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STS 3740 Life Science and Modern Society

Just for fun

FREE Citation Management Software

  • RefWorks site (Login) can help you manage your footnotes & bibliography on the web. Easy to use, interfaces directly with MS Word to create footnotes & bibliographies
    • For off campus use, get the York group code here.
    • FAQ and Instructions for various databases
    • RefWorks Tutorial
    • For ACM Digital Library & other databases like dblp, you can import from the bibtex format.
      • Use the References–>Import Feature
  • Key points:
  • Don’t forget to install Write-n-Cite on your PC. It’s in the Tools menu
  • Also don’t forget to move items out of the “Last Imported” folder into the folder you create for your course
  • Lastly, don’t forget to use “Edit citation” in the Write-n-cite application to get page numbers!

Logging in from Home

  • Need to use Passport York or bar code number & PIN from library card to authenticate as a York user
  • Information here on logging in
  • Remember: Use the library web page or this blog post for the link as it will prompt for login

Background Information

My topic: role of Rosalind Franklin in discovering DNA

  • pick a topic that interests you
  • narrow your topic
  • get a angle/perspective
  • have a plan B (autism/vaccine connection or eugenics in Canada) (Huffington Post)

Do a search in The York Catalogue:

  • by title: The citizen-powered energy handbook : community solutions to a global crisis
  • by author: pahl greg
  • by journal title: Scientific American
  • by keyword:
    • rosalind franklin
    • dna and history
    • genetics and history
    • biology and history
    • james watson
    • rosalind franklin and james watson
    • autism
    • autism and mercury
    • autism and vaccines

Finding Articles

All the article databases are similar. Try searches like these.

  • rosalind franklin
  • dna and history
  • genetics and history
  • biology and history
  • james watson
  • rosalind franklin and james watson
  • rosalind franklin and dna and history and watson
  • autism and mercury and vaccines

A list of the best databases for general science topics

  • Scholars Portal Journals — good general source with full text
  • JSTOR — full text of various science & science studies journals, best source for STS articles
  • Pubmed — article search engine focused on medical, biomedical and clinical, mostly useful for non-historical topics
  • Biological Abstracts — general life science search engine, mostly for non-human biology
  • History of Science, Technology & Medicine — most comprehensive and complete source for historical topics, covers books and journals.  No full text directly in the database.
  • Academic OneFile — good general, full text
  • Expanded Academic– good general source, good for book reviews, mostly full text
  • Research Libray — another good general source, lots of full text
  • Web of Science — Very good coverage of all humanities & social sciences, good for book reviews & for citation tracking


Using the Internet Wisely

  • ScienceBlogs — blog aggregation site for science (good for controversy and commentary)
  • Using Google as a scholarly research tool:
    • Find a good portal site
    • remember: who, why and when
  • Wikipedia — solid source of links & basic info, not academic or 100% reliable Wikipedia as a starting point. Remember that for a controversial topic there can be a lot of back and forth and “conflict of interest” changes

Office: Steacie 102H
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