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BIO 342 (Hamilton): Finding Articles

Important Note

Please be sure to review the information on the Before You Search! tab on the left menu before you begin searching in the tools listed on this tab. The Before You Search! tab explains what a "peer reviewed" article is and how to tell when you have found one. It also gives tips for building more effective searches. There are brief videos and tutorials that explain how to choose the best keywords, refine your searches, and evaluate the information you find.

EBSCO Databases

EBSCOhost Databases:

For botany, ecology, conservation, and biology topics...

For health and medical topics...

You can search all of these databases together by clicking the title of one of them and then following the instructions below.

Click the blue “Choose Databases” link above the text entry boxes at the top of the screen. Place a check in the box next to each of the databases you want to add on the popup window. Click OK at the top or bottom of the popup window.

choose databases link  


After you click on a blue article title in your results list, you will be taken to a new page with more detailed information about that specific article. This includes an abstract, or summary, of the article. Reading the abstract is a quick way to determine whether the article answers your research question or not. If it does, you should look in the top left corner of the screen for a link that says "Full Text."

Clicking that link will give you the full contents of the article rather than only the summary available on the current page. When there is no "Full Text" link in that corner, use the yellow "Find It!" button to search for the full text in other databases. See more about Find It! in the box to the right on this page.

Screenshot of the detailed article screen in EBSCO


The vertical toolbar on the right side of the page gives you options for what to do with the article. There are icons to:

  • Save the article to your Google Drive. Be sure that you select "Open with Google Docs" when you open it in Drive or it will look like unreadable html code. Also, what you save will be the info available on the article abstract page, not the full text of the article. However, there should be a link back to the database page with the full text link in the Google Doc.
  • Print the article. This costs $.10/page at all Miami University printers. Additional information about printing at Miami University is available on this page.
  • Email the article to yourself. 
  • Get a citation for the article in various formats. Scroll to the format you are using (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). Highlight, copy, and paste the article citation from this page into your paper. Some of the required formatting does not copy over correctly (hanging indent, sometimes italics, sometimes portions appear in all caps when they should not, etc.). You will need to manually correct these mistakes, so be sure to compare your pasted citations to some of the sample citations I linked to on the Citing Sources tab of this guide.

Additional Databases

Web of Science

You can search these individually or you can search all of them together using the "All Databases" function at the top of the search area underneath "Documents.

Screenshot of Web of Science search page. "All Databases" is selected and highlighted in green. Green highlighting also indicates that the first dropdown menu should be set to "topic" and the second should be "Publication Date."

Nature Portfolio - Full text search capabilities for approximately 100 journals from the Nature Publishing Group including:

  • Nature Genetics
  • Cancer Gene Therapy
  • Cellular & Molecular Immunology
  • European Journal of Human Genetics
  • Gene Therapy
  • Genes & Immunity
  • Heredity
  • And more... 

Use the Find It! Button

Some databases include the full text of the articles described in the them. However, most databases do not. When the database does not have the full text of an article, you should see a yellow Find It button like the one above. 

Clicking this button will search through other databases that Miami subscribes to looking for the full text. If a different database has it, you will see a link to it on the new tab that opens.

If there is no full text link on the new tab, you should see a link to a form for a service called interlibrary loan (ILL). If you fill out this form, the library will try to find the article from another library on your behalf. This can take several days, however, so if you need the article right away, it is not a good option for you. 

Narrowing or Broadening Your Topic

If your results list is too large, use the limit menu on the left side of the results list. This menu shows options for how to more narrowly describe the types of information or articles that you want. Some options that are typically available include the publication date, the type of article (magazine, newspaper, journal article?), a more specific topic (female college students rather than college students), and so on. 

Not enough articles? Look first for typos or misspellings. If everything is correct, you need to broaden your topic. For example, if you only found 5 articles about Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis AND Ohio. Try adjusting the publication dates to accept older articles; remove Ohio from the search; add "Eastern hellbender" with an OR to the species name; or broaden further by searching "endangered salamanders" rather than this specific species.