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BY 4110 - Senior Seminar (Bortnick)

Finding Research

Biology Databases

When you search Google Scholar, the scientific articles in the databases listed below may be included in your results.  Scholar acts as an umbrella search engine for all of them and displays information when the library has access to the journal. 

However, searching each database individually will give you a better hit rate because of the specialized search "bells and whistles" of the individual database.

If you find that most of the hits you find useful come from a particular database, go to that database to run your search.  You'll weed out the citations that don't relate to your topic.

Interlibrary Loan

If a book or article you want is not available, use Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The Library can order books and articles from other libraries. This process takes few days but is completely free for DelVal students, faculty, and staff.

Before you submit an ILL, check Google Scholar or EBSCO Discovery to see if we have immediate access or if it is freely available online.

Writing your Abstract

Writing an Abstract

The contents of this page are borrowed in part from Purdue's Online Writing Lab and UNC's Writing Center.

Your abstract should summarize the key points of your research paper by touching briefly on the following elements:

  1. Reason for Writing -- Why is the topic important?  Why would someone want to read your paper?
  2. Problem -- What issue are you trying to solve? What is your main argument, thesis, or claim?
  3. Methodology -- How did you conduct your research?  What types of data and evidence did you include?
  4. Results -- What did you discover?
  5. Implications -- What are your conclusions and suggestions for the future?

Reread your finished paper and look specifically for the elements included in this list.  Then sit on your paper (or put it away) and write a rough draft of your abstract.  Do not simply copy and paste key sentences from your paper, and do not mention any information that you didn't include in your paper!  When you're ready to revise your rough draft, check for organization, coherence, and content.

Most informative abstracts are generally 200-300 words and one paragraph in length.

A good abstract...

  • offers a concise, coherent, and complete summary of your paper in one well-written paragraph
  • uses an introduction/body/conclusion structure that discusses the parts of your paper (purpose, findings, conclusions, recommendations)
  • discusses the parts of your paper in chronological order
  • includes only the information that you address in your paper (no extraneous details)
  • appeals to a wide audience (even those readers who may not be experts on your topic)

To view examples of abstracts, do a search in any database, or take a look at the abstracts attached to the studies that you found for your paper! Or click the document below...

Formatting your Bibliography

Important Note about Council of Scientific Editors


When the author's name appears in the sentence, it does not need to be repeated in the citation.

Recent literature has examined long-run price drifts following initial public offerings and other factors (Ritter 2009). 
Fisher (2010) reaches more or less the same conclusion.

More than one author

(Smith and Johnson 1998)
(Smith et al. 2001)

Multiple citations in the same sentence

When referencing multiple studies within the same sentence, cite in order by author's last name

(Dawson J 2006; Mondari 2010)

No author

Use the first word or first few words of the title. Use only as many words as are needed to distinguish it from other references. 

(Handbook ... 2000)

Journal Articles

To save space, journal titles are abbreviated according to the ISO 4 standard, shortening significant words and omitting insignificant words. Read more and search the List of Title Word Abbreviations at

NOTE: There is another abbreviation generation CASSI which can also be used. It does not follow CSE so remember to make the appropriate adjustments. 

Journal article 

Last name First initial. Year. Article title, sentence style capitalization. Abbreviated journal title. Volume(issue, if available):pages. URL, if no DOI available


Lawskowski DA. 2002. Physical and chemical proprieties of pyrethroids. Rev Environ Contam Toxiocol. 174:149-170. doi:10.1136/rect.330.7500.1119

Article titles are not italicized. However, species names are italicized and capitalized normally. 


In vitro and in vivo reconstitution of the cadherin-catenin-actin complex from Caenorhabditis elegans.

Journal article with multiple authors

When there are 2 to 10 authors, list all of them. If there are more than 10 authors, list the first 10 followed by et al.

Last name First initial, Last name First initial, Last name First initial. Year. Article title, sentence style capitalization. Abbreviated journal title. Volume(issue, if available):pages. URL, if no DOI available


Smart N, Fang ZY, Marwick TH. 2003. A practical guide to exercise training for heart failure patients. J Card Fail. 9(1):49-58.

Jones AR Smith KR, Williams AB, Carter F, White RY, Little RT, Kane TR, Larosa J, Mann FD, Swartz MN, et al. 

Forthcoming articles

Last name First initial, Last name First initial, Last name First initial. Estimated date. Article title, sentence style capitalization. Abbreviated journal title. URL, if no DOI available


Chinsembu KC, Syakalima M, Semenya SS. Forthcoming 2019 Mar. Ethnomedicinal plants used by traditional healers in the management of HIV/AIDS opportunistic diseases in Lusaka, Zambia. S Afr J Bot. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2015.05.009

Blog Post

Last name First initial. Year Month Day. Title of post, sentence style capitalization [blog]. Title of blog. [access date with abbreviated month]. URL


Fogarty M. 2012 Aug 14. Formatting titles on Twitter and Facebook [blog]. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. [accessed 2012 Oct 19].


Last name First initial. Year. Title, sentence style capitalization. Edition, if available. Publisher's location: Publisher's name. 


Stahl SM. 2000. Essential psychopharmacology of depression and bipolar disorder. New York (NY): Cambridge University Press. 

Book with multiple authors

Last name First initial, Last name First initial. Year. Title, sentence style capitalization. Edition, if available. Publisher's location: Publisher's name. 


Schott J, Priest J. 2002. Leading antenatal classes: a practical guide. 2nd ed. Boston (MA): Books for Midwives.

Chapter in edited book

Last name First initial. Year. Chapter title, sentence style capitalization. In Editor, editors. Book title, sentence style capitalization. Publisher's location: Publisher's name. Pages. 


