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LS252 Cell Biology Research Abstracts: Research Strategies

Help finding information for Research Abstracts topics: mitochondrial diseases, DNA replication, gene expression, enzyme activity, cell cycles, metabolism, and cell communication.

Research Abstracts

Research Abstracts: Summarize the research done on research questions. Find five sources that address the research question, and make a particular argument from those sources. Present the research question, methods used in finding the sources, summarize the argument, and indicate any further research that needs to be done. 

Topics:include:  mitochondrial diseases, DNA replication, gene expression, enzyme activity, cell cycles, metabolism, and cell communication.

Research Databases

Search Strategies

TMU Powell Library Catalog

Search TMU Powell Library Catalog

Search your topic in the Powell Library Catalog on the library Web site <> or with the search box above.

1.  To find actual scientific research studies on any topic, add the keyword "method" and add an asterisk at the end of it.  Like this:

      dna replication method*

  • The keyword "method" is a uniquely integral part of every scientific research article.  Therefore, using it as part of your search query will help to eliminate the articles that are not scientific research studies. 
  • The asterisk will command the search engine to look for the root word "method" and every variation thereafter, i.e. method, methods, methodologies, methodology.
  • A keyword search is the most profitable type of search for finding articles as many articles do not have associated subject headings. Simply typing in search terms without any metadata field commands will cause the search engine to default to the keyword field.  

2.  Limit the results list to Peer Reviewed

From the column on the left of the Results List, find the Content section and check "Peer Reviewed".  This will reduce the results list to only those articles that have been reviewed and approved by other scholars in the field and are therefore, considered the most scholarly of articles.  These will be the best research articles available to you.

3.  Further limit your results by date and language.  Again from the options in the left column, scroll down to Year and further down to Language.

 4.  If the results list is too large or too broad, you may find it expedient to focus the search by using the Subject metadata field command.:

su: to search the Subject Field  --Most periodical articles do not have subject headings in their records, so this may not be helpful --

FYI, here are a couple of others field commands that may prove useful:

ti: to search the Title Field
au: to search the Author Field
kw: to search Keywords in the whole record (author, title subject, table of contents, summary, abstract, etc.)  This is the default search.
pb: to search the Publisher Field
hm: to search MeSH headings: Medical Subject Headings.  MeSH is a controlled vocabulary used by the National Library of Medicine for indexing biomedical information.  It is very similar to the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Last updated July, 2018.

Help with Abstracts

Examples of abstracts are plentiful and easily found.  Simply using the Powell library Catalog or any of the the online Databases or Open Access journals will provide article abstracts. All peer reviewed scientific articles provide an abstract written by the author(s).  Reading a few of these will help anyone inexperienced with writing abstracts to gain a sense of what to include.  Here are some examples:

From the Powell Library Catalog:

From Alt HealthWatch:

From BioOne Open Source:

Last updated July, 2018.