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BIO 3351 Microbiology


You will need to cite at least two peer-reviewed scholarly articles cited in your project.  Since articles tend to be on very specific topics rather than general overviews, some areas of your project are better suited to information from journals..  For example, you will probably want to have article level information for project sections 6 and 7: 'Clinical Identification and Treatment' and 'Social Implications and Current Research."

Need more information about the basics of searching the library databases?  Please check out the online tutorial for Academic Search Premier.


While you need two peer reviewed journal articles for your project, you may use additional articles from other reputable journals that are not peer reviewed,  For example, MMWR: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, while full of excellent information is not scholarly/peer reviewed will not count towards the two scholarly journal references you need in your reference list, but it may be used to bring up your total number of citations.

Biology Databases

All SPU Databases

The above is only a select list of SPU databases most frequently used for microbiology research.  There could be times when other databases would be helpful.  Not sure which database is best for your topic?  Ask a Librarian!

A-Z List of SPU Databases

Recognizing Peer-Reviewed Journals

1. Some things to consider when determining if an article is peer reviewed (source):

  1. Make sure you have a journal article; also not every in a peer-reviewed journal is peer reviewed, journals often other content such as editorials or book reviews which are not required to go through peer-review
  2. The following can usually be found in a peer-reviewed article
    • An extensive reference list with in-text citations
    • Specific style/organization: abstract, introduction, methods, results, conclusion
    • Data given in charts, tables or graphs
    • Formal language - particularly an long article title that covers all components discussed in the article
    • Includes dates for submission and acceptance of the article 

2. Some databases, like Academic Search Premier, allow you to click a check-box to say you only want peer reviewed journals.  Although sometimes databases only indicate that a resource is scholarly without covering the level of peer review the articles undergo.

3. Search the Journal's website for Author Guidelines:

image of the journal Evolution's author guidelines page - highlighting the peer review process for articles submitted to the journal.

3. Still not sure if your article is peer-reviewed?  Ask a Librarian:

Find the Full Text of an Article

How to get the full-text of an article:

Note: The library discovery system lists all journals the SPU students have access to, no matter the format (print or online).  At any time you can check to see if SPU has access to a title by searching from the box on the library homepage.

decorative: screencapture of the library search widget

Here are the steps to get full-text as you find citations of interest in an SPU database:

 1.      If you are already searching a library database check for a full-text link within the database.

          Here is an example where Full-text is available from this database vendor (e.g. EBSCO or ProQuest):


          In this example, click on the 'check for full-text' link to see if SPU has full text from any of our journal article suppliers:


3.      Check Google Scholar to see if the full article is available for free online:

           google scholar screen capture showing full text links

         Log into Google Scholar as an SPU student to see Full-Text@SPU Library links in addition to free articles.

4.      Check for online full-text from any other place you may have online database access for example:

a.      Your local public library (May not hold many scholarly titles, but you may be surprised by what they do offer.)

b.     If you go in-person to other area universities you can usually download full-text articles from their databases.

5.      Check to see if SPU has access to the journal title in any format:


Using the SPU Catalog link you can check to see if we have access to the title in paper, microfilm, or online.

If we own the title in paper, you can come into the library to make a photocopy or scan, but for print or microfilm you may also use the Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery form to request a scan. 

 6.      If you do not have access to the article any other way:

Fill out the Interlibrary Loan request form and we will try to get a copy of the article for you.  Please see the library’s Interlibrary Loan page for more information.