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Science Research: Finding Articles

Welcome to the Turkstra Library's Science Research Guide. If you have any questions or if you require assistance in your research, please do not hesitate to contact me! Also, if any of the information is incorrect or out-of-date or if the links no longer work, please contact me ASAP!

Here are some tips and suggestions for finding scientific articles at Redeemer. 

  1. Begin by searching the Science Databases & Resources @ Redeemer. Titles, links, and brief descriptions for these databases and resources are available here.
    • For health sciences topics, start by searching Medline (EBSCO) and PubMed Central (Full Text).
    • For biology topics, start by searching Academic Search Ultimate (EBSCO).
      • EBSCO search tips.
      • For biology topics, JSTOR is a decent second option to search as it provides access to a number of biology-related journals. Do not start here as JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is an academic journal archive service and, in general, it will not have articles published in the past recent 3-5 years. Nevertheless, this is a great place to look for slightly older articles. 
    • For chemistry topics, start by searching Academic Search Ultimate (EBSCO) and the Journal of Chemical Education.
    • For physics topics, start by searching Academic Search Ultimate (EBSCO).
    • For all other science topics, by start by searching Academic Search Ultimate (EBSCO). You can also search using the EBSCO Discovery Service (EBSCO) which allows you to select and search within one or more of 42 different "Disciplines" (e.g. "Life Sciences," "Applied Sciences," or even just "Science").
  2. If after searching the Science Databases & Resources @ Redeemer you need more resources, try searching Dimensions, a comprehensive index, and Cochrane Libraries.
    • Dimensions. For each article/resource indexed, Dimensions provides a list of its references and a citation count plus a list of citing documents. Also, if the article/resource is available in open access, it will provide a link. This can be very useful if you are looking for articles related to the ones you have already found.
      • Dimensions Search Tips:
        • When you enter the keywords for your topic into the Dimensions search window. Choose either "Full Data" (searches all data in their database), "Title and Abstract" (Searches just the article/resource titles and abstracts) or "DOI" (searches just the "Digital Object Indicator" or DOI, a number unique to each article/book).
        • For more help using Dimensions,please see the Dimensions Quick Start guide (PDF).
        • If you find article(s) in Dimensions that are not open access and linked directly through Dimensions, take the title(s) found in Dimensions and search for them in WorldCat Discovery. Many of the articles we have in our databases are discoverable through keyword, author, or title searches in WorldCat Discovery. If it does not appear here, try searching for the title in EBSCO, JSTOR, Google Scholar or ResearchGate.
    • Cochrane Libraries
      • Cochrane Search Tip: When you search, look for the resources labeled "Free Access."
      • For more help using Cochrane, click here.
  3. If searches in all the above sources still do not suffice, try searching Google Scholar. This is definitely NOT the place to start in your search for peer-reviewed scientific literature at Redeemer but it is a place to consider once the other options are exhausted


Research: The Foundation

  1. Teamwork: Scientific research is usually done by teams/groups of researchers who may not necessarily even be in the same laboratory or country! There may be multiple teams (or scientists) simultaneously researching the same question/issue, but 'competing' teams (or scientists) generally will share at least some knowledge between the different teams (or scientists) to aid progress.
  2. Communication: Scientific research may initially be presented at a scientific conference but ultimately will always be published in a respected, peer-reviewed, international scientific journal. This is THE means by which scientists disseminate their research.
  3. Context: Scientific research continually builds upon and interacts with the research of others scientists, past and present.

Primary Scientific Literature: Research Article

  1. Original research of a team of scientists (or scientist) is presented.
  2. Research team's affiliations are stated clearly. 
  3. Research methodology is described clearly and in enough detail to permit it to be duplicated by other scientists. 
  4. Scientific data is present, prevalent, and precise (e.g. statistics, graphs, tables).
  5. References are included.
  6. Language needs to be precise and scholarly, so non-subject experts may find these somewhat hard to read and understand.
  7. Peer-review takes place prior to publication.
  8. If seeking primary scientific information, focus on primary research articles in peer-reviewed international scientific journals. If you are seeking the latest research that is currently undergoing (or about to enter) the peer-review process, look for conference proceedings, theses, dissertations, and scientific reports. Remember, however, that for the latter the peer-review process is not yet complete and, thus, they should be treated accordingly.

Secondary Scientific Literature: Review and Summary Publications

  1. Does NOT contain the original research of a scientist or a team of scientists.
  2. Objective is to review, summarize, and synthesize the present state of research for a given topic.
  3. The author of the summary or review is not necessarily the same person who did the research that is being summarized.
  4. Language may be less precise and scholarly, thereby possibly making it a bit more accessible/readable.
  5. Useful to quickly give scientists and science students an overview of and introduction to research for a given topic, field, or subject.
  6. Examples include review articles, monographs, textbooks, handbooks, and manuals.

