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A research guide for CSUDH students in the biological sciences.

Recommended Databases for Biology Research

Reading a Scientific Paper

Most scientific papers follow a similar format - and most scientists do not read a paper in a linear format from start to finish. Understanding the format will help you make sense of the paper quicker.

A typical paper will be structured:

Abstract - a brief summary of what you can expect in the paper

Introduction and Literature Review - how this study fits in to the existing research

Methods - the design of the experiment, data collected, and how the analysis is conducted

Results - the results of the study

Discussion - what those results mean and future work that can be done

Accessing Full Text in Biological Abstracts

Biological Abstracts is a powerful citation index and a great place for biological sciences research. One of its features is that you can search by more options than just your usual keywords. By default you are searching all full text fields, however, you can narrow your search to just organism name, disease name, taxa, or more for precise results.

screenshot of biological abstract search refinements

Scrolling down from the main search page will also allow to refine your search for more precise results.

Once you've found an article you like, easily find more by clicking on any of the links towards the bottom of the page to find more sources on that disease, gene, general subject, etc.

detail screen of biological abstracts article

Google Scholar logo.

Google Scholar is a search tool where you can find scholarly sources like peer-reviewed articles, dissertations, theses, and books with Google's simple look and feel. Add CSUDH in Library Links to connect Google Scholar to OneSearch to get the full text through our library subscriptions. You can also use Google Scholar to find freely available PDFs, trace citations, look up authors profiles and journal metrics, and generate a citation.

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Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus

If you're following a permalink from your instructor in Blackboard, a library database link, or a full text link in OneSearch, you will be prompted to log in to the CSUDH Authentication Service using your CSUDH username and password. Or, sign in to My Account in OneSearch. 

Trouble logging in? Check that you are not mistyping your username or password, try clearing your browser cookies and cache, or reset your password at

If you have questions about resetting your password, please contact the IT Help Desk or call (310) 243-2500.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If a book or article isn’t available through one of the library’s subscriptions, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan is a resource sharing service with libraries across the country that provides research materials at no cost to you. If you're requesting an article or book chapter, you'll receive a copy as a PDF. 

First, check to see if it's available in OneSearch or another library database. Look for the Find It @ CSUDH Lib button. 

Find it @ CSUDH Lib button.

You can also borrow books from other CSU campuses and have them delivered to the CSUDH Library. Look for the Request through CSU+ option in OneSearch

For more information about borrowing books from the library, check out the Library's "Borrowing Materials" page.