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Writing 116 (Young): Home

Writing in 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.
  • export citations to RefWorks.

Original Research Articles

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

Within research articles, you may find original research articles which are a study or experiment 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 1

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

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

Question 2

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

Question 2
Newspaper: 0 votes (0%)
Magazine: 0 votes (0%)
Research: 3 votes (100%)
Review: 0 votes (0%)
Editorial: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 3

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.

Databases (many original research articles)

Advanced Journal Search in ScienceDirect

Science Direct Advanced SearchArticles - 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 ot 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

Limit to a specific search field. e.g. Title/Abstract

  • Visit Advanced Search.
  • Select a specific field under the section "Section by Author, Journal, Publication Date, and more."
  • e.g. limit to searching in the Title field or the Title/Abstract field
  • Search

View "Related Articles".

  • Click on the link to the right of the search result item.
  • The "Related Articles" will be listed on the right.

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

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

Sample to search: Lasik -->, Nosebleed -->, Cancer -->

  • Select MeSH from the search drop down menu (rather than PubMed).
  • Find the controlled vocabulary term.
  • Select the term with a check mark.
  • Add the term to your search by going to the "Send to" drop down box and selecting the action you want e.g. "Search box with AND".
  • Click "Search PubMed" button.

Library Instructor

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

24/7 Chat

UC Merced Library Links

Reference Materials

Visit Databases & Articles -- >Reference

Look for collections

e.g. Oxford Reference Online


e.g. Credo Reference


Use these search tools to find background information or definitions on a topic.

e.g. MedLine Plus (Consumer Health), includes drug & supplement information. Site Map for MedLine Plus.