Tutorials - Biology

We developed this series of tutorials to help students become better finders and users of information in general, and scientific information in particular. While these tutorials use biology examples, like the PubMed and Web of Science databases, they are useful for students in other science classes. These tutorials are .swf files, and we assume that you have the free Flash™ Player software (v. 8 or higher) installed on your computer.

Additionally, all tutorials except for tutorial 1 have question slides scattered throughout so you can check your understanding of what's being covered..

  1. Introduction [~8:00] (.swf file 5.8 MB)
    Overview of these Tutorials
  2. Publication Cycle & Scientific Research [~9:30] (.swf file 5.1 MB)
    How Scientific Research is Conducted and Published; Primary and Secondary Resources
  3. Getting Started [~15:00] (.swf file 8.0 MB)
    Where to Search for Books and Articles; Locating Full Text in Print and Online; Getting Help from Library Staff
  4. Basic Search Strategies [~11:00] (.swf file 8.4 MB)
    Google™ vs. Library Databases; Database Search Techniques: Keywords, Boolean operators, Truncation
  5. Advanced Search Strategies [~9:00] (.swf file 7.2 MB)
    Database Search Techniques: Subject, Field, Pulication type
  6. Evaluating Information [~8:00] (.swf file 6.0 MB)
    Using Scholarly Sources; Comparing Sources, and Corroborating Facts
  7. Using and Creating Citations [~8:00] (.swf file 7.2 MB)
    Interpreting and Creating Citations; Citing Sources

Comments and/or Suggestions

Produced through a collaboration between the Purdue University Libraries and the Department of Biological Sciences

  • Maribeth Slebodnik, Biomedical Sciences Information Specialist & Assistant Professor of Library Science
  • Timothy Kerr, Academic Advisor
  • Laurie Iten, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences

These tutorials are derivatives of the MIT OCW – Information Exploration tutorials in Materials Science and Engineering. Our tutorials were created over the summer and fall semester of 2008.

Creative Commons License

Tutorials for Biology Students Searching the Scientific Literature by Purdue University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at