Skip to main content
Michigan State University

ISB 204 (Bierema): Applications of Biomedical Sciences

Searching for Sources Through the Library

1. Try the Library Search

The Library Search lets you search for scholarly, trade and popular articles, as well as books, movies, and many other types of materials.

2. Try a science-focused specialized database

These databases contain scholarly, trade and popular articles from many sciences disciplines.

3. Try a specialized database for a different area

Want another perspective on your topic? Try looking for scholarly or trade articles from another field or subject area. Common subjects are listed below.

4. Try looking for opinion pieces, reports, or background information.

Find more perspectives on your topic by looking outside of scholarly sources. Search for opinion and viewpoint pieces, summaries of topics, or background information.

Tips for Searching

Tips for Searching

1. Use keywords

If you are starting your search, trying use keywords, rather than full sentences.

Examples:

  • extinct animals rather than What animals are extinct?
  • cloning technology  rather than How does cloning work?

2. Put phrases in quotes

If you are searching for a phrase, such as spontaneous combustion or genetically modified organism, put the entire phrase in double quotes. This will tell the search engine to only find results that contain the exact phrase, rather than one or two of the individual words.

Examples

  • "animal genetic engineering" rather than animal genetic engineering

3. Use AND to narrow your search

If you have two or more words or concepts that you want to find, use AND (must be capitalized) to tell the search engine to only look for items that contain both words.

Examples

  • animals AND cloning
  • CRISPR AND birds

4. Use OR to expand your search

Often, there is more than one way to talk about your topic. For example, you might want to find articles on climate change or global warming, etc. Some phrases might be better than others. If you want to try looking for multiple variations of the same word or phrase in a single search, use OR (all capitals) to tell the search engine to find material with any of the words you've included.

Examples

  • CRISPR OR "cloning technology"
  • "extinct animal" OR "de-extinction"

You can even get fancy and use both AND and OR:

  • "wooly mammoth" AND ("re-creation" OR "de-extinction")
Michigan State University