How to Read a Scientific ArticleAn excellent overview of how to read an article - includes a template for taking notes.
By Mary Purugganan, Ph.D. and Jan Hewitt, Ph.D. of Rice University
Searching for Articles
There are two keys to successful searching:
1. Using the right words
2. Using the right tool (database).
The Right Words
When searching for articles in a database, you will need to identify a number of keyword search terms to use based on your topic.
If your topic was impact of breastfeeding on maternal and child health, the following keyword search terms would be useful:
Using the * at the end of the root word (for example, child*) will tell the database to find the word, the plural form, and any related words with different suffixes (e.g, child, children)
Next, you need to combine these search terms with connectors to create a search statement to use in the database. You will want to create several different search statements to use for searching.
Here are some search statement examples:
breastfeed* AND health AND child*
(impact* OR effect*) AND breastfeed* AND health
TIP You won’t want to enter a phrase (such as 'how breastfeeding affects the health of the child') in the search box of the database or index, because the database will not be able to understand it and you won't get any results. Remember to pick out the important words for your topic and use AND/OR to combine them into a search statement.
The Right Tool
It is equally important to use the right database to search for articles. The databases listed below are appropriate for searching for articles for the scientific paper assignment. Make sure you select the database that is most appropriate for your topic, and keep in mind that you may need to use more than one database to find articles.
PubMed comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
CAB Abstracts provides research information on agriculture and related applied life sciences, including Agriculture, Animal Health, Forestry, Human Health and Nutrition, and Natural Resources Management. Global Health from CABI is the definitive international public health database.
Google Scholar allows you to simultaneously search scholarly content across many disciplines, databases, and information sources. Results can include books, articles, chapters, conference proceedings, and more. Tips on using Google Scholar are available here.
Citing Your Sources
Purdue OWL APA Formatting and Style GuideAPA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 7th edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page.