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APSC 350- Cotten

Help finding literature in the sciences

A word to start...


This guide was created to help you do research for your APSC 350 course. Here you'll find databases and search strategies. If you're having any trouble finding what you're looking for, you can make a research appointment with myself or any research librarian, chat us, come up to the desk and ask a question, or send us an email

Ways to Search

  1. KEYWORD.  Try different and related terms:  "drug development", "drug design", "drug discovery" , "drug target"
  2. AUTHOR.  Researchers tend to specialize, so look for other articles written by an author whose article you found useful. In resources like Google Scholar and Scopus, you can look for author profiles
  3. SUBJECT HEADING.  See what words the indexer used to categorize a useful article; click that category to find other articles that have been similarly tagged.  
  4. CITATIONS.  Look at the bibliography of a scholarly article and find the sources it used. Recent review articles (especially systematic reviews) are great sources to get a sense of the state of the art on a topic and to mine for more articles. 
  5. CITED BY. Use Scopus or Google Scholar to see more recent articles that have cited a useful source. If those authors found it useful too, you might like the authors' article.

Finding Articles and Info - Best Bets

In the sciences, we have access to two different kinds of search engines:

Subject Databases.  Companies like EBSCO and ProQuest work with thousands of publishers to index their articles and put them into subject databases and specialized subject databases like PubMed focus on particular areas like the biomedical literature.  PRO: More article records, more sophisticated searching available because of indexing  CON: Some records do not have full text.

Publisher Aggregates.  Publishers of scientific journals tend to specialize in that area, so you can search for your topic in a particular publisher and be pretty sure you'll be looking mostly at scholarly, scientific articles.  PRO: Articles will be full text (dates depend on our subscription).  CON: Searching is usually limited to keywords.

Get help

Instruction & Research Librarian

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Camille Andrews