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BCHM 472 - Biochemistry Laboratory I

Finding Journal Articles

There are many sources that can be utilized to find journal articles. The next box on this page includes a demonstration of using the Mardigian Search box on the library's home page. This is a convenient way to search through most of the library's research databases. In addition to the Mardigian Search, you can use specific databases. Some of your professors favor PubMed, Google Scholar, and SciFinder. (Click on the links to find pages demonstrating how to use each of these.

You can find other databases to search by scanning the following lists of research databases (many of the same databases are on all of these lists):

How to Build Your Search

Using one or two words usually isn't the most effective search strategy. It usually brings up too many results. So, you need to construct a more sophisticated search using Boolean operators.



Show only those results that include all terms (most search engines use the AND operator as the default).

Example: genetics AND evolution - includes all articles that use both the words genetics and evolution (the intersection of genetics and evolution).



Show results that include any of the keywords.

Example: genetics OR evolution - includes all articles that include the either the word genetics or evolution (this also includes all articles for that use both words).



Do not show results that include the "not" keyword.

Example: genetics NOT evolution - includes only articles that use genetics; all articles that use evolution are excluded.



Most search engines and journal databases allow you to "nest" your keywords much like a mathematical equation. This allows you to get much more specific with your search.

Example: (genetics AND behavior) AND (Drosophila OR Musca) NOT formosana - includes articles that use both the words genetics and behavior as well as either the word Drosophila or the word Musca (or both), but any article that includes either D. formosana or M. formosana is excluded.

Example of a Search Using Boolean operators

Here is a video tutorial covering Boolean operators and a demonstration using Boolean operators to search the ProQuest Research Library database for journal articles.

Searching for Articles Using Research Databases

I found an article. How do I find more?

  • Check the article for keywords. There might be synonyms for your keyword that researchers use. There might be additional keywords that will help you to narrow the scope of your search. Keywords are usually found above or below the abstract. Redo your search with these new or additional keywords.
  • Look through the article's references. You should be able to find citations to older, relevant articles there.
  • Search for articles by the same author(s). The author has likely written other articles on the topic.
  • Search the same journal for more. If a journal has published one article on a topic, it's a good bet that they have published others.
  • If you have a couple of weeks to a couple of months before your project is due, consider signing up for a search alert or a table of contents alert. Many of the databases have them and you may be able to incorporate the latest research into your project!
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