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BIO 370 - Research Methods

This guide provides information and resources to support the BIO 370 course and assignments.

About this Guide

This guide identifies select resources to aid you in your literature review for BIO 370.  Its primary purpose is to assist you with your literature search.  It focuses upon identifying relevant journal articles.


In this guide's page, "Find Articles," do see the box about Medical Subject Headings. Identifying and properly using the most useful terms are essential to effective database searching (e.g., in PubMed or Google Scholar) and consequently important for a successful literature review.


As you search, be attentive to authors and to keywords in titles and subject headings that may inform your searching.  When you identify a relevant article be sure to review carefully the sources cited for other articles or for terminology that may help you refine your search and your topic. For example, in Google Scholar pay attention to the "Cited by" links and resources.

Don't hesitate to contact Dan Bowell, University Librarian, or another librarian at the Ask desk if you have trouble finding useful articles.


Here's Dan’s contact information: or 765-998-5241.

Search Examples

Search examples

- Note the user of "field" searching: MeSH Term,  Title, Title/Abstract, etc.

- Consider using a "title" or "title/abstract" to refine and restrict high frequency terms that return many results.

- See the list of "Allowable Qualifiers" for searching "subheadings" within a MeSH term

_ Prosthetics (new ideas into moveable prosthetics)

   MESH Browser (Standard View)

   (artificial limb*[MeSH Major Topic]) AND (mov*[Title] OR flex*[Title]) 

   ((artificial limb*[MeSH Major Topic])) AND (mov*[Title/Abstract] OR flex*[Title/Abstract]) 

_ Epidemiology of “popular” diseases – Crohn's/Lyme/etc.

   MESH Browser (Concept View) 

   (crohn disease[MeSH Major Topic]) AND epidem*[MeSH Subheading] 

   "Crohn Disease/physiopathology"[MAJR]

    See: MeSH Descriptor Data - "Allowable Qualifiers":  Crohn Disease 

 _ Down syndrome – genetics, preventative treatments, low vs. high functioning

   MESH Browser (Expanded Concept View)

   down syndrome etiology[MeSH Terms]  (Note [MeSH Terms])

   down syndrome [MeSH Term] genet* [ti/ab] function*[ti]  

Evaluating Information


Credibility. Is this source trustworthy? What are the author’s credentials? Is he or she known or a respected authority on this topic?  Is there evidence of quality control?

Accuracy. Is the information up-to-date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive? What is the intended audience and purpose? Does it reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy. 

Reasonableness. Is the presentation fair, balanced, objective, reasoned? Can you find that the author has no conflict of interest? Is there an absence of fallacies or slanted tone.

Support: Does this information provide background sources or references? Is there contact information for the author? Are claims supported, documentated and corroborated?

Adapted from Virtual Salt. Robert Harris.