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LRC

Biology: Find Articles

Find general biology resources through the library and online

Searching for Articles

The Garrett College Library uses EZ Proxy for GC students, faculty, and staff to access the library databases off-campus.  When you click on a database link while off-campus, you will be brought to this screen:

Your log-in information is your Garrett College Username and Password.  This log-in is used for ALL library databases.

For example:

User ID: jane.smith

Password: golakers!

Modern scholarship in the sciences takes many forms, with journals that can include dynamic data representations, streaming media and open access to full text. Below are some important sources of alternative academic literature in the biological sciences.

How to Search a Database

When you are searching a database, you have to speak the language of the database.  To do that you have to take keywords from your thesis statement.  For example:

Thesis Statement: Exercise improves health in the elderly.

From the above thesis statement, you can determine that your keywords will be exercise, health, and elderly.

It is important to remember that databases might not use these exact words.  Find synonyms with a thesaurus to come up with similar keywords to search.

For example, in relation to the above thesis statement, you could also use the keywords physical activity, fitness, well-being, and aging adults

Check out the following resource for more details:

Click the Boolean Operators tab to learn how to create a search phrase with these keywords.

Boolean Operators are the words "AND", "OR", and "NOT".  This words are placed in between your keywords to narrow or broaden your search.

If you search exercise AND elderly all you search results will contain BOTH of these keywords.

If you search exercise OR elderly, your results will have either the word elderly, exercise, or both terms.  This is used to broaden your search.

If you search exercise NOT elderly, all your results will just contain exercise, so any results with both words will not appear.

In a database, go to the advanced search tab to see "limiters".  Limiters "limit" your search or narrow your search to the most relevant results.

Types of limiters include:

  • publication date
  • source type
  • document type
  • full-text
  • peer-reviewed
  • language
  • subject

For more information on how to search a database, check out the following resources:

  Popular Sources Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Sources
Author Professional writers, journalists, or members of the general public. Experts (scientists, professors, scholars) in a particular field.
Audience General Public Other experts in a particular field.
Language Basic and clear - easily understood Very technical and scholarly - not easily understood.
Purpose Often published by for-profit companies for revenue and profit. Published by non-profit or education organizations to communicate new ideas.
Characteristics Tend to be short and on topics of general interest. Tend to be longer and are on very specific topics.
Citations Informal or no citations for sources. Complete and formal citations for sources.
Review Process Reviewed by an editor or self-published with no formal review process. Often reviewed by a panel of scholars in the field being studied. (Peer-Reviewed)
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