biology

Biology 1151: Purcell

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Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Contact me (info to the right), stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Image Credit: Randak CO, et. al. Three-dimensional model of the CFTR NBD1-NBD2 heterodimer.
  1. Pick a Topic
  2. Find an Article
  3. Read A Research Article
  4. APA Style

Picking Your Topic

Your first step will be to begin by narrowing your topic down.

Lost? Try starting at one of the following to get a sense of current developments:

Once you've picked a general topic, start looking at one or a couple of the following:

Gale Virtual Reference Library ONLINE. Gale will give succinct encyclopedia entries that will give context to what may be controversial topics, such as Biotechnology.
CQ Researcher will also give some current controversial topics you could play around with when looking for articles.


Still Feeling Lost?

Try looking at current magazines and/or journals to see what types of research are being done in biology. At our library, we have the following in print:
scientific american.PNG
science news.PNG

    american scientist.PNG

  • Scientific American
  • Science News
  • Bioscience
  • American Scientist
  • Nature

Searching Databases to Find Scientific Research Articles:

Once you know what keywords or topics you'd like to pursue, it's time to head to the databases in order to find good sources.

Best bet databases for this project:

Science Direct
Science Direct is a database full of scientific scholarly articles. In order to search, try putting in two keywords and selecting "Subscribed Journals" on the initial search screen. Confused? Click below.

science direct search.PNG

Academic Search Complete.
Academic Search Complete is a database covering a wide variety of topics, with articles ranging from newspaper and magazine articles to scholarly articles. Therefore, you want to be very careful about looking at the results of your search to make sure that you have a scientific research article for class. Try using the same keywords you used in Science Direct, and then use the date and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed ) Journals limits to get started.

ASC search.PNG

Google Scholar is also not a bad place to find information, and sometimes, even scholarly research articles. Head to our Journal Locator to find if it is in full-text.

See all Biology Databases

Distinguishing a Research Article From a Popular Article

Worried that you might be reading a trade article from a scholarly article, or a review article from a scientific research article?

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiliations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

Once you are certain that you are looking at a scholarly article, make certain that your article is a scientific research article, by looking for the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References or Works Cited

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

scholarly article marked.png
Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The (unmarked) introduction

Want to take a closer look? Cladophora (Chlorophyta) spp. Harbor Human Bacterial Pathogens in Nearshore Water of Lake Michigan is a research article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Review Articles

Scientific review articles aim to summarize current research on a topic, leading to a comparison of what is known about a topic as well as questions that remain to be addressed. Review articles will often summarize tens of articles, and so a long list of works cited is to be expected. Review articles also do not typically follow the structure of a research article. Often times, the word "review" will appear in the title.

Want to take a closer look? Infant Feeding and Risk of Developing Celiac Disease: A Systematic Review is a review article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • Check out this handy guide to reading scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the APA Style Blog, which includes sample papers.

Tags: 

Biology 1100: J. DiGiovanni

zebra mussel.jpg
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service: Zebra mussel on native mussel
  1. Topic
  2. Credible Sources
  3. Patchwriting or Paraphrasing?
  4. APA

Finding (and Narrowing) a Topic

Your professor has listed several topics for you to choose from. To narrow a topic, try using Google Scholar to search for specific articles. Want to use Google Scholar to help identify what you have access to in our library? Watch this short tutorial on how to do that!

You can also search our catalog for print subscriptions we own.

Recent magazines and periodicals are located on the second floor of the SRC, on the right as you enter the library.

Finding Credible Sources

Articles

Scientific research can be best found in academic databases and journals. Here are the best ways to look for information:

Science is one of our online databases that you can search from on or off-campus.

The best ways to search Nature are:

  1. Browse through the print issues upstairs (and remember that scanning is free).
  2. Head to the Nature website, browse for a recent article title, and then find the article in our print journals. (Remember that we only subscribe to Nature, not the related titles like Cell Research.)

Scientific American is a respected scientific magazine and can be found in full text through Academic Search Complete. Need an image or table from your article? The journal is in full-text in JSTOR except for the current 5 years, and we retain two years of the most current issues in our print collection. . Remember that if you find an article in Scientific American that does not reference another scholarly article, you'll want to also search Science or Nature for info on that topic (links above.)

