Your instructor may direct you to specific search resources or databases, but the two search resources most commonly used to find journal articles for biology courses are Google Scholar ( and, for biomedical studies, Pub Med (
Effective use of these resources will require some judicious use of search terms.
If you do your literature search through one of the links on the libguide (e.g.
the Google Scholar link on the databases page the articles freely available through the MCLA databases should appear as free full text in your search.
Since it can take some time to find, read and decide if you can use references, it is critical that these sources be identified well in advance of the due date for your lab report.
A simple google search is unlikely to provide you with the references that you will need as you prepare your lab report.Your instructor has most likely provided you with information about the number and/or types of sources that should be cited in your lab report.For more information about finding the references used in a lab report, see Section B below.Other examples of secondary references include textbooks, commentaries and magazine articles.A lab report will typically require use of at least one secondary reference in the Introduction.This will allow time for you to set it aside and review it with fresh eyes, and to hand it to friends and classmates so they can check for errors.Confirm that all of the required components listed in your directions are addressed in your lab report!For more information about writing style, see Section C.For detailed descriptions of the standard components of a lab report, see Section D. Finish your lab report at least a few days early whenever possible.review articles or commentaries in addition to original research), you cannot assume that all articles published in journals will qualify as primary references.Since scientists must be able to reproduce each other’s work, a primary reference Sometimes it will be obvious from an abstract that an article contains a description of original research (the research methods may be summarized); at other times you will not realize until you look at the full text if you have a primary reference or a secondary reference.