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Biology & Microbiology

Learn how to find books, articles and other resources related to biology and microbiology.

Introduction to Researching Diseases

Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from the surface of a Vero cell.For this assignment, each of you is researching a disease caused by a microbe. You want to find articles from newspapers, magazines, or journals that address a current (2017-2020) issue related to your disease -- like outbreaks, new vaccines, new treatments, or new prevention methods.

This guide will walk you through how to find, and use, Library databases that will help with your assignment. Specifically, this guide will show you how to:


‚ÄčIf you get stuck, need help, or have questions, please use the Chat Box on the left.

NIAID. Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from the surface of a Vero cell. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Finding Background Information & Articles

Background sources, also called reference sources, include things like encyclopedias and dictionaries that provide us with basic facts, overviews, and terminology. Even though these are NOT the kinds of sources you wll cite for this assignment, these can be incredibly helpful when you are beginning your research into a topic.

The 7 minute video below walks you through how to find background sources in a database called Gale in Context: Science

Since this database also includes articles from newspapers, magazines, and journals, it is a great place to acquire both background information as well as articles for your topic.


Finding Newspaper Articles

Because newspapers come out daily, and are focused on current events, they are your best option when you are looking for the most current information possible on a topic. 

The 7 minute video below shows you how to search for current events related to a disease using one specific newspaper database: ProQuest U.S. Major Dailies


Finding Additional Articles from Magazines & Newspapers

Magazines -- like Discover, Popular Science, or National Geographic -- are another great place to find current information on diseases and other topics. 

The 8 minute video below will show you how to search for relevant magazine and newspaper articles using EBSCO databases. (The video will show you how we can search three EBSCO article collections -- Health Source Consumer Edition, MasterFILE Complete, and Newspaper Source Plus  -- all at one time.)


Finding Research Articles

Scholarly journals, also called peer reviewed journals, include detailed articles written for other scholars and researchers in the field. A research article in a journal will describe experiments or observational studies on your disease topic or microbe.

The 5 minute video below will show you to how to use Science Direct to find research articles on your topics.


Want More?

Looking for even more tools you can use to find newspaper articles, magazine articles, and research articles on your topics?