Having trouble reading your research article? Check out my Reading Research Articles link above.

Websites

While you're doing Google searches to either narrow your topic or in order to dig up more information on certain subject, you want to be careful to decide if the information you find is trustworthy.

When it comes to science, nearly everyone has opinions: should we be labeling genetically modified food for consumer's awareness? What will fracking do for our economy or our groundwater supply? Your job is to evaluate the information you can find through Google and Bing to find the good websites--those written by authors you can trust, with good and up-to-date information.

Authorship: Who created this website? What is their background on the topic? Are they trustworthy?

Bias: Why was the website created? What point of view does the author have? Does that limit the facts they present or how the facts are presented?

Date: How old is the information that is presented? Is it still accurate?

Questions? Check out the COD Library's guide to evaluating websites.

Patchwriting or Paraphrase?

Confused about when you would need to cite, or where the line is drawn between paraphrasing and patchwriting? Sometimes students believe that changing one or two words from a quotation means that quotation marks are not necessary. Good paraphrasing is transformative: the writer explains the main ideas of another author in his or her own words. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.

Take a moment to look at the following sources to see definitions and good and bad examples of student writing.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources in APA Style on the library citation guide.

You can also always check out the Purdue OWL website, which has APA citation guides and even a sample APA paper.

Google Scholar will also create citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions? Contact me using the information at the right of the screen.

Tags: 

Biology 1152: Kirkpatrick

NEI laboratory research
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Image Credit: Rhoda Baer, NEI laboratory research, NIH.
  1. Finding a Topic
  2. Scholarly Articles
  3. Evaluate Research
  4. Cite

Finding a Topic

Guess what? All the usual strategies work here. Try the following if you're lost for a topic:

  • Think about class topics. What were you interested in/want to learn more about?
  • Google News: check for current biology headlines and trace it back to the original research article
  • New York Times Science Section: published anew each Tuesday, the section details newly published interesting research.

Putting together background information:

  • Gale: Use this reference database to help yourself to understand words and concepts in the popular or scholarly articles that you don't understand.
  • Catalog: Search for books on the topic to gather background info.
  • Want to use websites? Remember to evaluate them for good information.

Finding Scholarly Articles

Science Direct is a database with scholarly research and review articles. Make sure that you select "subscribed journals" when searching and use limiters (on the left side of the results screen) to narrow your search appropriately. Take a look at a sample search below:

science direct search.PNG

Academic Search Complete can be another good source of research articles. Be certain that you're looking at scholarly articles here.

See the full list of science databases

Critique Research

Your professor has asked that you critique the experiments you discover using library databases.

First, make sure that you've got a research, not a review, article. After that, turn to critiquing the article.

Research or Review article?

Worried that you might be reading a trade article from a scholarly article, or a review article from a scientific research article?

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiliations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

Once you are certain that you are looking at a scholarly article, make certain that your article is a scientific research article, by looking for the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References or Works Cited

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Review articles attempt to summarize current research on a specific topic. Authors address trends in research, including what remains to be known. Review articles will usually be marked as review articles, and usually do not follow the research article structure above. They can be wonderful sources to include in your paper, though; they'll give you a clear sense of the field as a whole, and you'll be able to see how your topic compares.

Want to take a closer look at a scholarly research article? Cladophora (Chlorophyta) spp. Harbor Human Bacterial Pathogens in Nearshore Water of Lake Michigan is found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • Check out this handy guide to reading scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Article Critique

Your professor has asked that you critique your articles based on the types of data, the control groups, the number of subjects, the variable, and overall experiment design. For example:

  • Does the way that the scientists are conducting their research answer the questions they've posed?
  • Do the lab techniques being used by the researchers seem to deliver good results?
  • How large was their sample size? How diverse was it (if applicable)?
  • Does the data presented match the descriptions of the data?
  • How well does the conclusion draw upon earlier sections of the article?

Questions? Take a look at How to Read and Critique a Scientific Research Article on reserve.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the Purdue OWL APA website, which includes sample papers.

Using CSE Style

First of all, we have a copy of Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers in the library. You'll want to head to the downstairs reference desk (2nd floor, SRC, to request a copy).

