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Biological Literature: Find Journal Articles

Why Use Journal Articles?

Use journal articles to find in-depth information on a specific topic.  Journals usually provide more current information than books.  Articles from academic journals are often peer reviewed. Databases let you search for articles on your topic and will tell you in which volume of which journal it's published. Often a database will  have a copy of the article for you to view online. This is called full-text..

Know the Difference

Article: Articles are the individual "stories" published in a newspaper, magazine, or journal. For example, the story about the Rangers published in Sports Illustrated is an article.

Journal: Journals contain several articles published about a specific subject area and are typically scholarly. For example, the article about stem cells was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Database: Databases index millions of articles published in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and journals. There are databases that index sources from many different discipline areas, while others are subject specific.

OneSearch: Searches over 200 databases simultaneously including the library's catalog and ebook collections.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Using Boolean Operators in a Search

Adapted from the materials created by The University of Auckland Library, NZ. This video is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license.

Find Journal Articles with OneSearch

1.  On the library homepage click Advanced to the right of the OneSearch box.

2. Type your topic keywords in the first search field.

3. Under, Content type check the box next to, Journal Article.

4. Click Search.

If desired, you may further limit your results by clicking on the limiters under REFINE YOUR SEARCH on the left side of the page.


Database Search Tips

Use Boolean Logic (AND, OR, NOT) to combine search concepts.


TOO FEW hits: OR to add synonyms; individual key words, NOT whole phrases; drop concept(s) with AND; truncate; consider other databases.


TOO MANY hits:  AND another concept into search; use other available limiters in the database.


Truncation symbols (?, *, !, +) will provide variant spelling after the root word. 


A wildcard (?, *) is a character that may be used in a search term to represent one or more other characters.

Do an advanced search and take advantage of the fields provided.

Use the subject headings/descriptors to find additional citations on your topic.  If that does not work, use the keyword search.

You can also use limits (e.g., publication year, language, words in the title, etc.) to narrow your retrieval. 
Set up an auto alert/RSS feed to monitor the research.  

A Few Recommended Biology/Science Related Databases

Listed below are a few biology and science databases to which the library subscribes.  Depending on your topic and research question databases in other disciplines or related sciences may also be useful.  Speaking with a librarian can help you choose which, out of over 200 databases, would be best for you to search.

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