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BIOL 101 - Taylor - Maple Woods

Science Databases

Tips:

  • Try searching for both the common and scientific names of your organisms.
  • JSTOR's contents are all scholarly journal articles. These will be high quality but may be harder to read if you are not used to academic writing.
  • Make sure you are not using an article aimed at younger readers.

General Databases

Ask Yourself . . .

Articles tend to focus on more narrow topics. While scholarly articles go through a peer review process, newspaper and magazine articles do no. Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating articles:

  • Is the author identified?  Are author credentials listed?  You can often find information about the author by doing a quick web search.
  • When was the article written? Is the information current?
  • Does the article answer your research question?
  • Look at the length of the article.  Is it long enough to provide sufficient content?
  • What is the level of language:  Easy enough for a child? Generally understood by an adult? Scholarly? Technical?
  • Is the information accurate? You can look at other sources to see if the author's claim is supported by experts in the field.
  • Does the article contain a list of references?
  • What is the purpose of the article:  To inform?  Persuade?  Entertain? 
  • What type of publication is it:  Scholarly? Professional or technical? Periodical? Newspaper?