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Entry #6 Using Reputable 
Science Periodical Articles
Librarian's Tips


One of the things to keep in mind for this "Entry #6" assignment is that you need to find a standard article or editorial from a reputable science journal such as Science, Nature, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, or JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association. You are NOT looking for a research article or case study.

It may help you to take a look at one explanation of the difference between a standard article and an article based on scholarly original research.

Science and Nature journals seem to have more standard articles than original research articles. Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA will have standard articles but they seem to have quite a few more research articles than Science and Nature.

FirstSearch's Medline index/database, will allow you to ask specifically for "editorials." This is explained farther down this page.

EBSCO's General Science Full Text will provide some standard articles.

InfoTrac will allow you to choose articles from journals such as Science and Nature.



Once you are in FirstSearch, you should see a list of indexes/databases. Scroll down the page to click on Medline.

Step 1: You need to open FirstSearch.


Step 2:

  • Make sure that you are searching the correct database, such as Medline.
  • Type your keywords (topic) in the box next to "Search for:"
  • Make sure the search box, next to the box where you typed your topic (stem cells), says "Keyword."
  • Within the box on the next line under your topic (stem cells), type in the title of the periodical that you want to search. For this example, we will search the journal, Science.
  • You must tell the computer (FirstSearch) that Science is the Source (journal) that you want to search. The default word in the white box next to where we typed "Science" will say "Keyword." You need to click on the down arrow within the box. You will be presented with a long list of options. Scroll down the list to click on "Source" OR "Source Phrase." You might need to try both words.
  • At the bottom of the search screen will be the term "Rank." It is important to click on the down arrow key so that you choose "Date." This will make the computer list the MOST RECENT articles at the top of the list of citations.
  • The following image shows what the search boxes should look like IF you are using the index Medline to search for articles about stem cells in the source (journal) by the name of Science.


Step 3: Click on the "Search" button and the computer will perform the search.


Step 4: In Medline, you can scroll through quite a few citations that have something to do with stem cells that are in the journal called Science.

  • If you click on the title of the article, you may be presented with an abstract (summary) of the article.
  • Almost none of the citations will give you the full-text from Science. However, Delta Library subscribes to the print form of Science. Once you find the citation that you want, go to the magazine and journal section of the library and select the correct issue of Science according to your citation.


Step 5:

If you do not find a "standard" article, this Entry #6 assignment allows you to use an editorial. Medline will allow you to ask for just editorials.

Below the search boxes, look for "Article Type Phrase."

"Article Type Phrase" will have its own search box. Click on the down arrow associated with this box in order to choose "Editorial" from the list.

When you click on the "Search" button with "Editorial" chosen, Medline will find just editorials within whichever journal that you asked Medline to search.



Step 6: InfoTrac

IF you do not find what you want within Medline or PubMed, you can use InfoTrac. Following are the steps that you need to take in order to find a standard article within InfoTrac published in journals such as Science, Nature, and Lancet.

You need to select InfoTrac and go to the search screen of InfoTrac.



Step 7:

Click on the "Continue" button. You need to get to another screen, so just click on "Continue."


Step 8:

There are a number of ways to search for information in InfoTrac, BUT using "Advanced Search" may be the easier way to search for this assignment.

Click on the "ADVANCED SEARCH" button.


Step 9:

You will be presented with a long web page. You will have to make some selections: 

Enter your topic (keywords) in the search box next to the box that is labeled "Keyword (ke)." For this example, we typed stem cells. We want InfoTrac to find articles with the word stem and the word cells somewhere within the article.


Most people want InfoTrac to retrieve entire articles, only. Some records within InfoTrac are only citations and abstracts (summaries) of the articles (not the entire article).

Click within the small white box labeled "to documents with full text" in order to receive full-text articles.


For this assignment, your instructor has suggested some publications that should contain standard articles. Nature, Science, and Lancet are examples of journals that will provide standard articles AND research studies.

You can program InfoTrac to find articles within a specific journal.

Type the title of the journal within the search box next to the label "by publication title." For this example, we are asking InfoTrac to find information in the journal, Nature.


Click on the "Search" button near the bottom of the page and InfoTrac will search for full-text articles within the journal named Nature that has the keywords of stem cells.


Step 10:

You will receive a long list of citations and abstracts (summaries). Click on the title of the article OR the link that says "full-text" and you will be presented with the full-text (entire) article. "PDF" is the scanned image of the entire article and is a popular option to click if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader program on your computer. Delta computers have this program on the computers.


Delta College - Library (A110)
1961 Delta Road
University Center, MI  48710
Phone:  989-686-9014
Fax:  989-686-4131

Last updated: January 2012

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