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BIOL 1221: Molecules to Humankind: Search for articles

Recommended databases for this class

Government information sources

Interested in more websites from the National Institute of Health or the National Library of Medicine?

Narrow your Google search to a specific domain or website by doing a site search:

  • "healthy aging" site:gov (searches all U.S. government websites)
  • "healthy aging" (searches some of the government websites for the state of Colorado).
  • "healthy aging" (searches the rest of the government websites for the state of Colorado).


The ABCs of Database Searching

A. Break your topic down into the main ideas, or keywords. Then combine your keywords into a search query:

Link main ideas together with AND to get fewer search results:

aging AND brain

Link related terms together with OR to get more search results:

healthy OR normal

B. Use quotation marks " " to search words as a phrase:

Searching “healthy aging” excludes articles about healthy eating or rapid aging.

BE AWARE of what your quotation marks are excluding -- searching "healthy aging" excludes articles that talk about aging in a healthy manner.

C. Use an asterisk * to search for multiple word endings:

health* = health OR healthy OR healthier OR healthiest, etc.

What's an article database?

An article database allows you to search for articles on a particular topic.

Article databases differ by:

Subjects included:
Some databases index articles from a specific discipline, such as forestry or medicine, while other databases index articles from many different disciplines.
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Document & publication type:
Some databases focus on indexing one type of document, such as scholarly research articles or popular news articles. Other databases index a mix of publications types.
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Dates included:
Some databases index articles published several hundred years ago up to the present, while others only index recently published articles.

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