There are also many websites which will help you to format your citations in CSE style. Here are some of the best:

Tags: 

Biology 1110: Shaykh

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Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Contact me (info to the right), stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Image Credit: Andres Viña, Michigan State University
  1. Pick a Topic
  2. Find an Article
  3. Read A Research Article
  4. APA Style

Picking Your Topic

The field of genetics can encompass anything from vaccines to food to human cloning. One of the best ways to find a research topic that interests you is to look at dictionaries and encyclopedias in order to figure out what studies in genetics are being done.

Start with the following:

encyclopedia of the environment.PNG
Gale Virtual Reference Library ONLINE.
CQ Researcher ONLINE
Encyclopedia of Environment and Society by Paul Robbins


Still Feeling Lost?

Try looking at current magazines and/or journals to see what types of research are being done in genetics. At our library, we have the following in print:
scientific american.PNG
science news.PNG

    american scientist.PNG

  • Scientific American
  • Science News
  • Bioscience
  • American Scientist

Searching Databases to Find Scientific Research Articles:

Once you know what keywords or topics you'd like to pursue, it's time to head to the databases in order to find good sources.

Best bet databases for this project:

Science Direct
Science Direct is a database full of scientific scholarly articles. In order to search, try putting in two keywords and selecting "Subscribed Journals" on the initial search screen. Confused? Click below.

science direct search.PNG

Academic Search Complete.
Academic Search Complete is a database covering a wide variety of topics, with articles ranging from newspaper and magazine articles to scholarly articles. Therefore, you want to be very careful about looking at the results of your search to make sure that you have a scientific research article for class. Try using the same keywords you used in Science Direct, and then use the date and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed ) Journals limits to get started.

ASC search.PNG

See all Biology Databases

Distinguishing a Research Article From a Popular Article

Worried that you might be reading a trade article from a scholarly article, or a review article from a scientific research article?

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiilations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

Once you are certain that you are looking at a scholarly article, make certain that your article is a scientific research article, by looking for the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References or Works Cited

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

scholarly article marked.png
Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The (unmarked) introduction

Want to take a closer look? Cladophora (Chlorophyta) spp. Harbor Human Bacterial Pathogens in Nearshore Water of Lake Michigan is a research article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • Check out this handy guide to reading scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the APA Style Blog, which includes sample papers.

Tags: 

Biology 1120: Fancher

NHGRI-85327.jpg
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Image Credit: Darryl Leja, NHGRI
  1. Find A Topic
  2. Find Books
  3. Find Articles
  4. Evaluate Websites
  5. MLA

Finding (and Narrowing) a Topic

Genetics is a big field and in order to work on a successful paper, you'll need to narrow down to something that interests you. Have a glimmer of a topic that you'd like to work on? Great! You'll want to work to narrow that topic a bit before you dive into the catalog and databases, or you will be swamped with results. You can try the following strategies to narrow a topic:

Finding Books

Want to find a book (print or electronic), a DVD, or articles? Check out the library catalog. Enter at least two search terms. Be sure to look at the menu on the left side of the screen to narrow down your research. You can also try browsing in the QH 430 section of the library.

catalog search.PNG

Finding Articles in Databases

When you have a focused search (at least two search terms) and know that you need scholarly articles, it can be easier to search separate databases rather than the catalog.

Just like searching the catalog, be sure to use at least two search terms and evaluate the date of the information you're looking at. Is using an 10 year old article about Trisomy 18 OK? How about 20 years old? You'll want to think about whether our knowledge of the condition has advanced, and other information such as whether you're looking at a seminal (groundbreaking) article that everyone else cites. If you're ever unsure, check with your professor.

Sources for general topics:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

1. Use at least two keywords.
2. Think about the kind of resources you want: scholarly journals or not?
3. Check your date range to be sure you're looking at information in the right range.

ASC Bio 1120 search.PNG

Academic OneFile is a great place to find a mixture of scientific and popular articles as well. Just like in Academic Search premier, make sure that you're using a good source for this project while searching.

Science Direct: Indexing and full-text of 175 journals in science, chemistry, earth science, biology and other related disciplines. (Be sure to select "Subscribed Journals" from the Source drop-down menu.)

