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Use this guide to find books, articles, databases, and other resources for research in Biology.

Search Strategies

  • Look at your question(s) - what are the keywords you will use to search?
  • Now that you have your keywords, write out some possible synonyms of each word (consider using scientific names, different spellings, etc)
  • Take notes of what you are using to search
  • Keep track of what databases you have used

For example, if you are searching for information on MICROBES, you might also want to look for:

  • SOIL

Adjust your searches by narrowing the focus or by combining research terms.

Once you type in your search terms, use the "Refine my results" list on the left-hand side to help narrow down your search by:

  • format
  • subject
  • publication date
  • and more!

Boolean Operators

In many databases, you can use a wildcard character to retrieve results of all words that start with the letters before the wildcard. Often, this character is *.


So when searching for "pollinat*", you will get results for: pollination, pollinators, and pollinating.


Boolean Operator Infographic

Created by the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.

Databases Will Give you Search Terms!

When looking for articles, there may be times where resources are limited. In cases like these, always look for articles that are relevant and their associated search terms. For example, see the article page below. Each article comes with correlated search terms that are hyperlinked.

Once you find an article you could use for research, click on an associated search term that works for you, and that will lead you to other articles with the same search terms. This can be used in any database or journal. It also works in Library Search (the Emory Catalog) when searching for physical book titles.