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NFA 117: Issues and Opportunities Course Guide [Molecular & Biomedical Sciences students]


Nancy Curtis, 581-1679
Science & Engineering Center, 581-1691
Reference Desk, 581-1673
Ask A Librarian
  • Hours during the regular academic year (reduced hours during breaks).
  • Fogler Library usually changes something (services, resources, locations) over breaks. What's new at Fogler library.
  • Largest library in the state--check the floor plan to find specific library locations.
  • Most library assignments involve many steps--selecting a topic, searching databases, finding articles, printing or photocopying, reading, and writing. Don't wait until everybody else is trying to do the same thing.
  • No library session before the assignment? For a good starting point, click the "Subjects" tab on the library home page and then select a subject from the pull-down menu.
  • Not sure which tool to use? Want some assistance? Contact a librarian (see above).

Pick the Right Tool for the Job

  • Journal articles are the primary form of scientific communication. Use databases to find citations or references to journal articles.
    • For papers in introductory classes, try Academic Search Complete or other general databases.
    • For specialized databases relevant to your major, check the library portals for biochemistry, microbiology, or molecular biology. (Microbiology and Molecular Biology are indented under the more general heading of Biology.)
  • Use the URSUS catalog to find books and other items owned by URSUS libraries (University of Maine, other University of Maine System campuses, Bangor Public Library, Maine state libraries). Search by keywords to find items about your topic.
  • Use URSUS to find reserve readings, either by course name or instructor.
  • Use subject guides to find additional materials.

ReSEARCH Your Topic

  • Document your research process--list the databases you used, the search terms you tried, etc.
  • Try alternative terminology: microbes, bacteria, microorganisms, etc.
  • Try alternative spelling: "hand washing" as well as handwashing.
  • Truncate (use a wildcard) to get variations on a word: microb* to find microbes, microbial, microbiological... Don't drop too many letters when you truncate.
  • Combine terms
Use AND for more specific results
bacteria and handwashing
  AND narrows a search, returning only those results containing both terms.
Use OR to broaden a search with related terms
microbes or bacteria
  OR expands a search, finding 
      results containing either or both terms.
  • Try combining AND, OR, and truncation: (microb* or bacter*) and handwashing
  • Find more references than you need.
  • Use limits, such as English language or "scholarly" ("peer reviewed") journals, to refine your results.

Evaluate your results BEFORE you print (or photocopy)

Printing and photocopying costs add up.

  • No charge for scanning and/or saving files.
  • Your MaineCard permits $16 worth of "free" printing ($0.04/side, $0.07/double-sided page) each semester.
  • Pay for excess printouts using Black Bear Bucks ("campus funds").
  • Free printing funds don't carry over between semesters, but Black Bear Bucks do.
  • Photocopies cost $0.08/side (Black Bear Bucks).

Finding Materials in the Library...and Beyond

See Finding Items at Fogler Library for details.

Not on the shelf? Not owned by the library? Give us 1-2 weeks lead time, and we can find most items for you.

Created by: Nancy Curtis | Revised: 02/19/2014
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469