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CH 496-499: Undergraduate Research

How to do a literature search and write a literature review for use in Ch 496, 497, 498, and 499.

Finding Articles for a Literature Review

When you need to include every article written on a topic for your literature review, there is no single place to look to make sure you've found everything. Scopus and Web of Science track how much papers are cited, and it is by this citation analysis that you can get a sense of what people have written and what, based on the citations, are considered foundational papers in the field. You should do your search in both to make sure you're catching everything, as, while there is a fair amount of overlap, they draw from different collections of publications.

SciFinder is also useful as a means of finding articles based on subjects in biology and chemistry because it has different search capabilities than Scopus and Web of Science. Rather than emphasizing citation analysis, SciFinder instead gives you the option to search for research based on the materials used. Look for "Link to Other Sources" to find the full-text of the articles you want to read, and create a "Keep Me Posted" alert to get notifications when new research on your topic is published.

Databases by Subject: Biology and Chemistry

You can start by searching OneSearch and finding a broad selection of articles to which we have access, or you can go directly to one of these databases for a more focused search.

Broad-Topic Databases

Not sure where to start? Try one of these. They offer great subject coverage within the field of Biology.

Publisher Databases

Look here for access to journals provided by the journal publishers. Searching a publisher database can be more useful than one of the broader-topic databases if you know that the subject you're looking for is a major focus for a particular publisher, as these databases will have current coverage of some journals we may only have with an embargo in other databases.

Open Access Subject Repositories

Open Access Databases

There are some great resources out there that are not behind subscription paywalls, especially those that collect government-funded research. You can use these wherever you are, even after you graduate Stevens.

U.S. Government Agencies

International Agency

Open Access Journals