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Biology: Search Tips

Biology Research Guide

Discover Fintel (The library's search tool) & Most Databases

  1. Define your primary concepts
  2. In the search box enter your subject terms a few at a time
  3. Use limiters (usually found on the left sidebar) to narrow to peer reviewed articles (for scientific research in particular), full text online, and/or other subjects  (see the next two slides for examples)
  4. Use “ quotation marks” for specific phrases
  5. Use the * asterisk as a wildcard when the search term may have derivations.  For example gen* would yield results for gene, genes, genome.
  6. You can use the boolean operators such as NOT to exclude citations with certain words.  For example: "human gen*" (NOT generation OR genetics)
  7. Click the image below to see the results in real time!


Discovery Tool Search Limiters

Google vs. Google Scholar

Google Google Scholar

Gives you millions of results all mixed in

Still gives you lots of results
Does not limit your results to articles and citations Specifically targets results to books, article citations, and patent information
Does not show whether Fintel provides access to the resource Enables selection of libraries for displaying in result sets. You can make this change in settings.
Has advance search feature Has advance search feature

Click the image to see the difference!​Google Search Results

Click the image to see the difference!​Google Scholar Search Results