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BIO 480: Cancer and the Environment

Tips for Reading Scientific Articles

Apply Date Limits

All of your articles must be published in the past 10 years, and at least one of your articles must be published in the last 3 years.

Don't waste your time looking through articles that don't fit within that range! In each database there is an option for "Limits" and you can choose a date limit very easily.

Boolean Phrase Searching

Using the words AND, OR, NOT while you search will retrieve preferred results. Each of those three words serve a different purpose.

  • AND–Narrows your search (Use between your concepts)
  • OR–Broadens your search (Use between synonyms)
  • NOT–Tells the search engine to only return results without this word

For example, let's say you need to find an article about dragonfly migration. You would definitely include dragonfly AND migration in your search. But what other word could bring you articles on dragonflies? Odonata! And what other word mean migration? Movement!

Therefore, your search phrase could be:

(Dragonfly OR Odonata) AND (Migration OR Movement)

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