Skip to main content


Biology 130 Lab Report: Home

This course guide will help you find scholarly resources to support your BIOL130 Lab Reports.

double helix

1. Get Access to Library Resources

Search for books or articles

Help | Fast facts | Advanced search

Need to access library resources (articles, reference material, e-books) from home? Log in!

Get Access from Anywhere

2. Definitions and Principles of Lab Tests

The following resources are known as "reference" material. They include encyclopedias, dictionaries, and glossaries that provide basic information about common scientific terms, theories, and methodologies. 

The following are resources specific to biology.

Springer Protocols - lab methods 

Oxford Reference - dictionaries and encyclopedias

Science Direct - ebooks and journal articles

Knovel - e-books on Science and Engineering topics

Library catalogue - search for text on biophysical chemistry, biochemical physics, etc.

Search Strategies for BIO 130L Lab 1

*Try these strategies for whichever test you are searching for.

  1. Try variations on test names, for example Buret's Test try:
    • biuret reaction; biuret’s test; biuret’s reagent; biuret’s method.   
    • Phrase –search “biuret’s method” “biuret reaction”     
    • singular/possessive : biuret or biuret’s
  1. Search PubMed using MeSH will give a focused result list. Note the links on right side of a record.
  2. Locate the original method paper in Scopus or Web of Science and check the cited references for newer work. (1900/ 1940’s)
  3. Tests used are colorimetric (based on changes in colour/color). Look up the pros/cons of colorimetric tests for identification.

3. Find Journal Articles

An excellent lab report uses current literature to inform your lab results and interpretations. This is done within the discussion section. Finding examples of how the lab technique is currently applied by other scientists bridges the gab between isolated lab techniques and real world uses. Research databases, like the ones linked below, aggregate research articles into user-friendly database. 

Research Databases for Bio 130


            How to search PubMed


            How to search Scopus

Google Scholar

How to search for scientific literature in research databases (short videos)

Searching in a database

Building and revising keywords

Advanced techniques: Boolean searching

4. Scanning for Relevant Articles

You're not expected to read the entirety of a research article, especially if your search returned dozens of articles. Take a look at this short video for how to get the most out of a research article in the least amount of time. 

Basic Tips

1. Sort your results by relevance.

2. Scan the titles and abstracts to make sure that the articles are relevant.

3. Read through selected articles strategically; read the introduction, discussion, and conclusion sections first. 


5. Primary and Secondary Sources

1. Research or primary articles report an author's NEW, never before published research results from experiments/field studies.

2. Review articles gather, analyze, and summarize existing, published relevant research articles on a specific topic.

3. Peer reviewed articles have been evaluated by two or more experts in the field and accepted for publication based on validity, accuracy, and the originality of the work. Interested in peer review? Watch this short clip to find out more.

6. Evaluating Sources with RADAR


R: Relevance
How is the information that you have found relevant to your assignment?
A: Authority
•Who is the author/creator of the work? Be a detective!
D: Date
•When was the information created? What dates ranges are important to you?
A: Accuracy
•What clues can you get about the accuracy of the source?
•Reference accuracy
•Verifiable elsewhere?
R: Reason for writing
•Why was this information created?
•Research for new knowledge?
•Sell, persuade, entertain?


Mandalios, J. (2013). RADAR: An approach for helping students evaluate Internet sources. Journal Of Information Science, 39, 470-478. doi:10.1177/0165551513478889

Subject Guide

Laura Bredahl's picture
Laura Bredahl
OPT 2107
Witer Learning Resource Centre
School of Optometry
University of Waterloo
519 888 4567 x38538
Subjects:Biology, Optometry