Students, researchers, and professionals in biology frequently need to consult appropriate research and professional literature. This multipart guide provides 1) advice for effectively and efficiently conducting a literature search and 2) lists appropriate research tools--reference resources, library catalogs, and indexes--that can be utilized in identifying appropriate information.
To conduct an effective scientific literature search one should first have a basic understanding of the various formats in which the results of biological research, and scientific research in general, are published. Literature of Biology discusses journals and other types of research literature represented in the discipline, as well as how to find each type in the HSU Library.
As the initial step in conducting a literature search a "search strategy" should be developed which clarifies the information desired and logically organizes the search. Searching the Scientific Literature discusses the two basic approaches for searching the scientific literature--subject searching and citation searching. For subject searching the Search Strategy Worksheet presents a four-step outline for developing a subject search strategy in all disciplines and tips for entering your search in indexes and catalogs.
Research tools for identifying available biological literature include:
Reference resources in biology are subdivided into the following seven areas which correspond to options in the biology major at HSU.