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BIOL Course Guide: Getting Started

BIOL Course Guide

The purpose of this course guide is to provide Biology (BIOL) students with an explanation of the research process, which should be used to find information for class assignments and reports. After reviewing this course guide, students will have a better understanding how to:

  • determine information need and formulate a research question
  • search library databases using keywords and Boolean operators to find scholarly articles
  • apply theories of evaluating sources to differentiate quality and questionable sources
  • recognize issues of plagiarism and how to use information ethically by citing in APA

Library Website

Subject Guides

The library's subject guides for the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography (HCNSOprovide information about discipline-specific resources that are available, including selected databases, journals, books, and websites. 

Types of Information

  • books (print & electronic)
  • reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.)
  • periodicals (magazines, newspapers, journals, etc.)
  • websites

When researching a topic, you need to investigate a variety of sources to gather information.

Look at the image below for a "big picture" overview on how information sources are created and shared.

The Scientific Publication Cycle / Information Cycle: How and When Information Transpires

Adapted from the University of Washington Libraries and the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, vol 26, Marcel Dekker, 1979.

More on the information cycle...