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Mellon Mays Guide to Research

Some research basics to help you get started.

Research tips & tricks

Getting Started

For courses in the Life Sciences, you will likely have to search scientific literature for a research paper, lab project or scientific study. This guide is a good starting point to use databases and journals to find scientific literature. Starting research for a topic in the life sciences, as with all other topics, involves a review of research literature.

1. Select a Database: A great place to start looking for published research is to search a database such as PubMed or ScienceDirect. 

2. Pick Search Term: Select the main descriptive words for the topic you are searching for.

3. Refine Your Search: Adjust your search terms in order to to narrow or broaden your results as needed.

Another helpful resource is the UCLA Life Sciences Guide

Finding journal articles via databases

Some important databases in the Life Sciences. For additional resources, see Guides by Subject at left.

Life Science Librarians