Library:Library Research Skills For Biologists/Module 4/Module 4B SearchingForArticles/Page 13

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Accessing article indexes

Access article indexes from the research guide or from the Library's home page by click on the Indexes & Databases tab . Some of the indexes that biologists commonly use to search for scholarly scientific literature are BIOSIS Previews, CAB Direct, PubMed, Web of Science, and Zoological Record.

Some tips for search indexes:
  1. Some indexes use controlled vocabulary called Subject Headings. If that's the case, determine what the subject headings are for your topic and use them in your search.

  2. Remember the Boolean operators?
    • OR will expand your search by looking for any of the words to capture synonyms, variant spellings or related terms. e.g. white adipose tissue or fat tissue or white fat
    • AND will narrow your search by looking for all of the words and allow you to combine more than one idea. e.g. mitosis and yeast

  3. You can also use truncation to capture variant endings of a word. e.g. secret* will find secrete, secretes, secreting, secretion.
    • Note: the symbol varies between indexes (common ones are * $ ?).

  4. Indexes allow you to search for specific authors and journals in addition to keywords/subject headings.

  5. Many indexes permit you to limit your search by date, language, publication type (e.g. review articles).