BIOL 1100

Search Strategies & Skills

Mapping Your Topic

Constructing a Search Statement

Search Tips: Boolean Operators and More


Finding Articles in Odum Library

Databases are the best way to search for research articles on your topic.


    Evaluating Your Sources

    What is a primary research article? 

    A primary research article reports on the original research and findings of the authors. Primary research articles have the following sections:

    Introduction/Literature Review

    What is a secondary research article?

    A secondary research article reviews, summarizes, and discusses topics of interest. The research is not original, rather the authors look at other existing research articles on the topic. Secondary articles are useful for learning about a topic of interest and gaining a better understanding at the overall scope or limitations of the research on that topic.

    What is a peer-reviewed journal?

    VSU Peer Review Guide

    Some databases allow you to limit your search to Peer Reviewed or Refereed articles. Often, you can click on the Journal title and get information about the journal in a database, including if it is peer-reviewed.

    You can also check to see if a journal is peer-reviewed using Ulrich’s, a directory of all journals, magazines, news, and any other periodically-released resource. Type the journal title in the search box (leave off A, The, An, etc. at the start of the tile) and either hit "Enter" or click on the search button (green magnifying glass).

    Find your title in the search results and click on it to see the record. Look for “Refereed” and “Yes.” If you do not see “Refereed” in the Basic Description column, it is not. Refereed is the same as peer-reviewed.

    Evaluating Journal Articles

    Scholarly Journals vs. Trade Magazines vs. Popular Magazines

    Locating bound & current print journals in Odum Library

    Bound periodicals are located on the 1st floor of Odum Library. Current periodicals are located on the 1st floor of Odum Library.  Don't forget to lift up the shelf if you are looking for previous months' issues.

     Use ILL- Odum Express to request articles, or books, not owned by Odum Library.

    Finding Books in Odum Library

    Search GIL-Find for books, theses, dissertations & government documents.

    GIL-Find Tutorial

    • Demonstrates searching for books in the online catalog

      • When you find a book in the online catalog, note the location and the complete call number. Odum Library uses Library of Congress call numbers.

      Requesting Books & Articles not Available at Odum Library

      GIL Express is a service that allows you to borrow items as available from University System of Georgia (USG) Libraries through placing an online request in the GIL Universal Catalog or on site when visiting one of the USG libraries.

      Interlibrary Loan (ILL) allows you to request books and articles that Odum Library does not have.

        Careers in Biology

        Occupational Outlook Handbook

        Search GIL-Find@VSU for books in Odum Library on Biology -- Vocational Guidance:

        • Click on GIL-Find@VSU

        • Type Biology -- Vocational Guidance in the search box

        • Select Subject from the drop menu

        • Click the Find button

        Asking for Help

        Have a Question? Need Help? Asking a librarian is easy with Live Chat!

        Live Chat:

        • Chat with, text, or call a VSU Librarian.
        • Email us your questions after hours.
        • Schedule an In-Depth research Appointment with a librarian


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