BISC110/S11:Guidelines for literature search & source citation

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Wellesley College

BISC110/112- Introduction to Cell Biology- Spring 2011


Course Guide - BISC110/112 Introduction to Cell Biology - Wellesley College Library
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BISC110 Introduction to Cell Biology

The following resources may be helpful in completing research assignments for the course. Feel free to contact the Wellesley College Science Reference Librarian, Neil Nero, for further help. Neil Nero


Offcampus Access · Databases A-Z · Research Guides by Subject | by Course · Reference Books Online · Library Catalog

Learn about the research cycle

Scientific Research Process & Publication Cycle - primary, secondary, and access (or tertiary) literature (Humboldt State University, February 6, 2008)
Peer Review in a Nutshell - "scientific quality control" (Science Media Centre, London, September 29, 2003)
Open Access Journal Literature (PennState World Campus, Terra Incognita, September 5, 2007)

Find background

Reference works (online or print) can be used to acquire basic information on an unfamiliar concept or to gather ideas for your topic.

Language of Science
Deciphering Medspeak - Medical Library Association
Melloni's Illustrated Medical Dictionary - Science Reference q R121 .D76 2002

Credo Reference - Medicine and Biology
Oxford Reference Online - Medicine - Advanced Search

Find books

Wellesley College Library Catalog

  • tip: in the library catalog, start with keyword > choose a useful book > Full Record tab - follow the subject links to find more on that topic
  • tip: to see the subscription details for a print journal or serial ['Lib has'] > Full Record tab.

Find journal articles

The following databases provide either full-text articles or citations (information about when and where the peer-reviewed article was published).

Popular & scientific articles - great places to start your search

More databases - cover peer-reviewed articles

For individual help, please consult Science Librarian Neil Nero

  • Use the Find It! @ Wellesleylink from each citation to search one or more electronic journal sources or to search our Library Catalog.
  • If Wellesley College cannot access the article, use the 'Find It' link to Interlibrary Loan, which automatically links the requestor to a form to submit for either
    • NExpress (several nearby libraries, often arrives in 2-3 days) or
    • ILL (thousands of libraries worldwide, arrives in 2days - 2weeks).

How to Evaluate and Cite Sources

**Remember, you must evaluate web resources that you find with a search engine the same way you would evaluate print sources**

General criteria
Accuracy: How factual is the web page? Are the facts well-documented?
Authority: What are the professional credentials of the authors? Can you recognize the difference between a webpage author and a webmaster?
Objectivity: Pros and cons? Are there conflicting interests? Is the page advocating a cause? Who is the intended audience?
Currency: Is the page being updated regularly? How current is it now?
Coverage: Does the page require special software to view it? Is there a fee to view it, or is it free? Is the information presented cited correctly?
Ease of Use: Is the page easy to navigate? Are directions straightforward? Is advertising clearly labeled?

Citing sources

What & How to Cite - Advice re: direct quotations, paraphrasing, and patchworking (Duke University Libraries)

Finding Images on the Web (Boston University, updated 2009)

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Return to Research Guides by Subject: Biological Sciences

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