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Scientific articles published in scholarly journals are highly focussed and written by scholars for other scholars and experts in the field. They either report on primary research done by the scientists themselves, or provide a review and evaluation of the research in a given area (systematic review or meta-analysis).

Below are the research databases we recommend for starting your scientific article search.

Remember: It's good research strategy to do your searches in MORE THAN ONE database.

To browse the more than 200 databases the library subscribes to, please visit our Research database page.

APS Plant Image Database

Peer-reviewed images and factsheets covering a wide range of plant diseases and pests. You are permitted to use these images and factsheets in your personal and educational work, with full citation.

A library database provides access to the contents of thousands of scholarly journals, sometimes covering a particular discipline or sometimes multi-disciplinary in scope, meaning they may cover many subject areas.

Better than a Google search, databases come with tools that help you refine your search to get more relevant results, as well as links to related articles. In most cases, you can be confident that the articles you find will be credible sources to incorporate into your writing.

Here is an introduction to searching Academic Search Complete, one of the library's largest, multi-disciplinary databases. Although the interface is somewhat different than the "Best bets" listed on the tab to the left, the method of searching and the tools will be similar.

Key features of most databases:

  • ability to filter results by date
  • ability to filter results by content or publication type, ie, journal article, book, reference
  • ability to narrow results by subject or discipline
  • links to related articles
  • links to articles that "cite" the one in your result list

Add Google Scholar to your suite of research tools. Google Scholar is a search engine that covers much of the scholarly, peer reviewed literature from academic publishers, plus conferences, theses and dissertations, abstracts and more. Some of the content is available full text, and some will be citation-only. 

You can configure your settings to include links to articles available from Kwantlen Polytechnic Library subscription journals to avoid hitting publishers' paywalls. See the screenshot below.



Want a quick introduction to searching Google Scholar, including Advanced Search? Thanks to the University of Alabama Libraries for this video.

Don't forget about Open Access journals. These are scholarly, peer reviewed journals available for free (they do not require a KPU login). 

For more information about Open Access journals, please visit the Open Access Publishing page on our Research, Scholarship, and Publishing at KPU guide. 

Here are some of the important Open Access journal collections for Biology. Use the links below, or simply do a Google search for them. Keep these in mind for when you are no longer affiliated with KPU, but want access to quality, scientific literature.