Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

BIO1000F - Cell Biology - Library Guide: How to information

This page intends to help in finding resources from UCT Libraries.

Finding books

Primo is UCT Libraries one-stop searching platform for all resources. Providing brief information about retrieved resources, Primo enables you to searchselect and locate library resources.

What you can do using Primo:

  • Search using keywords
  • Browse indexes
  • Manage your Library Card: view borrowed items, renew borrowed items before due date, make hold-request etc.

For more detailed guide refer to Primo guide page.

Finding journal articles

The following databases have biological journal articles.

In order to retrieve the most relevant resources when searching, follow the following simple steps.

  1. Identify relevant keywords. Consider if broader or narrower terms of the keywords of your choice would help your search.
  2. Group them in to concepts
  3. Use Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT to tell the search engine how the keywords are related to each other.  
    • Boolean operators follow the same logic as operators of set in mathematics OR = union, AND = intersection and NOT=complement.
    • use OR between keywords of a concept. OR maximizes our search by collecting all items that contain the keywords
    • use AND between different concepts. AND refines our search by selecting items containing only both concepts
    • use NOT to exclude irrelevant keywords
  4. Construct your search statement
    • enclose phrases within inverted comma to tell the search engine to find the words together in the same order
    • enclose keywords of the same concept in bracket in order to priorities operation within bracket as we do in mathematics.
    • Operators should be written in capital letters  


Topic search: The use of microorganisms in the food & agricultural industry

  • Keywords: main keywords: microorganisms, food, agriculture
  • more keywords that can be used alternatively: bacteria, fungi; vegetable, diary, meat
  • Group keywords

Concept 1

Concept 2

Concept 3

microorganism food agriculture
bacteria vegetable  
fungi diary  

Concept 1: microorganisms OR bacteria OR fungi

Concept 2: food OR vegetable OR diary OR meat

Concept 3: agriculture

  • Search statement: (microorganisms OR bacteria OR fungi) AND (food OR vegetable OR diary OR meat) AND agriculture

Similarly you can conduct your article search in the above listed databases. 

Ones you get a good article, you can also check its reference list at the end of the document for more sources.

Learn effective searching strategy to retrieve relevant resources from the How-to Videos box.

Terms & definitions

Journal article: is scholarly literature often a product of research or critical review of topic area published in scholarly journals.

  • Articles can be authored by a single researcher or group of collaborating researchers.
  • Usually articles are reviewed or checked by experts of the field before publication (peer reviewed).

Scholarly Journal: a magazine that publishes scientific articles.

  • published regularly weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually … Therefore the publications have volume numbers and issue numbers to distinguish between recurrent publication.

Databases: Organized collection of journals, books and other resources in a digital format.

  • They have search boxes to enable searching across their collection.
  • They can be subject specific or multidisciplinary.

Database Platform: a collection of databases that enables searching across several databases.

Examples: Web of Science, EBSCOhost