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Biology: Get Started

Library resources for the Department of Biology at UTA

Find a Topic

Where to Find Ideas

  • Class discussions or readings
  • Presentations at relevant conferences
  • Articles in discipline related journals and trade publications
  • Relevant current events

Popular Journals in Your Field

Reviewing recent issues of popular and well-respected journals can help you see the current trends in research.  These are also excellent journals to cite in your own work. You have full-text access to each of these through the UTA Libraries.

The New England Journal of Medicine

Peer-reviewed, highly cited and credible research in biomedical science and clinical practice. It is the most cited general medical periodical.

The Lancet

Peer-reviewed primary research and review articles in the field of human health.


Nature Publishing Group publishes numerous peer-reviewed journals covering topics in the life sciences, clinical practice, chemistry, physics, and earth science.

Journal of the American Medical Association

JAMA publishes peer-reviewed health care research and general medicine.  They also publish journals for 11 medical specialties. 


The America Association for the Advancement of Science publishes several peer-reviewed academic journals covering the sciences and engineering.  As an added benefit, their web page includes a news section, which explains recently-published research for the non-academic audience.


This peer-reviewed journal  specializes in what it calls "exciting biology," presenting advances in biomedical science.

Gather Background Information

Search Gale Virtual Reference Library

Why Should I Start with Background Information?

  • Gain familiarity with the topic
  • Identify more specific aspects of the topic on which to focus
  • Provide context and identify differing perspectives
  • Identify experts related to the topic

Narrow a Topic

Narrowing a topic requires you to be more specific about your research interest and can help you to develop a thesis.

Questions to Narrow Your Topic

  • Who? Who is the specific person/group to which you would like to limit your research?
  • What? What specific aspect of the broad topic idea is interesting to you?
  • Where? To which specific geographic area or region would you like to limit your research?
  • When? On what time period would you like your research focused?
  • Why? Why do you think this is an important/interesting topic?

What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis is typically a one sentence statement in the first paragraph, or beginning, of your project that states your purpose. Thesis statements should be specific, detailed, and meaningful. An abridged form can often be used as the title of the paper; for example,"Harmonic convergence in the love songs of the dengue vector mosquito."