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BIOL 491 - MBCH Senior Seminar: Journal Articles

Recommended Databases

To use these databases off campus, you'll need to have your login and password ready!

These are general starting points.  Depending on your topic there may be more specialized databases our librarians can tell you about and help you with.  Go to Get Help for options.

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

Finding the Full Text

Use "Journal Finder" - either the link near the article citation, or on the Library's home page.  Just type in the journal name and check for the date you need.

If there are no results -
Use ILL@CNU, the Interlibrary Loan system to request the article you need.

Journal Abbreviations

Search these databases to find the actual title of an abbreviated journal title. Example: J. Exp. Bot. = Journal of Experimental Botany

Primary research vs. Review articles

Primary Research vs Review Articles

It's often difficult to tell the difference between original research articles and review articles. Here are some explanations and tips that may help:

Primary research articles are written accounts of research conducted by the authors.  The articles can be identified by a commonly used format. Primary research articles contain:

  • Methods (sometimes with variations, such as Materials and Methods)
  • Results (usually followed with charts and statistical tables)
  • Discussion

Abstract - summarizes the research findings and is a tool to help determine the type of article. If there is no abstract at all, that in itself may be a sign that it is not a primary source. If it is primary research, the article will discuss steps and tests done in their research or experiment, much like you write up a lab report.

Review articles summarize, analyze, and evaluate current research related to a specific topic, field, or problem. They are often lengthy with a large number of citations. Since they review previously published material, review article are considered secondary sources. They can be of great value for identifying potentially good primary sources, but they aren't primary themselves.
*Adapted from Ithaca College Library

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