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Stony Brook University

AP Biology: Searching the scientific literature

Resources for AP Biology Library Session

How to search scientific literature.

1.  Decide what information you need to locate.  ie. property, dataset, journal article, review article, book, structure, etc.

2.  Design a search strategy.

  • Write down the terms you will use in your search.
  • Select the resources you will search
  • Narrow or broaden the search as necessary

3.  Selecting resources for your search.

  • Journal articles- use databases
  • Property data- look at handbooks such as the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
  • Data sets- search appropriate data bank
  • Books- search the library catalog

4.  Evaluate and synthesize the content.

  • You may need to use a scientific dictionary or read more about a procedure, term, etc. 

5.  Incorporate information into your paper and cite appropriately.


Scholarly publishing and peer review

Watch this video to learn about the peer review process and scholarly publishing.