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Animal Protocols Research   Tags: animal science, biology, microbiology, psychology, subject_guide  

Resources for conducting your literature review
Last Updated: Aug 19, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Brainstorming search terms

Experiment with your search terms, i.e., try searching synonyms or alternative ways to express a concept.  You also might include the terms "in vitro" and/or  "animal model" with terms specific to your research.  Also, rather than entering your all of your search terms in one search box as a statement or question, parse out the pieces of your research question into two or more search boxes and connect with an appropriate Boolean operator:  AND, OR, NOT (sometimes AND NOT used instead of just NOT) as appropriate.

Sample searches: 

1) in vitro AND animal model and (heart OR cardiac OR cardiovascular)

2) animal model AND eating disorder*AND NOT rats (if you're seeking studies on other animals, but not rats)

3) animal model AND stress AND long term memory

4) animal alternatives testing AND rats AND "transient global ischemia"


Once you find relevant citations to articles, look at the search terms/subject headings assigned to those articles and try subsequent searches with various combinations of relevant search terms.


Use the HELP feature in any database if you're wondering if you're searching it effectively!


Use EndNoteWeb to organize the citations that you gather in your research.  Create a free account and log in from MSU campus at least once a year to maintain access.

Databases for conducting lit reviews

  • Web of Science (includes Web of Science Core Collection, Medline, Biological Abs & Zoological Record)
    Web of Science allows you to search multiple relevant databases at one time.
  • Sciverse - Search full text of Materials and Methods sections
    Use to find relevant methods by searching only in the Materials and Methods section of Elsevier full text articles.
  • PubMED
    Open access version of MEDLINE and OLDMEDLINE. When searching PubMed off campus, you may need to search the library's JOURNALS BY TITLE database to see if the library subscribes to the articles you need.
  • PsycInfo
    PsycInfo provides access to the international literature in psychology and related behavioral and social sciences.
  • Dissertations & Theses
    Explore dissertations & theses done at MSU and other institutions.
  • CAB Direct
    International coverage of agriculture, food, and nutrition.
  • Agricola
    USDA publications, agriculture, and nutrition.
  • LexisNexis database- for law-related information
    Use this database to look up articles on legal issues pertaining to animal research, etc.
  • AltBib: alternatives to Animal Testing (Nat'l Lib of Medicine)
    Resources on Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrates in Biomedical Research and Testing.
  • NTIS
    NTIS a free bibliographic database compiled by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). It is a distinguished resource for accessing the latest research sponsored by the United States and some international governments.
  • ToxNet
    TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) is a group of databases covering chemicals and drugs, diseases and the environment, environmental health, occupational safety and health, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and toxicology. It is managed by the Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) in the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
  • Other Relevant Specialized Databases & more!
    See Mount Sinai Library's extensive list of potentially relevant databases to search in order to do an exhaustive search of your topic. Many are open web sources and some are databases listed above.
  • MSU Library's list of other Research Databases
    Find other potential databases for your lit review: BioOne Indexes & Abstracts, Fish & Fisheries Worldwide, Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide, and many more.

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Subject Guide

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Leila Sterman

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