BIOL 371 - Microbiology

Rarely will you know the best terms or keywords to plug into a database. Choosing the best keywords is a process of trial and error. For scientific research you will want to be specific. Look at the results list from a database search to help you locate the best search terms. In the detailed record there will often be lists of subject terms, author-supplied keywords, MeSH terms (Medical Subject headings) etc. that will lead you to the best search terms. Below is an example from the PubMed database: 

PubMed article with key words MESH Terms highlighted.

Make full use of limiters and tools. Each database is different but in general they will all have some variation of the following limiters and tools. For more results make sure Full Text is not selected. For fewer results limit the Publication Date.


You can usually email yourself a copy of the record, save full text articles, send yourself the permanent link and/or use the citation provided by the database. Make sure to double check the citation as they are computer generated and may have mistakes. 

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