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Biology 191

This guide will help you with the resources you need for Bio 191!

Top Recommended Databases

Article Databases vs. Google

The purpose of reading, understanding, and synthesizing articles is that through that process you will learn that material. Your instructors will know if you Googled the information, and copied it into your work. Not only will your work be incorrect, but that is plagiarism. By going through the process of searching and reading articles you learn. What is the difference between Googling and using a Database? 


Web pages

Databases contain authoritative information written by experts.

Web pages are written by anyone, not always experts.

The articles in the databases contain facts that have been verified as much as possible.

Web pages do not always contain facts that are verified. Often they are opinions or ads.

Some databases have citation tools that will help you cite the information.

Web pages can be difficult to cite as there is often limited information.

Databases will save you time by finding valid information faster than a web search.

Web pages are difficult to sift through to locate one that suits your needs.

Popular Vs. Scholarly Articles

Popular Magazine Articles Scholarly Journal Articles

Usually freelance journalists

Experts in the field
Peer Reviewed? No Yes
References? Not usually

Yes, several citations up to several pages

of citations

Publication Frequency Weekly Monthly/several times a year/once a year
Length Shorter Several pages up to several dozen pages
Advertising Lots; general Fewer; Subject-specific ads

Search Tips

  • Connect search terms with Boolean operators (AND/OR/NOT): brain AND (cancer OR neoplasm)
  • Search phrases using quotation marks: "cell biology"
  • Use asterisk to search for multiple word endings: biolog* will find biology, biologist, biologists, biological

Journal Titles Search

Find a Journal, Magazine or


Search for Library Materials

Finding Publication Information

  • Many databases contain information regarding the publication.
  • Most publications have their own website--just Google the journal title!
  • Use Ulrich's Periodicals Directory