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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Biology 115 - Life Sciences for Teachers

Article Databases

Full Text Database - Keyword Search the Full Text of the Articles

Biomedical Articles

Environmental Sciences Articles

Education Articles - Aimed at K-12 Teachers

Searching Advice

Phrasing Your Search

Stick to concrete keywords and use scientific terminology. Scientific articles tend to have all the key terms in the title, author supplied keywords, and the abstract. 

Boolean operators allow you to combine words or phrases in specific ways.

  • AND requires that all words be present in the retrieved articles.
  • OR allows any of the words to be present in the retrieved articles.  Use for synonyms of words.
  • NOT requires that the word is not present in any of the retrieved articles.  Use with extreme caution because it can eliminate relevant articles.

Truncation allows you to search for words beginning with specific characters. 

Our databases use an asterisk (*) to truncate.

ex: nutri* retrieves nutrition, nutritional, nutritive, nutrient, nutrients

Be careful truncating short words.

ex: cat* retrieves cat, cats, category, catastrophe, catacylsmic, etc.

Phrase searching keeps words together as a phrase.  Many databases assume the Boolean "and" between words unless you indicate otherwise, usually by putting double quotes around the phrase.

ex:  "cover crop"

Narrowing Your Results

The best way to narrow your results is to use very specific, concrete terms. Rather than soil nutrients in general, search by the specific nutrient(s). 

If you don't have a particular nutrient in mind, then you can try narrowing the field the search term appears. Try narrowing to the title of the article. The default searches the entire record: title, abstract, subjects/keywords. Unfortunately, you cannot narrow by the author-supplied keywords in Web of Science.

By Date

  • Biological Science Database goes back to the 1960s
  • Web of Science goes back to 1985

By Subject or Categories

  • ProQuest databases have subject tags on the left side.
  • Web of Science has Categories, or scientific disciplines. You can narrow the ones that apply, or exclude the ones that don't apply.

Which articles are the most important?

Web of Science excels in this, because you can re-sort your results by Times Cited. The articles that others cited the most frequently rise to the top.