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Conducting Research

Tips from your Washington University librarians on locating, evaluating, and citing sources used in your research.

Researching in the Sciences

The Scientific discipline includes both Physical Sciences and Life Sciences.  Physical Sciences are the sciences that analyze the nature and properties of energy and nonliving matter, such as physics, chemistry, and engineering.  Life Sciences are the sciences concerned with the study of living organisms, including biology, medicine, psychology, and ecology. 

Research in the Sciences is designed to study the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.  Before conducting experiments and collecting and analyzing data, it is necessary to do some preliminary research.  First you need to review the literature already written:  What have other researchers of the same or similar problems discovered?  Scientific articles and papers can be accessed in a variety of databases, so the library is a great place to start.

The research guides listed on below were created by WashU Libraries Subject Librarians.  Subject Librarians have expertise in both searching techniques and academic fields.  These guides, as well as the Librarians who created them, can get you started.

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