Searching in the sciences is best accomplished by searching iteratively. Iterations are repetition of a sequence of operations where each repetition moves you closer to your desired result.
Before you search:
After you perform a search:
Refine your search strategy and search again.
The best database to use for a biology topic is the Web of Science.
Searching the Web of Science can search BIOSIS Previews, MEDLINE, and the Science Citation Index all at once or you can search each individually. Web of Science allows you to search on a variety of topics across all biology sub-disciplines and medicine.
Watch this short video to see how to search in the Web of Science.
Tips for using the Web of Science
Use truncation symbols (wildcard characters)
Use " " (quotes) when searching for a phrase
Use the "*" (asterisk) for name variants or use the author index. Many publications use only the author's initial for their first name.
There are features in the Web of Science that can help you narrow and analyze your results.
Researchers in the sciences tend to research on the same or similar topic throughout their career. Science builds on the science of others. So, when you find a paper:
To find the more current research (forward citation searching):