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View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

BIOL 105: Foundations of Biology (Summer 2020)

A course guide to help students evaluate scientific claims in the news

10 Steps to Successful Searches

Access Full Text of Articles

You have access to the full text of most (but not all) articles indexed in the library's databases. When you find an article of interest, look for links to the full text in PDF or HTML formats. Frequently these links will look like buttons similar to the ones below:

If you cannot access the full text, it may be because Georgetown does not subscribe to the journal. If we do not have a subscription, you can request a scanned copy of the article through Inter-Library Loan.

How to Read a Research Article

The following guides provide advice on how effectively read scientific literature:


Find Review Articles

Review articles are a great way to get an overview of a topic.  They generally provide a summary of the state of the art in a research area, and the bibliographies provide excellent lists of relevant articles.  All of the databases listed on the Science Literature page provide options to limit search results to review articles.

  • In PubMed, under the filters on the left side of the page: Find ARTICLE TYPE and check Review.
  • In Web of Science: Enter a search and then from the results page, use the Refine Results options on the left.  Look for Document Types and select Review.

There are also journals in which many or all of the articles are review articles.  In HoyaSearch, use the Starts With option to search in the Title field and look for Annual Review of, Current Opinion in, Nature Reviews, or Trends in. (NB: This method will find review journals in disciplines other than the sciences too.) 

HoyaSearch screenshot of GU-Only Search for Title Starts With Limited to Journals

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