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BGGN 200 - Biology Resources for Graduate Students: Methods & Protocols

This guide is designed to help you start your research in biology and related biological sciences.

Major Online Protocols/Methods Collections

Here are some of our major licensed protocols collections. Most of these have a search function, but unfortunately there is no way to search across all of them. These are restricted to users connected to the UCSD network. Be sure you are using a UCSD networked computer or have your computer set up for off-campus access

Free Online Resources

Methods & Protocols

The UCSD Library offers a variety of resources to locate methods and protocols. These can be difficult to locate because they are not found in one place. This is a guide to help you find protocols and methods in our book and journal collections, both online and in print.

First, check out the protocol/method collections on the left. If you can't find what you need there, then try searching our book and journal collections (instructions below).

Books: Print and Online

The UCSD Library catalog, Roger, contains information on all the books, journal subscriptions, government publications, etc. owned by the UCSD Library in print and online. Because protocols and methods can be scattered throughout the collection, it can be tricky to find them all. The sample search below if for a topic you enter and adds some keywords and limits to narrow your search to protocols & methods. 

Just copy and paste the search below and replace the word yourtopic with your actual topic. This works best if you keep the topic fairly broad. 

yourtopic AND (protocol* OR method* OR labfax)

Some tips:

  • After you have some search results you can use "Modify Search" to add limits like date, language, material type, and location.
  • If you are specifically interested in electronic resources, select that collection from the main Roger page before you start a search.

Journal Articles: BIOSIS Previews and PubMed

BIOSIS Citation Index and PubMed are both good sources for journal articles that provide methods and protocols. There is some overlap in the journals that are covered, but in general, BIOSIS is more biology-oriented and PubMed is more medicine-oriented.

BIOSIS Citation Index

BIOSIS has two ways to search for methods/protocols on your topic.

1. Concept codes  

BIOSIS uses a system of "concepts" that can help you whittle a large search down. The most relevant one is the major concept methods and techniques.    

    • From the main search screen: Put your topic in one search field box
    • In the second box select Major Concept and type "methods and techniques" in quotes

2. Literature type: Protocol (Note: This approach is very specific and sometimes results in zero hits.)

    • Enter your topic in the first search box on the default search screen.
    • For the second box, use the pulldown on the right to change the search to “literature type” and select protocol from the menu.

PubMed

In PubMed, your search terms are automatically mapped to official terminology from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) vocabulary. Unfortunately, there is no single MeSH term for protocols. Instead, MeSH has standard "subheadings" (sh) for specific aspects of a subject, like dosage of a drug. Some of the more relevant ones are included below. You can copy and paste these onto the end of any search - be sure to use the brackets exactly as shown.

AND analysis [sh]

AND biosynthesis [sh]

AND chemistry [sh]

AND diagnostic use [sh]

AND instrumentation [sh]

AND methods [sh]

For example, if you want methods relating to cox2, you would type:cox2 AND methods [sh]