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Tutorial to help you search efficiently: Creating an effective search strategy

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Use meaningful keywords to find the best sources
  • Apply search strategies like AND and OR to connect keywords

Tutorial to help you search efficiently: How to read and comprehend scientific research articles

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Read scientific research articles
  • Find the main points of articles
  • Engage with articles by taking effective notes

Other Resources

Handbooks and Manuals

Data Resources


What is a citation manager?

A citation manager is a software tool used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to:

  • import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources,
  • export your citations into Word documents or other types of publications,
  • format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles, and
  • include your own notes.

Choosing a citation manager

Tutorial: What is a citation manager and when to use one

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Identify the features of citation managers
  • Recognize when citation managers are important to use

Citation managers

  Zotero Mendeley EndNote X9 EndNote Basic
Cost Free Free Price options Free
Styles Many citation styles Many citation styles Many citation styles Fewer citation styles
Plug-ins Microsoft Word Microsoft Word Microsoft Word Microsoft Word
Access Desktop/Web Desktop/Web Desktop/Web Web
Storage 300MB free 2GB free Unlimited 2GB free
PDF reader no yes yes no
Editor integration Word, Google Docs Word Word Word
Sharing Unlimited Limited Unlimited Limited
Support Zotero support Mendeley support EndNote X9 support EndNote Basic support

Writing Resources

Presentation Practice & Recording

Image Resources

Types of Articles

Literature databases usually index several kinds of scholarly writing. It's important to be familiar with them so that you choose the correct type of article for your assignments. Different databases may call them different things; more about that elsewhere in this guide.

  • Original Research Article
    This is the standard peer-reviewed "journal article" that reports on an actual experiment performed, and presents the results of those experiments. These articles generally contain the following clearly-defined sections: Background/Introduction, Experimental/Methods, Results/Discussion, Conclusion. If what you are reading doesn't contain all of those sections, it probably isn't an Original Research Article.

  • Review Article
    Reviews present summaries and critiques of OTHER work that has been done on a topic, but it does NOT present original experimental results. It does not follow the format of an Original Research Article, and may or may not be peer-reviewed.

  • News/Opinion/Editorial Article
    These are popular in trade publications, such as Chemical & Engineering News, and also in scholarly journals such as Science and Nature. They are usually good as overviews of a particular research experiment, but don't give the full scope of the work, and are NOT peer-reviewed. Usually, the Original Research Article is referenced somewhere in the text.

  • Book or Book Chapter
    After ideas and experiments have been established in the open literature for a while, work may be collected and published in a book. Edited books usually contain several chapters dealing with different aspects of a topic. The editor of the book is usually a prominent researcher in the field, and invites other researchers to contribute chapters. Edited book chapters are more similar to Review Articles than Original Research Articles.

  • Thesis / Dissertation
    These are written in completion of a Master's or Doctorate degree. Sometimes, thesis chapters may appear in peer-reviewed journals as independent articles. They are not always easily available.

  • Patent
    Patents are legal documents that protect the intellectual property of the inventor. It gives the inventor the exclusive right to use their invention for a limited amount of time in exchange for making the idea publicly available (as a patent).

From CalTech Bi/BE 24 LibGuide

Last Updated: Jun 24, 2020 10:46 AM