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BIO 490: Biology Seminar

Basic Searching

Here are some key points to consider when starting:

Screenshot of Web of Science basic search
  1. This shows which database you are searching. The Web of Science Core Collection includes Science Citation Index, which you can see is selected under "More settings."
  2. Enter your keywords. You can use "quotation marks" around your terms to search for an exact phrase.
  3. This drop-down menu indicates which field you are searching. Topic, the default option, searches titles, abstracts, and author-supplied keywords.
  4. Use the Timespan drop-down to limit your results to a particular date range, such as "Last 5 years."

Narrowing Results

If there are a lot of results for your search, try using the “Refine Results” options on the left side of the results page. Some of the most useful options are:

  1. Search within results for additional terms.
  2. Limit results based on Web of Science Categories or Major Concepts, such as Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Food Science & Technology, Genetics & Heredity, Infection Diseases, or Veterinary Sciences.
  3. Narrow by Document Types. Limiting to just Articles is most appropriate for many assignments. Some other types, like book reviews and letters, do not go through the peer review process. Reviews are studies of previously published research that may be useful in some cases, though they are not generally considered original or empirical research because they do not present new information on a subject.
Web of Science Refine Results column
Web of Science Refine Results column, continued

Search Tips (Video)