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BIOL 508: BIology of the Cell Cycle


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Morag Coyne
Rm 512 Douglas Library
Queen's University
Kingston, ON.
Placed on administrative leave from Oct. 12, 2021 to April 30, 2022. Contact during this time.


David Morgan's "The Cell Cycle: Principles of Control " (2007) provides a detailed examination of cell biology topics.  The assignment for this course involves choosing a topic from Morgan (2007), and finding 4-5 publications from 2018-2020 that show the current status of the pathway/structure/regulation.  These papers need to be both connected and significant ("leaders in the field").

Cited reference searching is a good strategy for finding connected papers.  It involves starting from a single paper, and finding the more recently published papers that have cited it.  This feature is not part of every database.  It can be found in Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scifinder.

This guide will outline how to use the cited reference search features in Google Scholar and Web of Science.

Further questions may be directed to Morag Coyne, Biology librarian.

Some Search Strategies

To find connected papers...

  • Use citation searching to discover papers that build on similar research.
  • Filter your search for review articles to get an overview of a topic (and to mine the reference list for key papers).
  • Keep track of key researchers or research groups - search for the authors within those groups to find related research.

To find significant papers...

  • Use the cited by or times cited features in a database to find out how often a paper was cited since its publication.  The higher the citations, the more significant the paper.
  • Look for database filters that refine the results list to highly significant papers (see Web of Science for this feature).
  • Check the impact factor of the journal.  This is a measure of how often an average article in the journal is cited in the two years after its publication. The impact factor is often used to assess how influential a journal is.  Use the Journal Citation Reports database to look up the impact factor of individual journal titles.