1. Type in at least two search terms
2. Select "Subscribed Journals"
3. Think about the date range for your project.

SD bio 1120.PNG

Sources for medical topics:

Medline: Complete National Library of Medicine database. This is primarily an index database, so get ready to look for journal

Medline Plus: Consumer Health MEDLINEplus has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 600 diseases and conditions.

Still not finding what you need?

See the full list of biology databases.
See the full list of health/medicine databases.


Find an article from a citation:

Not finding the article you want in full-text online? Start by checking our journal locator to be sure that the article isn't just in another of our databases. Type in the journal name to see if we have access to the journal, and if so, for which dates.

For journal articles, bibliographic citations in the chemical literature tend to give abbreviated titles. Talk to Laura if you need help finding the full journal title when requesting an article. Guide to chemistry journal abbreviations from University of British Columbia will be helpful.

Still not finding the article you need? See the library's interlibrary loan page for information about how to request an article.

Evaluating Websites

While you're doing Google searches to either narrow your topic or in order to dig up more information on certain subject, you want to be careful to decide if the information you find is trustworthy.

When it comes to science, nearly everyone has opinions: are we getting enough Vitamin D? What will fracking do for our economy or our groundwater supply? Your job is to evaluate the information you can find through Google and Bing to find the good websites--those written by authors you can trust, with good and up-to-date information.

Authorship: Who created this website? What is their background on the topic? Are they trustworthy?

Bias: Why was the website created? What point of view does the author have? Does that limit the facts they present or how the facts are presented?

Date: How old is the information that is presented? Is it still accurate?

Questions? Check out your professor's guide to evaluating information.

Want to be sure to use good websites? Take a look at my list of genetics sites in Delicious.


Class Exercise

Take a moment to look at your website. Is this information trustworthy? How do you know? Be prepared to tell your classmates your opinion.

Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?
Why Should You Oppose Genetically Modified Foods?
The Genetically Modified Debate: Where do We Begin?
20 Questions on Genetically Modified Food

What is Cloning?
Human Cloning Foundation
Woolly Mammoth DNA May Lead to a Resurrection of the Ancient Beast
Cloning

MLA Citation Style

Start by heading to the library citation guide.

The Purdue OWL website has an excellent MLA guide that will give you common citation formats.

Biology 1110: Brentner

Filchner_Ice_Shelf_1200x431.jpg
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: Filchner Ice Shelf Calving, Nov. 11, 1973 and Nov. 10, 1986. Images taken by Landsat 1 (left) and Landsat 5 (right). Source: Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change, U.S. Geological Survey.
  1. Background
  2. Find Books/Articles
  3. Article Types
  4. Websites
  5. Cite

Getting Started: Narrowing Your Topic

Climate change is a massive topic that scientists have been studying for decades now. As you work on one of your three categories of climate change, you'll want to narrow down one of these topics even further: select one indicator, cause, or impact and start to write. Each of the entries below is linked to a government website with more information.

You can also see the EPA climate change map that breaks out impacts by section of the country.

Need to figure out exactly what ocean acidification is, or the role that fossil fuels play in climate change? Check out the sources below:

Find Books and Articles

Our new library catalog contains our books, our DVDs and other physical items, and articles from Academic Search Complete and Academic OneFile. Be sure to search by at least two keywords (such as climate change and ocean acidification) and pay attention to the ways to limit your search on the left side of the screen.

Finding Articles in Databases

Sometimes it can be easier to find exactly the articles you need in specific academic databases. Here are the top two databases to look for information for your project:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

Academic OneFile is a great place to find a mixture of scientific and popular articles as well. Just like in Academic Search premier, make sure that you're using a good source for this project while searching.

Science Online contains the full text of Science journal from 1997 to the present. Searching is a little hard, but you can find good results here.

See the full list of biology databases.


Types of Articles


Popular Articles

These articles, written by journalists, are published in magazines or newspapers and are aimed at a general audience. They may summarize the results of a research article. Check out a popular article on climate change in a blog on the New York Times.

Scholarly Research Article
These articles, written by scientists and researchers, record the results of one experiment or one study. The article will often have the same structure as a lab repport:

Worried that you might be reading a trade article from a scholarly article, or a review article from a scientific research article?

