-reviewed." Enter terms in find box. Put "and" between separate concepts, quotation marks around multi-word ideas and the truncation symbol (*) to get plurals and other terms based on the word stem: cancer* matches cancer, cancers, cancerous...
We have subscribed to only a subset of full-text journals from ScienceDirect. To get the maximum number of hits, search the entire journal collection, even though you may need to arrange interlibrary loan.
Enter terms in singular form and most of the time the plurals will also be searched. If you want to be sure, enter an exclamation mark (!) as the truncation symbol after the word stem. Change the radio button for Dates to "All years." The Basic Search allows two terms to be linked with AND. If you need to link more concepts, use the Advanced Search.
If you click the PDF symbol when you retrieve articles and the database asks for a login and password, you know that this is one of the journals we do not subscribe to. Order these articles on interlibrary loan.
3: WHAT ABOUT THE INTERNET?
- Although free, internet-based scientific journal sites are beginning to be established, most science journals are acquired either by subscription or through arrangements by publishers to sell journal content to database vendors such as Gale or EBSCO. You may find links to research articles in the following sites, but many include non-research items such as press releases, homework help, and personal websites of researchers. The following websites may provide some useful research articles:
- HighWire Press
A division of the Stanford University Libraries, this is the largest repository of free full-text life science articles in the world. Search for PubMed articles, access the contents of 1172 HighWire hosted journals, and find listings in other free and pay-for-view sources.
Comprehensive search engine for science-specific topics. Results cite Science Web sites and provide abstracts from Medline, Science Direct, U.S. Patent office documents and more. Science Direct articles will ask for payment to acquire the article. If you have time, use interlibrary loan.
The gateway to government science information. Provides access to over 47 million pages of government science information from 42 databases and 2000 websites, many part of the "deep web" that is inaccesible to search engines.
4: ADVANCED SEARCHING: Finding journals in a field of biology
- If you want to browse for articles in the electronic journals that the Library has available full-text in fields of health or biological science, click this link from the Library's Journal Locator browse feature: Health & Biological Sciences.
- Click on a subject area you are interested in.
- Click on the name of a journal: Choose one of the databases listed after the journal name and click on the link. Pay attention to the years that are listed! Some have an embargo -- a time period for which the title is not available full-text. You will be taken to the title in that database with a list of issue years that you could browse for good articles.
5. CITING SOURCES: MLA & APA Format