Tertiary Scientific Literature/Resources: Scientific Information for the General Public

  1. Target audience is the non-scientific community.
  2. Language is simplified and less scientific.
  3. Examples include science magazines, newsletters, and websites as well as articles in newspapers and encyclopedias.
  • American Chemical Society
    • Journal of Chemical Education
      • "The Journal of Chemical Education publishes peer-reviewed articles and related information as a resource to those in the field of chemical education and to those institutions that serve them. The journal typically addresses chemical content, laboratory experiments, instructional methods, and pedagogies. JCE serves as a means of communication among people across the world who are interested in the teaching and learning of chemistry." (Source: JCS website)
  • EBSCO (EBSCOHost Web)
    • Academic Search Ultimate
      • "Academic Search Ultimate offers students an unprecedented collection of peer-reviewed, full-text journals, including many journals indexed in leading citation indexes. The combination of academic journals, magazines, periodicals, reports, books and videos meets the needs of scholars in virtually every discipline ranging from astronomy, anthropology, biomedicine, engineering, health, law and literacy to mathematics, pharmacology, women’s studies, zoology and more." (Source: EBSCO)
    • MEDLINE with Full Text
      • MEDLINE with Full Text provides the authoritative medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and pre-clinical sciences found on MEDLINE, plus the database provides full text for more than 1,470 journals indexed in MEDLINE. Of those, nearly 1,450 have cover-to-cover indexing in MEDLINE. And of those, 558 are not found with full text in any version of Academic Search, Health Source or Biomedical Reference Collection." (Source: EBSCO)

    • SPORTDiscus with Full Text

      • "SPORTDiscus with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for sports & sports medicine journals, providing full text for 550 journals indexed in SPORTDiscus. This authoritative file contains full text for many of the most used journals in the SPORTDiscus index - with no embargo. With full-text coverage dating back to 1930, SPORTDiscus with Full Text is the definitive research tool for all areas of sports & sports medicine literature." (Source: EBSCO)

  •  JSTOR

    • JSTOR includes an archive of more than 2600 journals, including several hundred science journals. While it contains much valuable information for science students and researchers, none of it is the most recent research. Among the JSTOR archived journals are about 28 general science journals, about 164 biology journals, and about 58 Math journals.

    • Note: Until June 30, 2022, the Turkstra Library has temporarily expanded complete access to JSTOR through its COVID access program. After this, we will return to our much more limited access to JSTOR.

  • PubMed
    • PubMed
      • "PubMed® comprises more than 33 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites." (Source: PubMed website)
    • PubMed Central with Full Text (PMC)
      • "PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)." (Source: PMC website)
      • Currently, PMC contains > 7.5 million full text articles from thousands of different journals
  • WorldCat Discovery (Turkstra Library Catalogue)

    • Most of our subscription databases as well as numerous open access journals and databases are now linked into WorldCat Discovery. Therefore, many, but not necessarily all, of our journals can be (at least partially searched) via WorldCat Discovery. Subject searches for articles do not work well in WorldCat Discovery but keyword, author, and title (or partial title) searches can be fairly successful. Also, when you search in WorldCat Discovery you will always get a popup suggesting other possible other of our subscription databases in which to conduct the same search.

  • WorldCat Discovery Journal Locator

    • Allows you to find out which specific journals are included in our collection.

  • Cochrane Libraries
    • "The Cochrane Library . . .  is a collection of databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making." (Source: About Cochrane Library)
    • Includes Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
    • Cochrane is a subscription-based resource that also includes some open access material.
    • Tip: When you search, look for the resources labeled "Free Access." Cochrane includes two types of "open access" resources -- resources that are open access from the date of publication (Gold OA) and resources that are open access 12 months after publication (Green OA; Source)
  • Dimensions
    • A comprehensive index, no login required, that is similar to the citation indexes of Web of Science. Each citation provides a list of its references and a citation count plus a list of citing documents. Limited full text, though there is an open access filter on the left. For more full text and formatted citations, take titles found in Dimensions and search for them in WorldCat Discovery, EBSCO, JSTOR, or Google Scholar.
    • For more help using Dimensions,please see the Dimensions Quick Start guide (PDF).
    • The publicly-accessible access version of Dimensions currently indexes over 87 million publications, including over 35 million open access publications.
  • Google Scholar
    • "Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research." (Source: About Google Scholar)
    • Tip: Before you search in Google Scholar, be sure to link the Redeemer University Library to your Google Scholar search. Click on the "Hamburger" (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner of the Google Scholar homepage. Then select "Settings" and then "Library Links." Search for "Redeemer" in the search window and select it.
  • ResearchGate
    • ResearchGate is a website that currently provides access to over 135 million publication pages.
    • "We exist to empower researchers. We started ResearchGate in 2008 to address the problems we saw in the way science is created and shared. Our mission is to connect the world of science and make research open to all. The 20 million researchers in our community come from diverse sectors in over 190 countries, and use ResearchGate to connect, collaborate, and share their work." (Source: About ResearchGate)
  • Redeemer students and faculty are permitted to use and borrow resources from the McMaster University library.
    • For details on borrowing print resources from McMaster, click here
    • McMaster Library e-resources: Off-campus access to the McMaster library e-resources is not permitted but community members (including Redeemer University students, staff, and faculty) can apply for a McMaster library temporary Guest Internet Account. Click here for details. This will allow the community member to use a public computer in the Mills or Thode libraries @ McMaster to access some of McMaster's e-resources. For a list of McMaster e-resources not accessible through this method, click here and scroll down to "Databases and E-Resources that Do Not Permit Walk-in Users."
    • Access to the McMaster Library during COVID-19: "All visitors (e.g., alumni, researchers, community members) must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and complete the provincial COVID-19 self-assessment one hour before every visit to campus." Click here for details.
  • If we do not have the article you need, we might be able to bring it in via interlibrary loan (ILL). For more information about getting articles and resources via ILL@ Redeemer, please click here.

I strongly recommend that Redeemer students download and use the free Zotero citation management app. This app makes citing, organizing, and sharing resources very easy. Here are a couple of links to get you started:

For more information concerning Zotero, please view the following Zotero tutorial (ca. 10 min.). Please note that this video was prepared by another academic institution and, therefore, also contains some information specific to that institution. Still, it is a great introduction to Zotero.




Peter Turkstra Library,  Redeemer University , 777 Garner Road East, Ancaster, ON, L9K 1J4, Canada
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