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BIO 101 - Finding, Reading, Summarizing, Critiquing, and Citing Scientific Research Articles

Science literature

Science literature is made up of primary and secondary literature, also known as scholarly literature--research reports and analysis--and tertiary literature--news, opinion, and summaries. In most cases, you should use the "most primary" source available for academic work.

Scholarly literature (primary and secondary) is mostly made up of Journal Articles, usually found through online databases from the library and scholarly web search engines like Google Scholar.

It's especially important in the sciences to properly cite your references, because all science is built on previous work. Look for 'Cite' links within the library databases and check out Citation Guide for more info.

Biological Science Collection

Biological Science Collection logo (swallowtail butterfly)The Biological Science Collection database has articles on all aspects of biology from Algology to Zoology including biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, medical technology, genetics, and much, much more. You can limit your search to immediately available full text, peer-reviewed or scholarly journals, and use the limiter on the results page to get even more specific results by Date, Subject, Location, and more. The Biological Science Collection has articles at a wide variety of levels, from basic science to expert-level research.

Hint: Look for the Cite link to see the article cited in a wide variety of formats including CBE.


JSTOR is great for historical research--it covers journals back to the 17th century! Sometimes it's really useful to go back and read the original research when they first discovered basic concepts in science. JSTOR has articles on every subject; you can go to the Advanced Search to pick just the subjects you want to search, like Botany & Plant Sciences.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is Google's version of a library database, including articles from publishers, universities, and research repositories. On campus, you'll see links to the 'SCSU Journal Finder' for articles that are probably in our subscription resources. When off campus, check the Google Scholar guide for instructions to set up links for our full text subscriptions.

Google Scholar Search