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Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale Community College Library

BIO 202: Home

Research Tracking Sheet

Use this sheet to keep on track with your research.  Page 2 shows an example of how to fill out the sheet for your topic. 

Background Research Resources

Step 1: Gather background information.

Use these resources to gather background information for your topic.  As you read about your topic, take note of:

  • the medical terminology used for your condition or disease
  • specific populations affected by the condition or disease
  • important keywords such as common symptoms, treatments, drugs, etc.

Peer-Reviewed Research Article Databases

Step 4: Use these resources to search for peer-reviewed, research articles. 

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Use Keywords and Search Statements

Step 2: Identify keywords

  • Use single words or exact phrases: hypertension; 'thyroid cancer"
  • Use quotes around exact phrases: "renal failure"
  • Use medical terminology when possible:  "myocardial infarction"
  • Identify at least one additional search term: "sleep apnea"

Step 3: Create Search Statements

  • Use AND to combine 2 or more keywords that represent different concepts.
    • hypertension AND “sleep apnea”
    • “primary hypertension” AND "sleep obstruction" AND "older adults"
  • Create multiple search statements with different keywords
    • hypertension AND “sleep apnea”
    • hypertension AND “sleep obstruction” AND men

More Search Techniques

  • Use OR to join 2 or more synonyms or related concept keywords together.
    • hypertension OR "high blood pressure"
    • "sleep apnea" OR "sleep obstruction"
  • Use parentheses when using AND/OR together.
    • (hypertension OR "high blood pressure") AND "sleep apnea"

Database Search Options

Step 5: Use the database search options and tips to refine and process your results. 

  • Use the database filters to narrow down your results list. Not all options may be available in each database, but choose the following when available:
    • Full Text or Open Access
    • Scholarly/Peer Reviewed
    • Research Article
    • Date range (Usually the last 3 years is considered current for medical information)
  • Read the abstract or skim the article to determine if it is a research article (even if you have selected research article as a search option).
  • Use the database citations (if available), but double check for errors. Use the Citation Guide for help with citations. 
  • Email articles to yourself or otherwise save them.