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Science Resources


When you hear the word article, you may think of something written in a newspaper or magazine. When we talk about articles in university, we're usually referring to a formal piece of writing which describes new knowledge or ideas based on original research, analysis or interpretation. This type of article is similar in length to an essay or chapter in a book.

In the following citation, the article title is in bold:

Li, Y., Wang, Y., Lee, Y., Chen, H., Petri, A. N., & Cha, T. (2023). Teaching Data Science through Storytelling: Improving Undergraduate Data Literacy. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 48, 101311–.


A journal is a scholarly publication in a specific discipline that is published regularly throughout the year. It contains articles written by researchers and experts.

In the following citation, the journal title is in bold:

Li, Y., Wang, Y., Lee, Y., Chen, H., Petri, A. N., & Cha, T. (2023). Teaching Data Science through Storytelling: Improving Undergraduate Data Literacy. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 48, 101311–.

You can find out if the library subscribes to a journal in print or online, or if we have back issues, by searching for a title using the Journal Search

Results of a Journal Search highlighting online access.

Clicking anywhere in the box for this title brings you into the record where you can see more details on how to access this journal. Alternatively, clicking Online access will take you directly to the journal.

Full record View Online section with a link to the database.

If the library has physical copies of a journal the full record will show you where in the library they can be found, under the Get It section. In the below example the library has:

  • Volumes 52-73 in Bound Periodicals
  • Volumes 39-51 in Microfiche
  • Volumes 74 and on in Displayed Periodicals

Availability of print issues for a journal as found in the full record for a journal.

Peer review is a process in which a scholar's research is critically evaluated by other experts in that subject area before being published in a journal.

The terms scholarly and academic may also be used to refer to articles that go through the peer review process.

Many databases offer the option to search for peer-reviewed journal articles; we'll show you how to do this in the database searching sections, below.

A database is a searchable electronic collection of journals which contains citations, and sometimes the full text, of articles.

The following article was found in the database ScienceDirect:

Li, Y., Wang, Y., Lee, Y., Chen, H., Petri, A. N., & Cha, T. (2023). Teaching Data Science through Storytelling: Improving Undergraduate Data Literacy. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 48, 101311–.

Visit the list of databases for each area of study at Ambrose.

Using ScienceDirect to Find Articles

ScienceDirect provides access to journals and articles on:

  • Health and Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences

Use the "step" tabs above to learn how to find ScienceDirect on the library's website and how to search it effectively for your research topics.

Go to the library's Journal Databases by Subject page. Here you'll find sections for all the areas of study at Ambrose. Scroll to the bottom and click the Natural Sciences tab to open that section, then click the ScienceDirect link:

List of databases for the Natural Sciences, highlighting ScienceDirect.

Note: You will be prompted to login with your Ambrose email and password through OpenAthens.


This is what the database will look like when you arrive. 

Landing page for ScienceDirect showing a basic search.

You can begin entering your search terms in the search boxes available.

Often you will be entering keywords into the box labeled "Find articles with these terms". You can add additional information about the journal or book title, or author(s) but this is not necessary to start your search process.

This example will use the phrase "climate change". You can see that there are quotation marks ( " ) around this phrase, and this is to ensure that these words are searched in this exact order; if there weren't quotation marks around this phrase, the database would look for any appearance of these words, not necessarily in this exact order.

Basic search for the phrase "climate change" in ScienceDirect.

There is also the option to do an "Advanced search". If you click to this option from the right-hand side of the basic search, there will be many more fields available to search. These will be most helpful if you are searching for a specific item. You can enter information into as many or as few of the boxes as you would like.

Advanced search fields in ScienceDirect.


This search retrieves over 300,000 results! This is far too many to browse through, so we want to find a way to focus our search to look for articles that are most relevant.

Results page in ScienceDirect for a search of the phrase "climate change".

The first step will be to use the "Refine by:" section on the left hand side of the screen. If you want only original research articles from the past 2 years, check off the years you would like and Research articles from the "Article type" section. This has brought our search results down to 67,381 but this is still too many to look through!

Options for refining or filtering searches in ScienceDirect.


To narrow your search from a large number of results you will need to identify some additional or more specific search terms. You can continue to refine your search through the options on the left of the screen, or you can build your search from the search box at the top. To do this you will need to use the Boolean operators AND, OR, and/or NOT.

