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BIOL 105: Attributes of Living Systems

Resource for Definitions & Terms

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Tomlinson Library has registered our journal holdings with Google Scholar.  After setting up full text linking for CMU (see tab above), you can search by title, and Google Scholar will link you to the full text of articles available through our databases.

Tell Google Scholar you’re affiliated with Colorado Mesa and you’ll be linked to resources in our databases:

  1. To access Google Scholar, click on the Google Scholar link logo above
  2. Click on the Settings link from the menu at the top of the page
  3. Select Library links from the left-hand menu 
  4. Type “Colorado Mesa University” in the Show library access links box 
  5. Check the box next to Colorado Mesa University—Full-text available
  6. Click Save to save this setting

Google Scholar can be used to search on a topic, but it is especially effective for tracking down a specific article.  If the article is available in full text through the library databases, a link will be provided to the full text.  

Start your research with these databases:

Search Tips

Make a list of keywords for your search topic. Include:

  • Scientific names
  • Common names 
  • Higher classification of a species (e.g., class or family)
  • Synonyms
  • Similar organisms you can use as a comparison
  • Methods / equipment 
  • Connection words: impact, adapt, influence

Google or Wikipedia can be a great resource when looking for keywords!

Do a subject search paired with a keyword search:

search in Biological Abstracts for subject "fermentation" and keyword "rice wine"

You can also add connection words, separated by "or:"

image of search in Biological Abstracts for keyword fermentation, keyword rice wine, and keywords "process or procedure or steps"

Click on linked keywords, subjects and other articles in the record and introduction of a source. This will bring you to other articles that share these keywords.

screenshot of subject data of an article, including major concepts, super taxa, taxa notes, organisms, and geographic information

Note: in Science Direct, highlight a term to search the database for that term.

screenshot of term highlighted in science direct and a search box reading "search" popping up from the highlighted word

A peer-reviewed article has been examined by other experts in the field to make sure the research is scientifically sound. Original research published in a peer-reviewed journal will be considered peer reviewed; you can find out if a journal is peer reviewed by looking at the journal's websiteMany databases will have a "peer reviewed" filter that you can apply to your search results:

screenshot of filters from Biological Abstracts with a red arrow pointing to "peer reviewed" filter

The majority of articles found in the ScienceDirect database are peer reviewed. Occasionally there are pieces in a peer reviewed journal that are not technically peer reviewed research articles, such as book reviews or literature reviews. However, if it is a research article (i.e., if it's original research) in a peer reviewed journal, then the article would be considered peer reviewed.

Google Scholar can be a great resource for accessing scientific research. Go to and enter your keywords. Use an advanced search to be more specific about which phrases you'd like included in your search.

screenshot of a Google scholar search result with a red arrow from the word cite pointing towards: "Click here to generation citation" and a red arrow pointing from related articles to "click here to generate other articles related to this topic."