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BIO 497: Senior Seminar in Biology: Research Proposal Writing: Resources & Tips

Templates for Posters



When searching for scientific articles, be as specific as possible. (Once you have an idea of your search terms).

STEP 1: try several general search terms

  • Do you get too many results?( generally, yes)
  • BUT Are there two or three in the first 10 that seem to be "heading in the right direction"?
  • Are keywords provided in any of those articles?

STEP 2: Review your keywords.

  • Revise add/remove try other keywords
  • Add Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), or use more specific terms

STEP 3: Review the results lists

  • Are you getting better results?
  • Try other databases -- sometimes it is not the search terms, it's the database you searching

STEP 4: Review some abstracts of articles that seem to be close or on target, then review the Reference list (bread crumbs).

  • Do you see any potential keywords in the abstract that you could try?
  • Do any of the titles oif the articles listed in the references look like they might be applicable?

Keep a list of searches/words that worked, and which databases you used for those search terms.