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Michigan State University

CVM Summer Research Program

Resources for the Summer Research Program students at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Last updated: 5/14/24.

Search Tips

Things to Consider

It can be difficult to determine how or where to begin a search for information, but these tips and tricks should get you started:

1) When starting a search, think about the main keywords of your search. Be as specific as possible.

2) It may be necessary to search in multiple locations in order to find all the necessary literature on your topic.

3) Review articles provide a thorough introduction to a topic and often have extensive bibliographies that can be used to find additional literature on that topic. 

4) When accessing the electronic databases always go through the MSU Libraries. This will give you access to the full text of articles available in the Libraries' journal subscriptions.

5) Not everything is available online. Print resources are available at the Main Library and can be checked out using your MSU ID.

6) If you need a resource not available at the MSU Libraries you can request it through InterLibrary Loan

Search Techniques

These techniques can be used in most databases to help make your search more precise.

Truncation *

Searches for multiple word endings

Example: ethic* = ethic, ethics, ethical, ethically

Search Connectors


Can be used to narrow or broaden a search

Example: genetic AND engineering (narrow)
                genetic OR engineering (broaden)

Quotation Marks "..."

Search for the exact phrase

Example: "animal welfare"
                 animal welfare


Criteria set to limit or narrow your search results

Example: language, publication date, article type