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Finding information in articles. Katie Newman, Biotechnology Librarian & Melody Allison, Assistant Biology Librarian

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Katie Newman, Biotechnology Librarian florador@illinois &

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Finding information in articles

Katie Newman, Biotechnology Librarian


Melody Allison, Assistant Biology Librarian

MCB 252: Cells, Tissues, & DevelopmentFunk ACES Library, Room 509Tuesday, March 31, 2009 … 11:00 am-1:00 pm & 1:00-3:00 pmNeuroscience Program, Merit StudentsSeth Ament, TA & Elizabeth Blinstrup, Course Coordinator

This presentation can be found at:

today we are going to
Today we are going to ….
  • Get acquainted with Library resources and how to find them
  • From a biomedical research news article (secondary source)
  • Find the scholarly research publication article (primary source) upon which the news article was based  
navigating key resources from the library
Navigating Key Resources from the Library
  • Main Gateway:
  • Library Catalog: …to find books & journals (paper / electronic)
  • Online Research Resources (ORR): …to find e-journals and the tools (indexes) with which to locate the articles IN journals flyer for top bio-ag indexes!
  • Easy Search:…to find the tool that has the most information about a topic
let s look at a science news article
Let’s look at a science news article
  • Go to the ORR
  • Open the index, Academic Search Premier
  • Search for:
    • Science News …. In So Journal Name


    • Nerve cells …
    • Published: 2007 – 2009
  • Browse the results list and find the article “Mouse, Heal Thyself”
  • Read / browse the article, and see if you can figure out how to find the original (primary) article on which this news item (secondary article) is based. [5 minutes on your own]
journals vs magazines
“Journals” vs “Magazines”
  • What is the difference between “Journals” (primary sources such as Nature Medicine) and “Magazines” (secondary sources such as Science News, Scientific American) See:, from the Biology Library website, for a comparison of the traits of journals & magazines
let s explore pubmed
Let’s Explore PubMed
  • Can you find the primary article in PubMed? [5 minutes]
  • Now you can utilize various PubMed features to identify other relevant articles
    • Click on Related Articles for other articles on the topic
    • Click on the author’s name for other articles by author
    • View in Citation mode to view subject headings
    • Search “Journals Database” to find out if PubMed indexes a journal
    • Find a review article on a topic
  • Locate full text copies of articles using ‘Discover,’ the ORR, or Interlibrary loan
  • Print or email PubMed search results
  • Login to set up Search Alerts and customize PubMed
tips and tricks for searching pubmed
Tips and Tricks for Searching PubMed
  • Truncate (stem words) with an asterisk (*)  neur*Note: this turns off automatic term mapping (ATM) to MeSH terms
  • Use Limits tab to restrict search to an author, journal, range of years, type of article (e.g., review articles)
  • Use Details tab to see the behind the scenes search (ATM) that was performed if search for nerve cells, PubMed searches for that, but also NEURONS
  • To search for a phrase, enclose words in quotation marks. However, this will turn off ATM  “nerve cells”
pubmed vs google scholar
Indexed by human experts

Searches default fields (e.g., title, author, etc.)

Easily find what journals are indexed (affects ‘cited by’, what time frame covered

Controlled vocabulary (subject headings) which can be utilized for searching

Can select and work with MANY citations at a time

Know which journals it indexes

Uses automated extraction of information from text and citations

Searches full text – may need subscription to read articles

Don’t know what journals are being searched (affects ‘cited by’), what time frame covered.

No controlled vocabulary (subject headings)

Can work with 1 citation at a time

Don’t know which journals are being indexed

PubMed vs. Google Scholar