It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
A quick tutorial on reading and understanding a scientific paper, created and shared by Dr. Jennifer Raff, a research fellow in Anthropology at the University of Texas-Austin.
Find and Use Databases
When looking for articles on your topic, the best way to start is to search within article databases. The Library has access to dozens of databases, which in turn index thousands of periodicals. Many, but not all, contain the full-text of articles.
Once in a database, start with a KEYWORD search using words relevant to your topic. When you see an article that looks interesting, click on the title to see the complete citation. If there are SUBJECT TERMS or DESCRIPTORS, click on those that seem related to your topic to get other articles on the subject.
Not all databases have the full-text of articles. Some only provide citations and abstracts. Use the Look for full text with LinkSource icon to see if the full-text of the article is available in another database.
If the Library doesn't have access to a journal, you can obtain the article through interlibrary loan.
Almost all Library databases can be accessed from off-campus. The easiest way to do this is to use links from the Library website. You will then be prompted for your Centre ID and password to authenticate yourself as an authorized user.
Good Places to Start-General/Multidisciplinary Databases
Provides electronic access to back runs of important scholarly journals. JSTOR does not include current issues of journals; the most recently published issue of any current journal will not appear until 1-5 years after the publishing date. Includes over 70 journals in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Provides full-text and abstracts to over 2,500 journals published by Elsevier and its affiliates. ScienceDirect includes extensive coverage in science, engineering and medicine, plus many core journals in business, social sciences and humanities.
Citations to materials acquired by the National Agricultural Library and cooperating institutions. Provides worldwide coverage of the agricultural literature, including economics, engineering, home economics, animal science, human nutrition, entomology, plant diseases, rural sociology, forestry, and veterinary medicine.
Materials on the human impact on the environment. Sources include scholarly, governmental, and general interest articles and books. It represents research from fields such as agriculture, education, law, health, and technology. Topics covered include global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
Access to botanical and other resources from around the world including: more than 600,000 plant type specimens; over 175,000 scientific research articles, and more than 20,000 paintings, photographs, drawings, and other images.
Nature is a weekly international journal publishing news articles and peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology. It is now available as an online resource, with full-text access to the previous four years of subscription material. To access the full text of articles more than four years old, print copies of those journals are available in Bound Periodicals and Storage.
Science is a peer-reviewed journal that offers scientific news and commentary, along with original research. Our online subscription provides access to the Science magazine issues from 1997-present. Ask a librarian for older issues, which Centre stores in print format.