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Research Resources for Biology

Getting Started

There are 6 steps to getting started with your research

  1. Understand your assignment
  2. Choose a topic
  3. Write a research question
  4. Generate keywords
  5. Find Background information
  6. Begin searching for scholarly sources

To begin, go to the Starting Your Research guide and work through steps 1-4. 

Step 5: Find Background Information.

You need to locate reliable background information in order to

  • Get an idea of what kind of information, generally, is out there on your topic
  • Generate a list of more field-specific search terms and keywords for future searches
  • Find a few good bibliographies that will get you started on the research trail

Here are a few great places to find background information:

Don't forget, research is an iterative process.  You'll likely have to continue refining your topic, your search terms, and your resources throughout your Capstone project.

When you are ready for Step 6: Searching for Scholarly Sources, Click Biology Sources on the left menu to begin!

The Library can get you a copy through ILL!

What is ILL?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service where libraries borrow and lend books, microfilm, DVDs,  journals, magazines, and newspaper articles to other libraries.  Librarians want everyone to be able to access information, so they work together to get the information to the people who need it!  

If you need something that isn't owned by McGill Library, we may be able to borrow it from another library. 

If you have questions about Interlibrary Loan, or have any trouble using the request form or setting up your ILLiad account, please contact John Garrison

Please note that ILL service is not available when the library is closed for Winter Break.  

How do I request an item through ILL?

The library's Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service is integrated into WISE, providing a convenient process for borrowing items that Westminster College does not own or have direct access to.  It is recommended that you create an ILL account before you begin your search, but not required. 

To use ILL in WISE:

  • When you find an item that says Held by other libraries worldwide (instead of Held by Westminster College McGill Library), click on the title link for the item.
  • Under Check Availability, click on the navy blue button: I Need This! (ILL)
  • You will be taken to a new page and prompted to log in with your ILL user name and password (you can create your account at this stage if you have not already done so).
  • Once you have logged in, you will be taken to an ILL form, where all of the item information should auto-populate for you. Enter the borrowing purpose at the bottom of the form and submit.