BIO 298

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Quick Tips:

Library home page (

  • Books: Search for books on the “books/media” tab.  The Biology books are on the second floor of the library, near the recycling bins.
  • Articles: Search for articles on the “articles” tab.  (If you are off-campus, it will ask you for your MyCollege login information.)
  • Interlibrary loan: If we don’t have the book or article you need, we will borrow it from another library for you.  For free.  Books can take up to a week to get here; articles take 2-3 days.
  • Help:

Get Started: find a "hot" biology topic

The popular press (magazines and newspapers) covers mostly 'hot' science topics. Find a topic or learn more about your topic:

Types of Sources

Primary Sources Secondary Sources
First-hand sources Second-hand sources
Original work of art or literature Analysis, critique or interpretation
Diaries, letters, interviews Biographies
Research published by the researchers Research summarized in a newspaper or magazine


Books can provide a good overview of your topic.  Science books are usually secondary sources. Our library catalog allows you to search for books that we own, and books that you can borrow from another library.  If your search does not yield many results, try clicking on “Quick delivery libraries” under the change library heading, or one of the links under “Related Subjects”.  Click the “get it” button to borrow the book from another library.

Magazine Articles

Magazine articles are secondary sources, as they summarize one or more primary sources.  Magazine articles can be searched for in most databases by limiting your search results to "magazines", which can be found on the left-hand side of the page under "Source Types".  You can also search databases that have mostly magazine articles such as:

Links to specific journals and magazines:

Scholarly Articles

From the library homepage, click either the “articles by subject” or “search for articles by topic areas” links. Then, under “databases by subject”, click “Science”.  Recommended databases are:

Tips to finding a good secondary article:

  • Pick your secondary article first.
  • The best secondary articles will have a list of cited works.  These are often the primary research articles. You can search by title in the Discovery Search
  • The next best secondary article will mention a researcher, and the journal they have published in.  You can find the primary article in the Discovery Search or in our citation look up tool
  • Try to avoid secondary articles that only give you the researchers name.

Citation Guides


A. Hollister