Introduction to Scientific and Academic Writing
Contact your librarian:
Schedule a research consultation
For help with writing, be sure to check out the Writing Center, too!
- Starting Points: Articles & More
- Articles: By Subject
- Find Full Text
Chinook is the library's catalog. You can use it to find books, ebooks, databases to search, and more.
From the library's main page, look for the 'Find' menu in the upper left corner and click the first option, Articles, to get to the Find Articles page. You'll see six buttons to search broad subject areas, and if you scroll down, can browse all our databases by subject area.
Good general starting points for scientific research include:
- Academic Search Premier
This multi-disciplinary database has good coverage of the sciences, especially of reputable popular science content.
- Web of Science or Web of Knowledge
Web of Science indexes the top tier journals (highest impact)in many fields, so it is an ideal starting point for scientific scholarly research.
- ProQuest Central
Content coverage includes scholarly and popular articles on the life sciences, environmental and aquatic sciences, computer sciences, materials science and engineering, aerospace, social sciences, and humanities. Especially strong newspaper coverage.
- Google Scholar
Broadly searches the scholarly literature, including full text of articles. Great for finding specific materials and methods.
You'll also want to look at article databases that match your subject. Below you'll find a few that may be especially helpful, but you'll find even more arranged by subject at find articles and more.
- ProQuest Biological Science Collection
Covers all aspects of biology, from animal behavior to ecology to molecular biology
- Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management
A database specializing in scholarly articles on all aspects of tthe environment.
- Engineering Village Two
1884 to present. All aspects of engineering including Biotechnology.
Geosciences literature, including geology, geography, pollution, and water research.
All aspects of psychology including medicine and psychiatry.
Key medical and life science database from the National Institute of Health. Covers back to 1967.
This is one of the best databases for sports and exercise science & integrative physiology.
Are you off campus?
As long as you access journal articles and databases from links on the library's webpages, you should be able to access our resources from anywhere. Just log in when you're prompted for you Identikey and password. For more information about how this works, check out our off-campus access page.
Finding Articles that CU has access to:
- If you're in a database, look for the 'Find it at CU' logo button. Then click the button, and a new page will open, letting you know if we have the article online or in print. If we don't have it online, there is a direct link to the interlibrary loan and scan request form.
- If you have an article citation from a book or paper, enter the citation details into the Article Finder. Or simply search the title of the journal in Chinook, check whether we have the dates you need, and keep browsing down to the article you'd like.
- PASCAL (CU’s off-site storage facility in Denver)
If you're looking for a journal articles in print and it's in PASCAL, we'll scan and send the article to you on 24 hour turn around. Scanned copies should be under 50 pages.
Finding Articles CU doesn't have access to:
This is our interlibrary loan service, and it's free to you. When you request an article, we request it from another library, and the PDFs of articles are sent to your email address. It takes a few days, but can take as little as 24 hours.
Find Books not owned by CU:
This is your best first choice for borrowing books CU doesn't own. Prospector requests usually arrive in 3-5 days, because they come from a coalition of Colorado & Wyoming libraries that have agreed to share materials.
Can be used to request books, too. Books, dissertations, etc. are sent at no cost to you in about 2 weeks or less.
What do I need to cite?!
The library's How do I Cite page is a good place to start. It gives general guidelines for when to cite.
Isn't there something electronic that will make citing easier?
The library supports several tools that will help you manage your literature research, cite, and create bibliographies really efficiently.
- RefWorks: an online cloud-based tool to create personalized folders of citations from which you can create bibliographies & format papers in hundreds of different citation styles in seconds. Learn more about RefWorks.
- RefWorks is especially good at collecting citations from our databases, butPubMed can be an exception. Import citations from PubMed or try RefGrab-It with PubMed
No matter what tool you use, always check with your instructor about which citation style they want you to use!