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University Library


A library research guide for Biology.

How Do I Get Articles From Google Scholar?

Google Scholar settings

Use Google Scholar? Make it more effective by linking it to the Library's journal subscriptions!

Go to Google Scholar; Click on Settings, then Library Links; type in "Sonoma State University," check the box and save. Your search results will now include a FindIt@SSU link. Click on FindIt for full-text articles at SSU Library.

Biology: Core Databases

These resources are the First Stop for biology research articles:

Biology: Additional Databases

Quick Search - Journal Title


Search OneSearch for books, media, articles, primary sources, newspapers, journals, and more. Selecting CSU+ will allow you to search across all CSU libraries and request items we don't have.

Open Access Journals

Open access is the “free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment” (SPARC). Open access can be attained via two primary paths: publishing in an open access journal (Gold) or retaining author’s copyright and posting a copy of the article to an institutional repository or subject repository (Green).

Benefits of open access include:

  • Greater visibility and retrievability of research
  • Increased impact of scholarship
  • Boosts the likelihood that results will be taken up, extended, applied, and cited
  • Increased readership outside the academy, including policy-makers, journalists, non-profits, the general public, etc.

Bibliometrics, Impact Factor, and Citation Analysis

Bibliometrics:  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, bibliometrics deals "with the application of mathematical and statistical analysis to bibliography; the statistical analysis of books, articles, or other publications." 

Altmetrics (alternative metrics) are nontraditional metrics proposed as an alternative to the more traditional citation impact metrics, such as impact factor and h-index.

Impact factors can be applied to journals or to individual articles.  According to Journal Citation Reports, "The journal Impact Factor is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year," although other time spans can be calculated.

Citation analysis examines the frequency, patterns, and graphs of citations in articles and books, using citations in scholarly works to establish links to other works or other researchers. Identifying the number of times an article is cited by others is considered the "impact factor" for that article.

Further Reading and Tools

High Impact Journals

The following select biology journals had high ranking Impact Factors in the 2016 Scientific Journal Rankings report. The links will take you to the online resources available through the SSU Library.

Annual Review of Plant Biology

Quarterly Review of Biology

Journal of Human Evolution

Plant and Cell Physiology

Genome Research