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiliations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

Once you are certain that you are looking at a scholarly article, make certain that your article is a scientific research article, by looking for the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References or Works Cited

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

rising.PNG
Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The introduction

Want to take a closer look? Projecting the impacts of rising seawater... is a research article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • Check out this handy guide to reading scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.


Scholarly Review Article
Review articles are summary articles: written by scientistis/researchers, the authors try to summarize the state of research on a particular topic. They'll discuss what we know, and questions that remain to be answered. Review articles should have some of the same elements as research articles: the authors will have scholarly affiliations, abstracts, and a long list of citations at the end.

Want to see a sample review article? Take a look at Transgenerational acclimation of fishes to climate change and ocean acidification, again in Pub Med Central.

Good Journals with Popular Appeal:

Struggling to find readable articles on your topic? The following journals tend to have a wide appeal:

Evaluating Websites

While you're doing Google searches to either narrow your topic or in order to dig up more information on climate change, you want to be careful to decide if the information you find is trustworthy.

When it comes to climate change, nearly everyone has opinions: should we be be using a "cap and trade" system to limit carbon dioxide emissions? What will climate change do to the global ice caps, and how will that affect our future?

Your job is to evaluate the information you can find through Google and Bing to find the good websites--those written by authors you can trust, with good and up-to-date information. Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

Authorship: Who created this website? What is their background on the topic? Are they trustworthy?

Bias: Why was the website created? What point of view does the author have? Does that limit the facts they present or how the facts are presented?

Date: How old is the information that is presented? Is it still accurate?

Questions? Check out the COD Library's guide to evaluating information.


Class Exercise

Take a moment to look at your website. Is this information trustworthy? How do you know? Be prepared to tell your classmates your opinion.

The Crushing Cost of Climate Change
Cutting Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
US 'Climate Hubs' to Save Farms from Extreme Weather
Hot Air on Climate Change

Citations

You've been asked to model your citations on those in Bioscience, a journal the library has online. Browse through a current issue to get examples of citations.

Still not sure? You can also check the library citation guide.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the APA Style Blog, which includes sample papers.

Tags: 

Scientific Research Articles

Distinguishing a Research Article From a Popular Article

RedCOM.jpg

Worried that you might be reading a trade article from a scholarly article, or a review article from a scientific research article?

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiilations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

scholarly article marked.png
Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The (unmarked) introduction

Once you are certain that you are looking at a scholarly article, make certain that your article is a scientific research (and not review) article by looking for the following distinctive sections:

Abstract

This is a paragraph-long summary of the contents of the article, including the hypothesis and conclusion. This can be a vitally important section which will help you 1. figure out the focus of the article and 2) help you to puzzle through the especially dense language of some articles-- after all, you know where the authors are heading!

Introduction

The introduction introduces the topic, explaining what research has already been done on this topic ( often called a literature review) and what questions the researchers were trying to answer.

Method

The method section describes how the experiment was conducted.

Results

The results list the data collected from the experiment.

Discussion

The discussion section explains the significance of the results: was the hypothesis supported, or were there unanticipated results?

Conclusion

The conclusion restates the results of the experiment and states further areas for research: what questions remain to be answered?

References or Works Cited

This is where the authors note the previously conducted research which helped to shape their own work in this study.

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Want to take a closer look? Cladophora (Chlorophyta) spp. Harbor Human Bacterial Pathogens in Nearshore Water of Lake Michigan is a research article found on PubMedCentral, a government-sponsored free database with many free articles available. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • Check out this handy guide to reading scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Questions? Contact me or the reference desk and you can verify that a source is a scholarly research article. (Or we can help you find one.)

Biology 1151: Shaykh

1KLT.png
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Contact me (info to the right), stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Image Credit: Chymase with inhibitor PMSF bound. Structure from: McGrath, M.E., Mirzadegan, T., Schmidt, B.F. (1997) Crystal structure of phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride-treated human chymase at 1.9 A. Biochemistry
  1. Pick a Topic
  2. Find an Article
  3. Read A Research Article
  4. APA Style

Picking Your Topic

The field of genetics can encompass anything from vaccines to food to human cloning. One of the best ways to find a research topic that interests you is to look at dictionaries and encyclopedias in order to figure out what studies in genetics are being done.