We will add some additional search terms to our initial search of "climate change". By using AND we will narrow our search, OR can expand it: "climate change" AND "genetic diversity" AND (plants OR trees). Using parentheses around (plants OR trees) groups this part of the search together. Without the parentheses the search would be looking for:

"climate change" AND "genetic diversity" AND plants



Which would provide a huge number of results that would not be very relevant to our search!

Click here for more tips on how to use the Advanced Search in ScienceDirect.

Results for a Boolean and nested search in ScienceDirect.



Once you've found an article of interest there are multiple tools available in ScienceDirect. You can

  • View the PDF of the full article
  • View the abstract in the results list
  • View the figures included in the article
  • Export the citation

Tools available for managing a record in ScienceDirect results.

You can also check the box to the left of any articles of interest and then download multiple article PDFs at once, or export the citations. 

Selecting articles for download or export from ScienceDirect.

Clicking on the title of an article will allow you to read the article online and provide many additional tools and clickable links.

A table of contents with clickable links can be found on the left hand side along with links to figures, tables, and any other additional materials included in the article. 

A short list of similar articles to the one you are viewing can be seen on the right side of the screen.

Under the title are links to add the article to Mendeley (an online referencing tool), share the article (including emailing it to yourself), or to cite the article.

Available tools from the full record of an article in ScienceDirect.

If you are interested in any of the references in the article you can click on the hyperlinked text and options to find the referenced article are provided. They may be found in ScienceDirect, link to another website, or allow you to search Google Scholar, so make sure you set up Google Scholar to link to the Ambrose Library!

Using hyperlinked in-text references to access additional articles.

You can also create an account in ScienceDirect.

First step to creating a personal ScienceDirect account.

When you're logged in it will track your search and reading history (this can be turned off) and you can also set alerts for publications of interest.

Features available in ScienceDirect from a personal account.

If you've created a search that is really useful for you, you can view only new results for that search as well.

Search history options in ScienceDirect.

Broaden Your Search with the Library Catalogue

Go to the library catalogue. When you start typing your topic or search term in the search bar, a drop-down menu will appear. Select the Online Resources option to search for a variety of electronic resources on the topic:

Catalogue search for the term "misinformation", selecting the term for a search of online resources.

Alternatively, use the Advanced Search area to enter multiple search terms in different fields.

Advanced search of online resources for the term misinformation.

This search retrieves over 20,000 results, far more than a catalogue search! On the search results page, take a look at the left-hand menu where you can see the various resource types represented. You can select these to look at only certain types of resources:

Results of a catalogue search for the term misinformation, and the the options for filtering results by resource type.

There are other filters worth exploring as well.

You may want to select Peer-reviewed Journals if your instructor has required that your sources need to be peer reviewed, or input a "from" date in Publication Date if your instructor has required that your sources need to be recent:

Filtering catalogue search results by availability and publication date.

The Subject list can be a handy place to look for additional search terms that appear in the results; these might also be relevant to your research topic:

Filtering catalogue search results by subject.

Be sure to check out the Databases list to see which databases these results are retrieved from; you may want to consider doing more targeted searching in one of these databases, since databases offer even more options for refining search results.

Filtering catalogue search results by the database a resource can be found in.

Once you've found a resource you want to view in more detail, you can click the green access links on the results page to access it:

  • Get PDF will bring you the article in the format it was printed in (this is often a nice readable format).
  • Read Online and Online Access may bring you to the publisher's site or to the site that the article is hosted on.
  • Full text available may bring you to the library's catalogue or to the publisher's site.

Options for accessing online resources from the catalogue.

Alternatively, click on the title and scroll down to the View Online section, as there may be multiple options for finding the full text online:

Options for accessing a resource online in the View Online section of the full record.

Note: Because an Everything search pulls records in from so many places, these green access links are sometimes unreliable, e.g., the records don't actually have full text, or the link to the record on another platform is broken. If you spot a broken link, please do let us know. Try using Google Scholar to potentially find a source elsewhere, or submit an interlibrary loan request.

Tools in Item Record

When you click on the titles of resources in the library's catalogue, you'll be brought into that item's record where there are many useful tools. Use the tabs above to learn about them!

permalink is a stable link to an item in the library's collections. Use the permalink (rather than the URL in your browser) if you need to send a link to an item to your instructor or to a classmate.

