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Writing 116 (Trook): Home

Writing in the Natural Sciences


You will be able to ...

  • identify search tools (databases) for the sciences.
  • construct and refine basic searches.
  • access full-text of science articles.
  • distinguish between original research articles and reviews based on abstract information.
  • locate known articles.
  • save and format citation information in RefWorks.

Question 1

In what type of article might you expect to see these terms: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Summary?

Question 1
Newspaper: 1 votes (5.88%)
Magazine: 0 votes (0%)
Research: 16 votes (94.12%)
Review: 0 votes (0%)
Editorial: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 17

Original Research Articles

For WRI 116, you will be required to refer to original research articles and research reviews.

Within research articles, you may find original research articles which are studies or experiments with a hypothesis.  The authors will report the purpose of the study, the research methodology, and results. 

Non-original research articles include meta-analyses and reviews.  These articles summarize or synthesize content from earlier published research and are useful for surveying the literature on a specific research area. 

Question 2

Which database have you used the most while at UC Merced?

Question 2
PubMed: 2 votes (50%)
Web of Science: 1 votes (25%)
JSTOR: 0 votes (0%)
Academic Search Complete: 1 votes (25%)
none of the above: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 4

Question 3

In your opinion, what part of the research process is the most difficult?

Question 3
Deciding on a topic: 1 votes (33.33%)
Figuring out which database to use: 0 votes (0%)
Coming up with good search terms: 2 votes (66.67%)
Getting the full text of the articles: 0 votes (0%)
Evaluating which articles are best: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 3

Topic/Background Information

General Science Databases

Access to databases is available from the library home page using the Quick Search, go to our databases page for other options.  Below are direct links to three excellent databases for research in the Natural Sciences, but this is just a sampling of databases you could use. 

Exploring databases: Question Chart

Advanced Journal Search in ScienceDirect

Science Direct Advanced Search

Articles - results are Original Research articles

Reviews - results are Literature Reviews

ScienceDirect Help Link

Searching Web of Science: Tips & Tricks

Refine your results with Limits

  • by Subject Category: select those most closely related to your area of study.  Check mark and click "Refine".
  • by Document Types: select those you view to view e.g. Article.  For instance, you may want to exclude editorials and letters.
  • Try adding metho* (for method, methods, or methodology) to limit to actual research studies.
  • By Publication years: especially for topics in the scientific field

Times Cited and Cited Reference

  • This information can lead you to other articles related to your topic.  Look for "Times Cited" or "Cited References" hyperlinks.


  • Use the * symbol to search for variations of a word e.g. treat* for treat, treated, treatment, treatments etc.

Limit the Search to a Specific Field

  • The default search is a Topic search.  At the main search page, you may choose Title from the drop down menu.

Searching in PubMed: Tips & Tricks

Use MeSH Database (controlled vocabulary) from the National Library of Medicine

  • Select MeSH from the search drop down menu (rather than PubMed) or use the MeSH Database link under More Resources
  • Enter the common term, e.g. nosebleed, flu, heartburn,
  • If more than one term is listed, select the desired term with a check mark
  • Or, select subheadings that match your topic interest
  • Click Add to search builder
  • Search for additional terms if desired, e.g. outbreak, causes, therapy, etc.
  • Click Add to search builder
  • Click Search PubMed

Limit in a variety of other ways. e.g. by population, language, type of article, age group etc.

Find related articles

  • From search result list, see Related citations link under each item
  • From individual article records see links to articles under Related citations or click Related Citations under All links from this record

Generate Ideas - Search Science News

Use this Google Custom Search to search reputable science news sites.

Contact Info

Sara Davidson Squibb's picture
Sara Davidson Squibb
Library Office 275D

Chat with a Librarian 24/7

Accessing Full-Text

Full-text may be immediately available via a pdf or html page.  If not, use the UCeLinks button to reach a request page. 

You can Interlibrary Loan the item using your UCMnetID. 

Find a Known Item

Some Strategies

1.  Look for the article title in Google Scholar.  Try the title OR UC-eLinks hyperlink.

2.  Look for the article title in Melvyl.  Look for the UC-eLinks button.

3. Look for the journal title.  Select the e-Journals tab on the library home page.  See if the journal is available.  Is the date you need available?

4. You may be able to find it in a major database IF it belongs to a specific subject area.

Try it Out:  Do we have these articles?

Citation #1

"Assessing the predictive validity of emotional intelligence" by Shaun Newsome, Arla L. Day, Victor M. Catany in Personality and Individual Differences. Vol 29 (6), Dec 2000, pp. 1005-1016.

Citation #2

"The treatment of bulimia nervosa" by Rosalyn A. Griffiths, Stephan W. Touyz, Philip B. Mitchell, Wendy Bacon in Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. Vol 21 (1), Mar 1987, pp. 5-15.