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ENSC 425: Ecotoxicology

What is a Systematic Review?

Check the Bracken Library's guide, Systematic Reviews & Other Syntheses, for more information about this type of publication.

Suggested Research Path


What are the concepts in your assignment?  What are the keywords that describe your concepts?



Examples of CONCEPT 1 keywords:

  • formal chemical name(s)
  • synonyms for chemical (including trade name)
  • CAS number
  • molecular formula

Examples of CONCEPT 2 keywords: 

  • terrestrial (forest, tundra, etc), marine, freshwater
  • ecosystem, biosphere, community, etc.

Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, "a phrase") to connect your keywords when searching databases.

Find chemical properties by using...

  • standard reference works such as the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 
  • the "Search Chemical" search in the Scifinder database.
  • TOXNET databases (for toxicity)

Explore background information.

  • Use the library catalogue, Omni to find single-topic books on the subject (print or online)
  • Search for review papers in databases such as Web of Science, BIOSIS, PubMed and Scifinder (each of these databases allows you to filter specifically for reviews)

Find specific scientific articles...

  • Use the library databases - note that each has specialized filtering tools.  For example,
    • records in Web of Science have "cited by" links that let you see who has cited the article since its publication.
    • PubMed allows you to filter articles depending if they are about humans or other animals.
    • Scifinder has an analyze feature that allows you to sort through your results
  • If Queen's library doesn't have the article you need, order a copy through the free interlibrary loan service, RACER.

Organize what you find using a citation management system, like Zotero.