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Science

A research guide for science students at Mitchell Community College.

Science Articles & Databases

Library Databases

To locate databases with articles that relate to your field of study:

  1. Visit the Huskins Library homepage at https://mitchellcc.edu/library and click on the green Resources buttongreen Resources button
  2. Browse the list of databases subscribed to by Mitchell Community College, or click on NC LIVE for access to many more databases and resources.
  3. Once at NC LIVE, you can look for databases that cover a specific subject by clicking the Browse by Subject icon By Subject briefcase button
  4. If you are accessing databases from off-campus, you will likely be asked to sign in using your Mitchell Community College email and password.

  remote user log-in screen

Resources button, By Subject icon, Remote User Log-in (c) Sarah Sowa, Mitchell Community College, all rights reserved.

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library circulation desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or visit the Huskins Library homepage.

What is a Scholarly Journal?

Scholarly journals

  • Also called academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed journals
  • Contain articles written by scholars or experts who have completed research in a given field
  • Intended to publish original research to share with other researchers and scholars, who constantly build upon new knowledge

Scholarly articles 

  • Usually have an abstract or descriptive summary
  • Are intended to inform (rather than to push a viewpoint or sell something, for example)
  • Are often lengthy
  • Often use technical language
  • Contain citations (footnotes, bibliographies)
  • Often have authors affiliated with a university or research institution
  • May include charts, graphs, or other representations of data/research
  • Do not tend to include advertisements or many images
  • Do not include magazine and newspaper articles

Tip:  You can use search limiters in databases to limit your results to only peer-reviewed or scholarly articles!

Full-text and peer review limiters

Full-text and peer review limiters, (c) Sarah Sowa, Mitchell Community College, all rights reserved.

Articles that appear in scholarly journals are subject to a peer-review process, which means that other specialists or scholarly peers evaluate the quality of the author's research before the article is published.

Adapted from: "Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-Scholarly Periodicals: A Checklist of Criteria: Introduction and Definitions" by Research & Learning, Services Olin Library, Cornell University Library is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library main desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or email library@mitchellcc.edu.

Articles & Databases

Do you want to start your research using Huskins Library databases, but you just don't know where to start?  Check out our librarian-approved science database best bets, or browse the more extensive list below for more options. 

Science Database Best Bets

More Databases

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library main desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or email library@mitchellcc.edu.

Database Search Tips

A few quick tips for getting the most bang for your buck from library databases:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Long phrases or entire sentences don't work as well in most databases as they do in Google.  For the best results, limit your search terms to just a few words.
  • Break out the thesaurus! If you find yourself getting few or no useful responses, brainstorm some synonyms. For example, is there another word(s) you could use that means the same thing?
  • Be specific. Although you don't want your search term to be too wordy, be sure to include specific language if you find your results are too broad.  For example, you may want to include a person's full name, the name of a country, or a date in order to properly narrow your search.
  • Use the search limiters provided. Most databases allow you to narrow your search in many ways (by publication date, publication type, author, subject, country/state/region, etc.). These tools are great for those times when your search gives you thousands of results, and you need to narrow things down.
  • Try Boolean Operators or quotation marks. Use Boolean Operators (AND, OR and NOT) to link search terms (ex. obesity AND children, oil NOT petroleum), or try putting search terms in quotation marks (ex. "Alice in Wonderland") to limit results and search only an exact phrase.

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library main desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or email library@mitchellcc.edu.

ProQuest Search Tutorials

Ready to sharpen your research skills?  Watch the brief tutorials below to learn more about searching ProQuest databases.

Note:  Although there are many ProQuest databases, they all function the same way and have the same basic layout.  If you learn to use one, you can use them all.

(c) ProQuest Training, 2015.

(c) ProQuest Training, 2015.

(c) ProQuest Training, 2015.

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library main desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or email library@mitchellcc.edu.

Primary and Secondary Sources

Trying to figure out the difference between primary and secondary sources, and how to find them? 