Start with the following:

Scientific Thought in Context
Gale Virtual Reference Library ONLINE.
A Dictionary of Genetics ed. by R. King, W. Stansfield, P. Mulligan
Encyclopedia of Genetics ed. by B. Ness and J. Knight


Still Feeling Lost?

Try looking at current magazines and/or journals to see what types of research are being done in genetics. At our library, we have the following in print:
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  • Scientific American
  • Science News
  • Bioscience
  • American Scientist

Searching Databases to Find Scientific Research Articles:

Once you know what keywords or topics you'd like to pursue, it's time to head to the databases in order to find good sources.

Best bet databases for this project:

Science Direct
Science Direct is a database full of scientific scholarly articles. In order to search, try putting in two keywords and selecting "Subscribed Journals" on the initial search screen. Confused? Click below.

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Academic Search Complete.
Academic Search Complete is a database covering a wide variety of topics, with articles ranging from newspaper and magazine articles to scholarly articles. Therefore, you want to be very careful about looking at the results of your search to make sure that you have a scientific research article for class. Try using the same keywords you used in Science Direct, and then use the date and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed ) Journals limits to get started.

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See all Biology Databases

Distinguishing a Research Article From a Popular Article

Worried that you might be reading a trade article from a scholarly article, or a review article from a scientific research article?

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiliations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

Once you are certain that you are looking at a scholarly article, make certain that your article is a scientific research article, by looking for the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References or Works Cited

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

scholarly article marked.png
Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The (unmarked) introduction

Want to take a closer look? Cladophora (Chlorophyta) spp. Harbor Human Bacterial Pathogens in Nearshore Water of Lake Michigan is a research article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • First, re-read the abstract. This will help you to understand the main point of the article.
  • Second, look at the structure of the article and break it apart into what you know about what the author is trying to accomplish: A Methods section, for example, explains the experiment design. The Discussion gives context to the experiment results.
  • Check out this short book on how to read scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the APA Style Blog, which includes sample papers.

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Biology 1110: Poromanska

windmill_Japan.jpg
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: Windmill. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 10 Mar 2016.
  1. Pick a Topic
  2. Find Books
  3. Find Articles
  4. Cite Your Sources

Finding (and Narrowing) a Topic

Have a glimmer of a topic that you'd like to work on? Great! You'll want to work to narrow that topic a bit before you dive into the catalog and databases, or you will be swamped with results. You can try the following strategies to narrow a topic:

  • Visit CQ Researcher, a library database that summarizes current events into massive PDFs.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library has got great entries on many of your topics.
  • While you would never cite Wikipedia, you can use the references at the bottom of the entry to start your search.
  • Finally, doing an all-purpose Google News search can give you hints about what words to use when searching.

Still Drawing a Blank?

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The College of DuPage library has several print magazines/journals that you can browse through for inspiration. For example, try looking at headlines in:

  • American Forests
  • Mother Earth News
  • Audubon
Recent magazines and periodicals are located in the main walkway, past the circulation desk and across from the popular DVD section.

Finding Books on Your Topic

Our new library catalog contains our books, our DVDs and other physical items, and articles from Academic Search Complete and Academic OneFile. Try to search as specifically as possible: rather than searching for Climate Change, try ocean acidification (one of the effects of climate change). Pay attention to the ways to limit your search on the left side of the screen.

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Finding Articles in Databases

Scientific research can be best found in academic databases. Here are the top two databases to look for information.

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

Academic OneFile is a great place to find a mixture of scientific and popular articles as well. Just like in Academic Search premier, make sure that you're using a good source for this project while searching.

Check the Chicago Tribune for local stories about the environment. It can help you learn about local invasive species (quagga mussels! the emerald ash borer!), oil in Lake Michigan, and other environmental topics.

Proquest National Newspapers Core includes the New York Times, the Washington Post, and several other important newspapers in full-text. Can be a great place to add currency to your topic.

Not finding what you want? See the full list of biology databases.


Cite Your Sources

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about MLA or APA style? Check out Purdue OWL, which has APA and MLA citation style guides.

