Searching for and Obtaining
On a scale of 1 finger to 10 fingers, please indicate your knowledge, experience, and
skill in the following areas (1 finger = none; 10 fingers = superlative)
Understanding the structure and objectives of different types of scientific papers
Evaluating the credibility and validity of different forms of scientific literature
Understanding impact factors for scientific journals
Using CU Library: the building, Web site, VPN software, interlibrary loan
Using databases of scientific literature: PubMed, Biological Abstracts, Google Scholar,
Using PubMed or MEDLINE
Getting your hands on PDF copies of articles that aren’t available in the database you’re searching
Using reference managing software
Any pressing questions about searching for and obtaining scientific literature?
Anyone with a library science background?
Reasons to Search for Scientific Literature
To identify and refine your research issue
that is, the
questions and problems that you’ll contribute to
To learn the science that defines your research issue
the procedures and analyses used in
previous studies on your research issue
To obtain knowledge, evidence, and reasoning to
support your arguments (for all aspects of your research)
To relate your study findings and conclusions to those
from previous studies on your research issue
What You’re Searching For
quality, peer reviewed journal articles: research papers,
review papers, and maybe even
1. How far removed is the literature from primary sources of
2. Has the literature been peer reviewed?
3. How credible and influential are the journals in which research
papers and review papers are published?
4. How reputable are the authors?
5. How current is the source?
6. How closely and comprehensively does the literature match the
consensus views of the scientific community?
impact factor for the Journal of Applied
A = In all scientific journals during
the number of
citations to JAP articles published in
2005 = 3893
the total number of articles published in
JAP = 1072
impact factor for JAP =
A/B = 3893/1072 =
To learn more, google
How are impact factors calculated?
Where to Find What You’re Looking For
In file cabinets in your labs
On the desks of your mentors and
In reference lists of papers in your stash
In print journals on library shelves
On the Web sites of scientific journals that
specialize in research on your research issue
In comprehensive databases of scientific
literature, such as PubMed, Biological Abstracts,
, and so on
Public Access || Open Access
The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division G, Title II,
Section 218 of PL 110
161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act,
2008) which states:
SEC. 218. The Director of the National Institutes of Health
shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit
or have submitted for them to the National Library of
Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their
reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for
publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12
months after the official date of publication: Provided, That
the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner
consistent with copyright law.
But stayed tuned . . . .
CU Library Resources
Boulder's catalog of books and journals (
Databases of Life Science Literature
Description of Contents
Web Site Address
Links to full
text articles from more than 180 life science
journals. Maintained by BMC, an independent publisher.
text articles from journals in all subdisciplines of
biology, including biochemistry, biomedicine, biotechnology,
genetics, botany, ecology, microbiology, pharmacology,
zoology, and more.
text articles and citation information for theses
and books from journals in all academic fields
Links to approximately 5 million full
text articles from over
1100 journals. The largest database of free full
science articles in the world. Developed by Stanford
Approximately 17 million citations and selected full
articles from more than 5,000 journals in all life science
disciplines. Contains the MEDLINE database. Maintained by
the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Links to selected full
text articles from journals in the
behavioral sciences (including psychology and social science)
and mental health.
The main component of PubMed
Web of Science
Links to selected full
text articles from nearly 9,000 research
journals that cover all scientific fields.
Searching for and Obtaining Journal Articles
Set desired limits
on your search
Run your search
Select the articles
you'd like to obtain
electronic version of
version of full