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Searching Science Direct

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Science Direct is a scholarly article database that helps you to discover data, research, and review articles in science, chemistry, earth science, biology and other disciplines.

You can search Science Direct on campus or from off-campus with a COD library card.

Finding Articles by Topic

  1. Try typing your search terms onto the first search line. Remember that you'll want to put together a narrow search. (i.e. rather than searching inflammation, search inflammation AND low fat diet in order to look at targeted articles that can help you to fully understand a topic.
  2. You'll also want to select specific types of articles. I recommend Review articles and Research Articles. If you need specific data, you can also select Data articles. (See below)

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Hit search, and then look at the articles that you have found. Are there any titles that look interesting? If so, follow up by clicking "Abstract" right below the initial citation.
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This will open a paragraph-long summary of the article, including (in most research articles) the focus, experimental design, and results. It will help you to decide if you need to read the longer article.

Notice, too, that your article may suggest different keywords or a slightly different focus than your original search. For example, using the article highlighted above, I changed my search to "low-grade inflammation" AND low fat diet. Want to change up your search? Notice the "advanced search" option right below the search box at the top of the screen. You'll want to click on this link to make sure that you're still getting research articles and review articles.

Need help figuring out how to narrow your topic?
Try searching in one of our reference databases such as Gale Virtual Reference Library (all sciences), Knovel (engineering), CQ Researcher (current events), or even Science Daily (see recent noteworthy developments in the field).

Finding Articles in Full Text

Now that you've found some helpful articles for your project, you'll want to find the full text of those articles so that you can read them. Notice that as you look at the articles on the screen, you'll see green dots and white dots. A green dot will indicate that the article you want is in full text in Science Direct. Click on the PDF link below the article information and download the article.
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If you see a white dot next to your article with the words "Abstract Only," you'll want to search our library holdings to see if we have the information you need anywhere else. Start by opening a new tab in your browser and heading to Journal Locator.

You'll want to put the journal title of the article into the search box. (See below)
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See a result in our catalog or a database with the right dates? If so, click the link and search for your article by the article title. No results that are helpful? Fill out this form to request the article (for free) from another library.

Questions? Contact me using the information to the right.

Finding Data

You can also search Science Direct for articles with extensive data. See the image below for help searching:

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Remember that when you're looking for scientific data, you'll want to look at any charts, tables, or graphs in the article itself. You'll also want to look for the words "supplemental data" in the article (or in the database record): often, scientists will post data related to the article on a website.

Citing articles in Science Direct

Need help citing articles found in Science Direct? Check out the citing sources guide linked on this page.