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Entry #7 Using  
Science Review Articles
Librarian's Tips

One of the things to keep in mind for this "Entry #7" assignment is that you need to find a review article from a journal such as Annual Review of Microbiology, Annual Review of Physiology, Annual Review of Genetics, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, or JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association.

A review paper (article) provides important background reading. Review articles give some historical perspective, summarize the contributions of influential researchers, and provide a sense of the important scientific questions being addressed.

You can use FirstSearch's MEDLINE index/database to find "review" articles OR you can use PubMed. You are able to program MEDLINE and PubMed to retrieve just review articles from specific journals.

The PubMed tutorial  can show you how to program PubMed in order to find full-text review articles.



Step 1: You need to go to FirstSearch.

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


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 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 journal that you want to search. For this example, we will search New England Journal of Medicine journal.
  • You must tell the computer (FirstSearch) that New England Journal of Medicine is the Source/journal that you want to search. The default word in the white box next to where we typed "New England Journal of Medicine" 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." Often, "Source" works better.
  • The following image shows what the search boxes should look like IF you are using the MEDLINE index to search for stem cells in the source/journal by the name of New England Journal of Medicine.

FOR FINDING REVIEW ARTICLES, you need to do ONE more thing before clicking on the "Search" button.

Step 3:

  • Below the search boxes, look for "Article Type Phrase."
  • Click on the down arrow in the "Article Type Phrase" box.
  • Scroll down the list to click (choose) the word "Review."


Step 4:

This is what the search boxes should look like if you want to find a review article about stem cells in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Remember to change "Rank" to "Date" so that the more recent citations are presented at the top of the list.

Do NOT choose the "Full-text option. This option does NOT work within FirstSearch.

Click on the "Search" button and the computer will start the search.


Step 5:

  • MEDLINE will present you with a list of citations. Click on the title of the article to see if an abstract (summary) of the article is present for you to view.


Step 6:

  • When you click on the title, you will be presented with a record of the article. If you scroll down the record, you will see "Article Type" and to the side of "Article Type" should be the word "Review." This means that the article should be a "review" article. Only by reviewing the actual article can you be sure.


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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