Click the permalink button and then the copy the permalink to clipboard button:

screenshot of an item's record in the catalogue with the Permalink button highlighted

If you're referencing an item in a research paper or assignment, you'll need to include a citation to it in your Bibliography, Works Cited, or Reference List. Depending on your program of study, your instructor may require these citations be formatted in a particular style. The citation tool is useful for generating a citation in a variety of citation styles:

  • APA (7th edition)
  • ASA (6th edition)
  • Chicago (Author-Date, 17th edition)
  • Chicago (Full note, 17th edition)
  • Harvard
  • MLA (9th edition)
  • SBL (Author-Date, 2nd edition)
  • SBL (Full note, 2nd edition)

Click the citation button, choose your preferred citation style from the list, and then click the copy the citation to clipboard button:

screenshot of item record with Citation button highlighted, citation style drop-down highlighted, and copy the citation to clipboard button highlighted

NOTE: These citations are a good place to start but you'll want to be sure to check them for accuracy!

To remember a record for later, use the email tool to send yourself the record. Click the email button, enter your email address (include a note if you want to), and then click the Send button:

screenshot of item record with the email icon highlighted, the email form highlighted, and the Send button highlighted

You'll receive an email from with the subject Item(s) sent by Primo. If you don't see the email in your inbox, check your junk or spam folder.

You may find that pinning items is a more useful way to not just remember items for later, but also to organize resources on related topics. To pin items, click the pin icon associated with an item:

screenshot of item record with pin icon highlighted

This saves an item to the My Favorites section. Click the pin icon at the top of the screen to go to your favourites:

screenshot of the catalogue with the pin icon highlighted

Here you can add labels to group similar resources together in whatever way is useful for you (e.g., by topic, assignment, or course):

screenshot of the My Favourites section with labels highlighted

Note: If you're not logged in to your account while pinning items, the pins will disappear when you close the browser—be sure to log in to retain these for later!

You can also save searches using the pinning tool, which may be particularly helpful when you've used the advanced search area and combined multiple search terms and are searching in multiple fields.

Click the Save Query button at the top of your search results to save your search. Click Turn on notification for this query to enter your email address if you'd like to be notified when new items are added to the catalogue that meet your search criteria:

screenshot of top of search results with Save Query button highlighted and Turn on Notification for this Query button highlighted

Click the pin icon at the top of the screen to go to your favourites:

screenshot of the catalogue with the pin icon highlighted

And click the Saved Searches tab to see your saved search. You can turn search notifications on or off here using the bell icon, or you can click the hyperlinked search to launch the search again:

screenshot of My Favorites area with Saved Searches tab highlighted, bell icon highlighted, and "misinformation" search highlighted

Note: If you're not logged in to your account while saving searches, they will disappear when you close the browser—be sure to log in to retain these for later!

See these instructions for how to request print books online.

Other Science Databases

For instructions on using EBSCOhost databases, visit the guide to Using the Library's Databases.

Biological & Agricultural Index Plus

Biological & Agricultural Index Plus is a database of full-text articles, indexing and abstracts from essential biology and agricultural research journals. It is a valuable tool for those studying the agricultural industry, veterinary science, wildlife management and environmental science.

CINAHL Plus with Full Text

A comprehensive source of full text for nursing & allied health journals.

Environment Complete

Full text journal articles and books in the fields of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts and urban planning.

Health Source Nursing Edition

A full-text database covering nursing and allied health topics, including pediatric nursing, critical care, mental health, nursing management, medical law and more.


Database from US National Library of Medicine providing full text access to articles on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, molecular biology, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. 

ALT Health Watch

Full text articles, pamphlets, booklets, special reports, book excerpts focusing on varying perspectives of complementary, holistic, and integrated approaches to health care and wellness.


Scholarly, government, and general-interest resources covering all aspects of human impact to the environment. Topics include global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.

Health Source Consumer Edition

A collection of consumer health information on topics including the medical sciences, food sciences and nutrition, childcare, sports medicine and general health.


Database providing journal articles, books, images, and primary sources for a wide variety of disciplines.

Science Reference Centre

Full-text database which includes science encyclopedias, reference books, and periodicals. Topics include biology, chemistry, earth & space science, environmental science, health & medicine, history of science, life science, physics, science & society, science as inquiry, scientists, technology and wildlife.