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UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

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Biology

In this Subject Guide, you will find biology resources to get you started on your research.

Searching Web of Science

Finding Articles from Citations

Using InterLibrary Loan to Get Full-Text Articles

Primary Research vs. Review Articles

Searching Tips

Boolean operators
Invented by George Boole, these terms enable combinations of words to be searched at one time with different results, depending on the Boolean operator used. The standard terms are AND, OR, and NOT.

  • AND: retrieves results containing both terms (air AND water)
  • OR: retrieves results containing at least one of the terms (air OR water)
  • NOT: retrieves results answers containing one term but not the other (air NOT water)

As this is counter-intuitive to natural language that we use in everyday speech, if you get confused, consider this phrase: OR IS MORE

Truncation
This enables multiple forms of words to be searched at one time. To capture all of them at once, you insert a "truncation" symbol after the "root" of the word. This principle works in many databases, although the symbol for truncation may differ from database to database.

Example: chromato* retrieves "chromatograph," "chromatography," "chromatographic," "chromatogram," "chromatograms," etc.

Adjacency
To make sure two words are adjacent in your search results, use quotation marks, e.g.
"acid rain" or "risk analysis"

Getting only peer-reviewed articles
Many of the databases have a limiter so that you can search for only peer-reviewed articles. Peer-reviewed articles are also called scholarly or academic, depending on which database you are using.