Check out the information below.

Primary Sources

  • First-hand data from researchers or accounts of direct witnesses
  • Factual
  • Original
  • May include:  Original works of fiction, original research, journals, autobiographies, personal correspondence, interviews, photos, case studies, personal narratives, speeches, works of art

Secondary Sources

  • Second-hand accounts or references
  • Interpretive, analyzes prior research
  • Often written long after the original research took place
  • May include:  Commentary/reviews, biographies, history books & journal/newspaper articles written a long time after an event takes place

Note:  Some databases, such as SIRS Issues Researcher (pictured here) allow you to narrow your results to only primary sources using search limiters.

Source type screenshot SIRS Issues Researcher

SIRS Issues Researcher source types, (c) Sarah Sowa, Mitchell Community College, all rights reserved.

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library main desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or email library@mitchellcc.edu.

Interlibrary Loan Request

So you've looked all over the library and you can't find what you need--now what?

MCC libraries are able to borrow items from other institutions via Community College Libraries in North Carolina (CCLINC) using interlibrary loan.  This service is free to all library users*!

To request an item, fill out the Interlibrary Loan Request form, found both here and on the library homepage.  Be sure to fill out as much of the form as you can, as this will help ensure the correct item is requested.  A librarian will work to fill your request and will let you know when your item is ready for pick-up.

*Must have a valid student ID or MCC library card.

ILL FAQs

Q:  When will I get my book/other item?  How long will it take?

A.  That depends on many factors, including how far the item is traveling from its home institution, how long it takes to get a response from the library lending the materials, etc.  However, the majority of requested items arrive in a week or less.

Q:  What do I do with my ILL book when I'm done with it?  Do I need to mail it back to the lending library?

A:  No. Simply drop the book off at any MCC library location, and your item(s) will be returned to the correct institution.

Q:  How long do I get to keep ILL items?

A:  Most ILL items are loaned for one month, which starts when the item is dropped into the mail by the lending institution.  Your library staff will stamp your item with its due date.  While all lending libraries do have the right to ask for their items back early, this rarely happens.

Q:  Can I renew ILL items?

A:  Yes.  Unless another student has requested that item, you can renew ILL materials.  Call or stop by any MCC library location, and our staff will be happy to assist you with renewals.  Just remember, all requests for renewals must be made before the item's original due date.

Q:  How many ILL items can I get at one time?

A:  Students can check out up to five items at once, including ILL items.

Q:  There's a book that I need, but it's "non-circulating."  Can you help me?

A:  Yes.  In many cases, a librarian can request scanned or photocopied pages of non-circulating books, which have been designated for library use only.  These may be sent in the form of a fax if only a few pages are needed, or may be scanned and emailed, or photocopied and sent via traditional mail if more than 10 pages are required.

Q:  What about journal articles?

A:  We can ask for digital or print copies of articles from other institutions, too!  If you find an article online that you cannot access, or that requires a paid subscription to view, ask you library staff to help you locate it for free.

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library circulation desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or visit the Huskins Library homepage.

Make a Research Appointment

Information overload happens. We can help.

many books

Make an appointment to meet one-on-one with a Huskins Librarian at your convenience.  To make an appointment, please complete the following form, and a librarian will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your appointment time.  Thank you.

Research Appointment Form

Note:  The Huskins Library staff will make every effort to accommodate your scheduling requests.  However, appointment times are subject to change according to library hours and librarian schedule availability.

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Disclaimer of Liability and Endorsement: Mitchell Community College LibGuides contain hyperlinks to third party websites. Mitchell Community College is not responsible for and does not routinely screen, approve, review or endorse the contents of or use of any of the products or services that may be offered at these websites. In no event will Mitchell Community College be liable for any damages or losses whatsoever resulting from or caused by accessing third party websites via LibGuides. While LibGuides are updated periodically, no guarantee is given that the information provided is correct, complete, or up-to-date. Users of Mitchell Community College LibGuides do so at their own risk.