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Biology: Articles

Library resources for Biology students, staff and faculty.

Top 5 Databases for Biology

Search for journal articles about biology topics in these databases. Log in with your  EUID and password if you are off-campus. 

Other Databases

The journal article databases below offer specialized topics or time periods. 

Conference Proceedings

Proceedings are the official record of a conference, usually held by an association or organization. The proceedings may include contributed papers, abstracts of papers or presentations, and other types of documents. Articles or papers from conference proceedings can be more difficult to find than journal articles because they are not widely indexed, and often the official title of the conference is difficult to identify.

Featured Journals

Steps to Creating Search Strategies

1. Identify the keywords in your research question. Keywords are words that carry content and meaning. The keywords in the research  question "What is the feeding range of the blue whale in the Pacific Ocean?" are feeding range, blue whale and Pacific Ocean.

2. Brainstorm synonyms for your keywords. Think of words similar to your keywords in case a database doesn't use your original keywords. Synonyms for blue whale are baleen whale and Balaenoptera musculus.

3. Create Boolean searches using the keywords. A Boolean search is a search using the words AND, OR and NOT between the keywords. These words have a special function when used in a database.

  •  The search [blue whale AND Pacific Ocean] will find all of the articles that contain both words. AND makes your search narrower.
  • The search [blue whale OR Balaenoptera musculus] will find all articles that contain one word or the other. OR is placed between synonyms and makes your search broader.
  • The search [blue whale NOT Atlantic Ocean] will find all articles containing "blue whale" and exclude the articles that also contain "Atlantic Ocean." NOT excludes articles that you don't want.

4. Use the truncation symbol to search for word variations.You can avoid doing multiple searches for variations on word endings using the truncation symbol * (the asterisk) in most databases.  Entering the keyword "blue whale*" will look for both blue whale and blue whales.

5. Add keywords to limit the type of article you retrieve. If you want a literature review, add "AND review" to your keywords. To find a research study, add "AND study" to your keywords.

6. Enter your Boolean searches in the Advanced Search of a database. Always go to the Advanced Search in a database to enter your Boolean searches because it gives you multiple boxes with the Boolean operators between them. If you are using a search with multiple search strings, enter OR within the search boxes and AND between the search boxes.

Journal Packages

Journal packages are collections of full text journals produced by one or a group of publishers. The collections vary in size, from 12 up to more than 1800. For these reasons, you should start your search in a database, which contains articles from thousands of journals from different publishers. Then you can go to a journal package to find full text articles or to follow a favorite journal. The packages below are popular with scientists.

Free and Open Access Journals

What Are Free and Open Access Journals?

  • Electronic journals that are free for the public to use
  • Open access journals are free from the point of publication
  • Free access journals have often been released to the public after a period of restricted access for subscribers only
  • Collections of free or open access journals are often sponsored by associations, universities or governments

Visit the collections and publishers below to find free and open access biology journals.

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