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Biology / Life Sciences Resources (BIOL, CBMG, ENTM)

Information resources and services in support of Biology, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics (CBMG), and Entomology

Search Tips

Expanding your search: Truncation

—Truncation uses symbols (wildcards) to add letters to the end of a word.  You can use these symbols to increase the number of your results.
– To find all information about catalysts
  • catalyst* Good, this will get your catalyst and catalysts, but you are missing information about catalysis.
  • catal*   OK, but now you’ve gotten information about catalogs and catalase
  • cataly* Best choice: includes catalyst, catalysis, catalyzed, catalytic...

– Useful for alternate spellings as well...

  • —theater and theatre:  theat*
  • —aluminum vs. aluminium:   alumin*
  • —sulfur vs. sulphur:  sul*   gives sulfate, sulphide, sulfuric...  So in this case, you need to do an OR search: (sulfur OR sulphur)

Getting what you want: Phrases/Quotes

—Can often use quotation marks to indicate a phrase:  methyl ethyl ketone vs. “methyl ethyl ketone”
Also useful when using numbers/symbols:  Fe(acac)3   vs.   “Fe(acac)3”

Reload Button

To make sure you have access to all of the resources the Libraries subscribes to, be sure to use the Reload Button when you are off-campus.

Search Strategies



Subject Heading

Citation Searching

By Document




Type what you are interested in

Find a controlled term within the database that relates to your topic

Emphasis on number of times publications have been cited

Limit to Review Articles that will focus on background or summarizing existing research


Search by chemical structure, nucleic acid or protein sequence

Search data by numbers, such as chemical and physical properties


Type keywords and browse results

Start with keyword(s) and look at results for appropriate subject headings OR browse a thesaurus/index within the database.


Start with keyword(s) and sort results by times cited OR start with a specific publication and look to see who has cited it.


Start with any search results list using previous search strategies, then limit by Document Type – Review.

Use drawing program to enter structure or cut and paste from existing document(s).

Use advanced search pages to search for a range of properties by number.

Databases to try

Any that relate to your topic

PubMed, BIOSIS Citation Index, Zoological Record, ProQuest SciTech Collection

Web of Science,  Scopus, Google Scholar, BIOSIS Citation Index

PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, SciFinder, ProQuest SciTech Collection

SciFinder (chemical structures), NCBI databases for sequences


Knovel, SciFinder

Key databases – Searching for Articles and other Publications