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BIOL 404: Molecular Biology: Finding Articles

Key Database: PubMed

PubMed is your go-to source for searching the medical literature. Use the limits link to narrow your search by language, subject population, or topic subset, like dietary supplements. When looking at articles, be sure to use the little blue 'Check for full text' button to check for full-text access through Collins Library. 

Searching Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a powerful search tool. See the 'Broadening your Search' page for tips about using Google Scholar to do cited reference searching.

Searching for Articles in Databases

Searching Tips

  • Quotation Marks | AND vs OR | Truncation  - Make your searching more efficient!
  • Searching different fields - Abstract or title or keyword?
  • Limiting Your Search - Facets are your friend! Filter by year, by article type, by language, etc.
  • Adjusting your search terms - You may need to broaden or narrow!
  • Expanding your search as you go - Once you’ve found one good paper, you’ll want to use it to lead you to more! Who has this paper cited? Who is citing this paper?
  • Finding similar works by the same author - Scholars are experts: find the rest of their work!
  • Harvest search terms from the paper and its references - What are they looking at? What words do they use?

Learn How to Use Interlibrary Loan!

Learn how to take advantage of interlibrary loan! Often the newest articles are embargoed, so we don't have immediate online access to the articles. You'll need to request these, and while it's free, it can take 3-5 days for articles to be delivered. 

Finding Full Text of Articles

There are three methods for obtaining the actual articles you wish to read:

Method 1: In some databases, you will be able to link directly to the full-text article. Look around, as different databases have different interfaces. Look for a link or buttons that says "Check for Full Text" or Download PDF or similar. If given the choice between a PDF or HTML version of the article, always choose the PDF format. This will give you an exact image, including page numbers, of the article as it appears in the paper journal.

Method 2: If a direct link to full text is not available, then check Primo Search to see if the library subscribes to the journal. Search for the title of the journal that the article was published in.

You may find that there is online access available for this journal. Check the dates that are available...most of the time the link will say "Fulltext access available from 19xx." Check to see whether the article that you're looking for was published during the date range that is available. If so, then click the 'View fulltext' link and either browse through past issues, or look for a "search within this publication" link until you find the article that you need.  You may find that Primo says the journal is available at Collins Memorial Library Print Journals, which means we have the journal physically in the library.  If the article you are looking for is only available in print in the library rather than online, in which case you  you will need to check either the current periodicals area on the first floor, or go downstairs to the basement to find the bound volumes of periodicals.  If the periodical is available only in microform, you may submit a request for electronic delivery of the article via your ILLiad account.

Method 3: If your searching indicates that the article is not available in any format, then request the article through ILLiad, the interlibrary loan service. ( Most databases include links to ILLiad within each record.) It usually takes about a week or less to receive an electronic copy of the article.

And at any time if you have questions, send Eli an email! 

Need Help?

 Stuck? Need Help? Don't hesitate to contact Eli!

Eli Gandour-Rood, Science Librarian

tel: (253) 879-3678

Click Here to Schedule a Virtual Appointment!