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Biology Research Guide: Human Systems Assignment

Places to Start Your Research

There are a number of print and electronic reference sources that can help you gain a basic understanding of human systems and give you a starting point for narrowing down your research.  Some of these are listed below.  Print reference sources can be found on the main level of the library.  Electronic sources can be accessed by clicking the links below.

Print Reference Sources:

Atlas of Human Anatomy: REF QM 25 N46 2011

Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary: REF R 121 D730 2012

Encyclopedia of Muscle and Skeletal System Disorders: REF RC925.5 S29 2005

Gale Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders: REF RC334 G34 2005

Goldman's Cecil Medicine: REF RC 46 C423 2012

Mosby's Medical Dictionary: REF R 121 M89 2009

Electronic Sources:

Avoiding Plagiarism

Below are scanned copies of the library's brochure on plagiarism.  You can pick up hard copies of this document in the library.

Science Journal Links and Search Tips

Tips for Database Searching:


1. Have a specific focus in mind.  Article databases are best searched later in the research process, when you're looking for specific, detailed information about a topic. 

  • Example: If you've already chosen the cardiovascular system as your focus and you're looking for information about diseases, or a specific treatment, like angioplasty, or want to know about studies on mortality rates for angioplasty.

2. Use keywords, not complete sentences, and use the term AND to connect keywords

  • Example: cardiovascular AND disease 
  • Example 2: angioplasty AND mortality

3. Use similar key terms (ie synonyms) to refine your searches.  Think about how many variations there may be on a keyword and use those variations.  The search will likely be a process, and might require a few tries on your part before you get good results.

  • Example: synonyms for skeletal system might be bones, musculoskeletal, etc.

4. Remember to select the option to limit to "Full Text" when searching

Subjects for Searching

Below are some potential terms you can use to search the library's catalog for books and ebooks, or the library's article databases for journal articles:

General Anatomy:

  • body, human
  • human anatomy
  • human biology
  • human physiology

Cardiovascular System:

  • blood
  • cardiovascular system
  • cardiovascular system -- diseases
  • heart
  • heart -- anatomy
  • heart -- diseases

Respiratory System

  • lungs
  • lungs -- diseases
  • respiration
  • respiratory system
  • respiratory organs

Digestive System

  • digestive organs
  • digestive system
  • digestion
  • gastrointestinal system
  • gastrointestinal system -- diseases

Central Nervous System (Brain & Spine only)

  • brain
  • brain -- anatomy
  • central nervous sytem
  • central nervous system -- diseases
  • nervous system
  • neurophysiology
  • spine
  • spinal cord

Muscular System

  • muscles
  • musculoskeletal system
  • musculoskeletal system -- anatomy
  • musculoskeletal system -- diseases
  • musculoskeletal system -- physiology

Skeletal System

  • bones
  • human skeleton
  • musculoskeletal system
  • musculoskeletal system -- anatomy
  • musculoskeletal system -- diseases
  • musculoskeletal system -- physiology

Academic Journals versus Popular/General Periodicals

The following link describes some of the key components of an academic journal:

Characteristics of Academic Journals: They're Not All Magazines.