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BSC 1010C (Matthews) Finding Scientific Articles: Articles

This guide will help students in Matthews' BSC 1010C class identify and find scientific articles in library databases.

Identifying Scientific Articles/ Studies

How can I tell if an article/study is scientific?

  • Check the sourceScientific articles are usually found in scholarly journals, not magazines or newspapers. Journals like Genetics and Animal Biology both publish studies that are empirical. 
  • Read the abstract (summary): If it mentions any study, questionnaires, participants, or measurements that the author conducted, it is scientific.
  • Format: Many scientific articles are broken down into sections, such as "Methodology", "Results", and "Conclusion". Finding these or similar headings in an article is a good indication that it involves a study or experiment.
  • Length: Empirical articles are usually very lengthy, at least 5 pages.
  • References: Does the article have references listed at the end? Scholarly researchers have to cite their sources, just like you!


Academic Search Complete is a multi-disciplinary database with access to articles from many different disciplines such as Health and Science.


GreenFILE offers a unique perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the environment. 


MEDLINE with Full Text contains authoritative information from over 4,000 current biomedical journals.


Image result for academic onefile

Academic OneFile provides peer-reviewed, full-text articles from leading journals and reference sources. Includes coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, and other subjects.


JSTOR is a database that houses articles in the sciences and social sciences. When using this database, be sure to choose "Advanced Search" and use the check boxes to mark all biology disciplines fitting your search.


TIP: When searching these databases, try searching your term as well as the words experiment, empirical, or study to ensure that your results are empirical in nature.

Subject Guide

Cathleen Bota's picture
Cathleen Bota
West Campus Library (2nd Floor)