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BIO/CHE B220: Biochemistry: Formulating the Research Strategy

Formulating the Research Strategy

Your search strategy begins by identifying keywords and phrases that define your search topic. Write down these keywords and phrases; you will be typing them into our subscription databases to find scholarly journal articles on your topic as well as our online catalog to find hard copy and electronic books.  For your biochemistry research paper start with the list of suggested topics.  Once you have chosen a topic, read the research paper guidelines.  You will be looking for particular diseases and their biochemical or molecular mechanisms, clinical manifestations, etc.  Start to identify the keywords to your search.  It may look like this:

  • Wilson's disease
  • clinical manifestations
  • prognosis
  • treatment

These terms can be used alone to retrieve the greatest number of articles on the topic or they can be combined with another subject term to narrow down your research topic.  You can use the connector "AND" to combine subject terms and key phrases and keywords or just type your key phrases in the search box:

  • Wilson's disease treatment
  • Wilson's disease prognosis
  • Wilson's disease prognosis AND treatment 

 In scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that contain original research, you will find keywords provided by the author/s of the article.  These keywords will help you locate other articles on your topic by providing alternative search terms.  In the following article published in Science Progress keywords circled in red  include hepatolenticular degeneration, copper metabolism, British Anti-Lewisite, D-penicillamine, trientine, zinc, and ammonium tetrathiomolybdate.



Feel free to explore different possibilities by typing in different subject terms.  There is no right or wrong term to use.  Some articles will be exactly what you are looking for or you may find that some articles identify your search terms but are unrelated to your topic.  If that happens, refine your search and select different keywords.  If you are having difficulty formulating a search strategy please speak with an MCC reference librarian.