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BIOL 1500 Biology I

Library Databases

College assignments will require you to find scholarly articles and research studies from academic journal publications. 

  • To find this type of information, you will need to search in a library database.

  • Using Google or Wikipedia will not be adequate for scientific research.

Choosing a Database

The NSU Libraries provide free access to hundreds of databases on a variety of subjects.

  • Some databases are more appropriate for specific topics.

  • If you are not sure which database to use, ask a librarian for recommendations.

pro tipFor topics related to biology or health sciences, start your search in the PubMed database. (Log in with your SharkLink username and password.)

image of pubmed database search box with heart rate and exercise


To search in a library database, you will need to pull out the keywords that describe your topic from your research question. These keywords will become your initial search terms.

exampleTopic: Heart Rate
Research Question: How does exercise affect heart rate?
Keywords (Search Terms): heart rate, exercise


Topic: Osmosisexample
Research Question: How does osmosis allow plant roots to draw water from soil?
Keywords (Search Terms): osmosis, plants or plant roots, water, soil