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BIOL 1202 Intro to Marine Science (SJ) Guide

Get Started

How do I get started? 

This guide was created to help you with the research process for your assignment. Use the different tabs to help you at the various stages of your work:

Learn about a topic Use the listed resources and tips to find and read background info on a topic. This will help you choose and narrow down your topic to find articles. 
Find peer reviewed articles Use the article databases to search for scholarly, peer reviewed articles related to your topic.
Cite your sources Use the listed resources to help you accurately credit and reference authors' work in your assignment.
Get help Use the info listed to contact me when you have questions or need help. 


Learn About a Topic

How do I find background information and learn more about a topic?

To get started, it can be helpful to learn more information about a topic before jumping right into searching for journal articles. Doing some background research and reading can save you time and help you find ways to narrow your topic down. Background research can be done through quick Google searches and reading credible websites, looking at e-book chapters, or encyclopedia entries. 

Climate change related to oceans
Global warming
Plastic pollution
Marine pollution
Ocean acidification
Coastal development

 important to noteIt's important to evaluate the background sources you consult.

Consider who published or authored the information, what the purpose of it is, and how old is the information. This handout has more information about evaluating academic sources. Wikipedia can be useful to get to know more about topics, but should not be cited in academic assignments. Look at the references to follow the information back to the primary sources, and cite those instead.

You can also search UNB Worldcat to find related e-books and other sources on your topics:

Search UNB WorldCat:
Limit to: 

Find Peer Reviewed Articles

How do I find articles for my assignment?

1. Search the databases below using keywords related to your human impact topic to find relevant articles. If you're not sure where to start, try searching in these suggested databases to see what comes up related to your topic. If you need to look elsewhere, consider one of the other biology-related databases. 

*How to link Google Scholar with UNB Libraries' full-text holdings (click on Details)

  • Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA)
    Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) "is a comprehensive database on the science, technology, and management of marine, brackishwater, and freshwater environments and resources."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Earth, Atmospheric, & Aquatic Science Database (ProQuest)
    The Earth, Atmospheric, & Aquatic Science Database is an interdisciplinary resource of quality, curated A&I combined with full-text content from scholarly journals, trade journals, conference proceedings, and other sources. The coverage extends Meteorological & Geoastrophysical Abstracts (MGA) by providing a sizable element of full-text access along with comprehensive discovery through the extensive abstracts and indexes structured using controlled vocabulary managed by expert editorial teams. For coverage of aquatic science, the collection features the entire range of bibliographic records from Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA).

    Content Types: Scholarly Journals, Trade Journals, Books, Conference Papers and Proceedings, Government & Official Publications, Magazines, Newspapers, Other Sources, Reports, Tables, Wire Feeds, Working Papers, Video and Audio.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide (EBSCO)
    Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide, produced by NISC, indexes published literature (journals, monographs, proceedings of conferences and symposia, government reports, grey literature, books, theses, and dissertations) on wild mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Major topic areas include studies of individual species, habitat types, hunting, economics, wildlife behavior, management techniques, diseases, ecotourism, and zoology.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Scopus
    Scopus, a multidisciplinary online resource, will be invaluable to students and faculty in various fields of study within the sciences, health sciences and the social sciences. Scopus offers full-text linking, abstracting-and-indexing information including peer-reviewed titles from international publishers, Open Access journals, conference proceedings, trade publications, quality web sources.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar searches a subset of the Web that Google has classified as "scholarly literature". They do not publish a list of chosen sites, and they do not state how often sites are checked. Some important sources are not covered at all. Thus, Google Scholar alone should not be relied on for comprehensive research.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

2. Scan through the results, reading the title/abstracts to find potentially relevant articles. Redo your search with different keywords if you're not finding what you want. 

3. Find a few articles that look promising and skim read the introduction/conclusion of the full-text to decide if they're useful for your assignment. 

If a PDF or link to the full-text isn't readily available, click on the check for full text link  to see if we have it in our collection.  

How to Read a Scholarly Article (Western University, 2:34mins)


How to read a scientific paper from the American Society of Plant Biologists

anatomy of a scientific article







How do I know whether an article is peer reviewed?

Many databases have a "peer review" option you can select which limits your search results to articles from journals that have a peer review process. This is usually found on the left-hand side of the results page.


important to note Not everything published in a peer review journal goes through the peer review process.

Journals regularly publish editorials, book reviews, commentaries, etc. that are not peer reviewed and only a few pages in length -  this can help tell you an article may not be peer reviewed and isn't the type you should use.

Ask your professor or librarian if you're still unsure whether an article has been peer reviewed.

Cite Your Sources

Style Guides & Helpful Resources

Use the information provided to you by your professor about how to cite your sources for this assignment. The following links also provide guidance on how to give credit to the authors' whose work you're using for your assignment. 



Get Help

How do I get help if I need it?

The research process and searching for articles can be challenging sometimes. We don't expect you to know everything or "get it" after one presentation from a librarian. Once you start working on your assignment you may realize you need a refresher or some guidance on your specific topic. Part of my job is helping students, so you're not bothering me if you need to reach out. 

You have a few ways to get in touch with me for help. I'm available Monday-Friday between 9:00am - 4:00pm (Atlantic time). 

You can also reach out anonymously through UNB Libraries' Ask Us chat. This service is staffed evenings and weekends. 

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