Skip to main content

BL 4440: Mechanisms of Disease--Fall, 2014: Exercise: Part 1

links to resources and tips on finding information for research papers

First steps: Find and keep some articles

NOTE: In the next part of the exercise, you will need to write a sentence or two for each article
in which you explain why it would—or would not—be appropriate for your project.

But first...

  • Determine some search terms to use. They need to be more specific than simply "atherosclerosis." Use AND to limit the search with additional terms.
  • Make a note of which terms you use that produce good results.
  • Find 2-3 articles in Medline using your search terms. Check the "Limited Full Text" box.
  • Keep the articles in open tabs or windows.
  • Find 1-2 articles in Science Direct. Find the articles through a search with your terms (more efficient) or through browsing the journals list linked in this box.
  • Keep the articles in open tabs or windows.

Searching tips

These tips can help you get more precise results and save you time:

  • If you want to connect keywords (for example: atherosclerosis and diet) be sure and either use connector words in your search statement or type the terms on different lines in the search box. For example: atheroschlerosis AND diet. The other connectors you can use are OR and NOT. If you just type "atherosclerosis diet" the database will probably look for those words as a phrase. (NOTE: connector words don't have to be typed in all caps.)
  • In general, avoid using prepositions like IN, OF, or ON in your search statements. You'll get better results using the major terms describing what you're looking for, instead of typing a "natural language" phrase or a question.
  • Imagine a perfect article for your topic, then ask yourself: If I were assigning index terms to this article, which words would I choose?
  • When you find that perfect article, look at the index terms that were assigned to it. If some are terms that you didn't think of, try searching again with those and you might find more perfect articles.
  • Although perfect articles are wonderful, you can still get good information out of not-so-perfect articles: they might deal with only a single aspect of your topic, or might give you ideas for new search terms.
  • Remember that the reference lists or footnotes that accompany articles dealing with your topic are good sources for more articles.

Next up: citations and citation management with Flow

The next tabs in this Guide will show you how to use the Flow citation management app to generate citations, and save both the cites and the articles you find in personalized web-based libraries.

exclamationYou will be using the articles you have found to start your work with Flow, so be sure you keep them in open windows or tabs. Otherwise, you'll have to find them again!

Subject Guide

Necia Wolff's picture
Necia Wolff
Contact:
Louis J. Blume Library
St. Mary's University
One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78230
nwolff@stmarytx.edu
210-431-2299 x1452