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Finding Articles in Science
Researching in the Sciences can be a bit different than research you've done in other classes. Most scientific research you use should be recent (within 5 years). Here are a few tips to help you find worthwhile things:
- Use the Internet -- You may be able to find recent research and new discoveries on the World Wide Web. Instead of just using Google, use the specialized search engines listed on the Websites Box. Read web pages carefully for original research.
- Always read carefully -- As you read reports, blogs, articles, etc... Look for words that will point you in the right direction for other research (i.e., "An article in Science states..." -- Go and find that article!
- Bibliographic Mining -- Look at the bibliographies of the materials you already have. This is a great place to find additional resources that will be helpful to your paper. Looking at the citation information of the bibliography, you can usually determine from where that source originates.
- Use the Journal Finder -- The Journal Finder will search for journal and magazine titles available through the OWHL's databases and Print collection. It can tell you if the particular year and /or volume of a journal is available.
- Why can't I find anything in the databases?
- The Science Databases (especially ScienceDirect) contain millions of articles! You should be searching carefully using the advanced search feature to limit your searches to specific subject areas and full text availability. Instead of just using keywords, you may need to be very specific in your searches.
- Can I access databases off campus?
- Indeed. When you are off campus, you will be asked to enter your last name and your PA ID number. If you have any problems, don't hesitate to contact the library at (978)749-4230.
- What is Full Text?
- Full text means that you will be able to read/view the entire text of the article - not just an index entry or abstract.
- What is the Journal Finder?
- The journal finder will search the OWHL collections (online and print) for the titles of specific journals. To use, enter the title of the journal you want to find.
Finding Research Journal Articles
When book information is too broad and general, articles in electronic databases can provide more narrow, subject-specific information.
The following are excellent first-stop databases for nearly any research topic.
Science in Context (Gale)
Science in Context is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information on hundreds of today's most significant science topics. The new solution merges Gale's authoritative reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, experiments, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience.
Scientific American Archive Online: 1993-Present
Scientific American is a scientific magazine specializing in articles that bridge knowledge between professional scientists and the public. One of the oldest continuously published science database with articles back to 1845. This database carries the full-text of Scientific American back to 1993. For earlier articles in Scientific American search the JStor database.
Science Magazine Online (AAAS)
Science is the premier American magazine for cutting edge commentary, research, and news in the sciences. Published weekly, it covers all areas of medicine and science. For best results, use the advanced search button at the top of the screen and limit the timeline for your search as the database offers full text coverage going back to 1880.
Research Library (ProQuest)
Another great general resource, it features a highly-respected, diversified mix of scholarly journals, trade publications, and important magazines.
Academic Search Elite (EBSCO)
Academic Search Elite is a rich resource spanning a broad stretch of academic subjects with thousands of full-text journals and abstracted and indexed journals.
To see a chart of all the databases the OWHL subscribes to, visit the E-Resources A-Z page. Once there, make sure to choose "Natural Sciences" as a Subject filter to only see those databases relevant to the sciences.
ScienceDirect This link opens in a new window
ScienceDirect should be your last database choice. It contains highly specific and professional level research that can take a lot of time to comprehend and analyze. I include it here as a 'last stop' choice.