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Biology 1151: Kirkpatrick

Lab_Work.jpg
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: Lab Work, US Fish and Wildlife Service Digital Library, 2007
  1. Get Started
  2. Books
  3. Articles
  4. Scientists
  5. Websites
  6. APA Style

Getting Started: Choosing a Topic

Have a glimmer of a topic that you'd like to work on? Great! You'll want to work to narrow that topic a bit before you dive into the catalog and databases, or you will be swamped with results. You can try the following strategies to narrow a topic:

For the Subfield of Biology Project

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Learn more about the various subfields in Scientific Thought in Context. Take a look at the Table of Contents link.

Website Comparison Project

Gale Virtual Reference Library has got great entries on many of your topics.

Evaluating Websites

While you're doing Google searches to either narrow your topic or in order to dig up more information on certain subject, you want to be careful to decide if the information you find is trustworthy.

When it comes to science, nearly everyone has opinions: should we be labeling genetically modified food for consumer's awareness? What will fracking do for our economy or our groundwater supply? Your job is to evaluate the information you can find through Google for good websites--those written by authors you can trust, with good and up-to-date information. Use the CRAP test to figure out if the website is a good source.

Currency: How old is the information that is presented? Is it still accurate?

Reliability: Are there citations/references to the sources used on the website? Does the information being presented agree with the other information you've found?

Authority: Who created this website? What is their background on the topic? Are they trustworthy?

Purpose: Why was the website created? What point of view does the author have? Does that limit the facts they present or how the facts are presented?
Questions? Check out the COD Library's guide to evaluating information.

Finding Books

Once you know your topic, head to the library catalog, where you'll find print and electronic books, DVDs, CDs, and many other types of items.

  1. Since you've done your background research in a reference source (such as CQ Researcher, Gale Virtual Reference library, etc), try to search using at least two keywords.
  2. Check the format column on the left to make sure that you're getting the kinds of items you want
  3. Click on Availability to see where to find an item.


Confused? Look at the results screen.

Take a moment to look through the results. Notice that if your search is focused enough, most of your books should be in the same call number range. Head over to the shelf and start exploring.

If your search results aren't focused, click on the title of the book that best matches your research topic and look at subject terms listed. Click on the subject that most closely matches your interest to see if you can further narrow your search.

Don't know how to find books by call number? You're not alone. Stop by the reference desk to ask for help, and one of us will walk you to the right book.

Finding Articles

Now that you've got a general understanding of your topic, use at least two keywords to find journal research. Here are the top three databases to look for information:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

Science Direct is a scholarly journal article database. Use Science Direct to find current research either on a topic (for your website project) or a scientist's current research (for the subfield project).

Having trouble reading your articles? Take a look at How to Read a Research Study.

Not finding what you want? See the full list of biology databases.

Don't see the full text of an article listed in the database? Click the "Find This" link to see if you can turn the article up in another database or request it from another library.

Having trouble finding top scientists in your discipline?

Try using the following:

  • While you're in Science Direct, search for perfect research article. Now, do an author search for more articles written by that author.
  • You can also search Science Direct for a review article. Are some authors listed more frequently than others in the citations? This is another good place to start.
  • You can use Google Scholar to search on their topic and look for highly cited articles, and then do author research from there.
  • Clarivate's Highly Cited Researchers will list the top 1% of scientists by field of study, but doesn't give much context. Google researchers from there.
  • You can also browse Science Daily, which features interesting developments in scientific research. Look for articles focused on your area of biology, and then see which researchers are mentioned in the articles.
  • American Men and Women of Science is a print set of volumes in the reference section that will allow you to look up short biographies of scientists still alive chosen because of distinguished achievement, research activity or administrative responsibility in science. For names, look under biology-related subcategories in v. 8. You can then search for the scientist in a database or in the catalog for more information.

Once you've identified two scientists in your area of study, try using the following strategies to discover more about them:

  • Try using Google to search for your subject. See if you can find a university page, a professional website, even a Twitter account. A professional website can teach you a lot about your scientist, including their career trajectory, grants they've received, and even free copies of their research papers. For example, see botanist Hope Jahren's website.
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  • You can then search by author in Science Direct to find your scientists' research articles.

Citing in APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the Purdue OWL Sample APA Paper for a sense of what your finished paper should look like.

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