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BIOL 163: Introduction to Biol Diversity and Ecology: Finding Articles

Getting Started: Keywords

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Here are some general tips to guide you in choosing your search terms:

- Use keywords or brief (2-word) phrases instead of sentences -- one or two for each part of your topic.

- Use concepts and other nouns as your keywords.  Think of words that are likely to be used in titles (or that you have seen in titles).

- If your keywords aren't turning up many results, you may need to:

  • Try thinking of synonyms or other ways of phrasing your topic. If you can find one or two relevant articles, check to see what subjects are listed for them and try to build keywords from there. 
  • Try a broader search (broader topic, broader date-range, etc.)
  • If you are able to find an article or book on your topic, the database may list keywords or subject terms relevant to your topic.  Use these words listed by the database, or in the article.
    • You can also read the title and abstract of the article to find relevant keywords.

Interlibrary Loan

Request materials that we do not own in the Holy Cross Libraries' collections.  These materials will be lent from other libraries.  

Note:  Electronic articles or scanned book chapters usually take 1-2 business days or longer.  Print materials need to be shipped through the postal mail, and generally take 5-10 business days or longer.  

** Login to the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan System using your campus email account.  If this is the first time you're using the system, you will need to set up an account. **

Biology Databases

These databases have articles related to the field of biology:

Tracing Citations

Use Scopus or Google Scholar to discover articles that cite and are cited by your original source.  This is a great way to find more recent articles related to your topic.

Secondary Literature: (Organism / Species Paper)