Anderson RJ. 2001. Acute renal failure. In Braunwald E, Isselbacher KJ, editors. Harrison’s principles of international medicine. New York (NY): McGraw-Hill. p. 1149-1155.

Chapter in non-edited book

Last name First initial. Year. Book title, sentence style capitalization. Publisher's location: Publisher's name. Chapter title, sentence style capitalization; Pages.


Shakelford RT. Surgery of the alimentary tract. Philadelphia (PA): W.B. Saunders. Chapter 2, Esophagoscopy; p. 29-40.

Clinical Trial or other Technical Report

Notes can include sponsoring organization if different from performing organization.

Last name Initials (Performing organization name and address, if different from publisher). Title of report, sentence style capitalization. Edition, if available. Place of publication: publisher. Report No., if available: Contract No., if available: Grant No, if available.: Notes, if available.


Cooper LN (Department of Physics, Brown University, Providence, RI). 1990. Theoretical and experimental research into biological mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Washington (DC): Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Report No.: AFOSR-TR-90-0672. Sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

Conference Proceedings

Authors. Date. Title of paper. In: Editors. Title of book. Number and name of conference; date of conference; place of conference. Place of publication: publisher. Location. Notes. 


Murphy J, McLean A, McGreevy P, Sheridan F, Hanly P. 2008. The use of training aids (gadgets) within equitation: meritorious or detrimental? In: Murphy J, Hennessy K, Wall P, Hanly P, editors. ISES Dublin  2008. Proceedings of the 4th ISES Conference; Dublin. Dublin (Ireland): University College Dublin. p. 29.

Customer Reviews

Author. Year Month Day. Website title [online review]. [access date]. URL


Jcocker99. 2017 Jan 25. GNC [online review]. [accessed 2017 Feb 21].

Images or Tables, in an article

Personal Image

Last name First initial. Year. Title of image [photograph].


Thomas K. 2014. IMG_2947.jpg [photograph].

Images or tables from an article

Images or tables from journal articles are cited as journal articles. 


Lawskowski DA. 2002. Physical and chemical proprieties of pyrethroids. Rev Environ Contam Toxiocol. 174:49-170. doi:10.1136/rect.330.7500.1119

Online tables 


UNAIDS. 2018. Trend of new HIV infections [table]. AIDSInfo. [accessed 15 Mar 2019].

Images or Tables, online


Title of webpage, sentence style capitalization. Year Month Day. Website title [screenshot]. URL


Calmatives for dogs. 2017 Sept 15. Google Shopping [screenshot].*

Online image

Artist's name (if available). Title of image, sentence style capitalization [image]. Year. Publisher's name. [date updated; date accessed]. URL.


Mind on fire [image]. 2013. Elizabeth Jameson's Portfolio. [accessed 2012 Oct 23]. 

Amazon Image

Tonka Store. 81CfpldXsBL.__AC_SX300_SY300_QL70_FMwebp_ [image]. 2021. Amazon. [accessed 1 March 2021].

Google Image

Toys R Us. Basic Fun Tonka – Steel Classics Mighty Dump Truck [image]. 2021. Toys R Us. [accessed 1 March 2021.

Instagram Post

Instagram Post

Account name. Title of image [image]. Year. Platform. [date accessed]. URL.

Example: CL28t0Wn23Q [image]. 2021. Instagram. [updated 2021 February 28].

Letters, Emails, and Conversations

CSE recommends placing reference to personal communications such as letters and conversations with the running text, not as formal end references. The nature and the source of the cited information should be identified by an appropriate statement. Place the source information within parentheses, using a term or terms to indicate clearly that the citation is not represented in the reference list. 

...and most of these meningiomas proved to be inoperable (2003 letter from RS Grant to me; unreferenced, see "Notes") while a few were not. 

The author must provide written permission to the publisher from the cited person (if living) or from the cited organization  if it is carried in a document such as an internal memorandum that is not accessible to scholars. The permission should be acknowledged in an "Acknowledgements" or a "Notes" section that follows the text of an article or is placed at the end of a book's main text; such statements may include additional details such as the reason for the communication. 

CSE Manual Personal Communications

Nutrition Labels

Company name. Product name [label].


Iovate Health Sciences. Hydroxycut platinum [label].

Newspaper Articles

Last name First initial. Year Month Day. Article title, sentence style capitalization. Newspaper title (edition, if available). Section, if available:beginning page of article (column no.). 


Weiss R. 2003 Apr 11. Study shows problems in cloning people: researchers find replicating primates will be harder than other mammals. Washington Post (Hom Ed.). Sect. A:12 (col. 1).

Online newspaper article

Last name First initial. Year Month Day. Article title, sentence style capitalization. Newspaper title (edition, if available). [accessed date]. URL


Cheshire S. 2014 Aug 6. Does oil pulling work? CNN Wire (U.S. Ed.). [accessed 28 March 2017].


Last name Initials, Last name Initials, inventors; patent holder, assignee. Date. Title of patent, sentence level capitalization. Country issuing patent Country code Patent number.  


Blanco EE, Meade JC, Richards WD, inventors; Ophthalmic Ventures, assignee. 1990 Nov 13. Surgical stapling system. United States patent US 4,969,591. 

Podcasts or Webcasts

Narrator's name. Date first aired. Title of podcast episode, sentence-style capitalization [podcast, episode number if available]. Name of podcast show. Producer. Length. [accessed date]. URL


Vuolo M. 2012 July 9. Our dying words [podcast, episode 16]. Lexicon Valley. Slate. 21:10 minutes. [accessed 2012 Oct 23].

Powerpoint Presentation

Last name First initial. Date of presentation. Title of PowerPoint, sentence style capitalization. Paper presented at: Title of class or conference. Institution (if for class). Place of class. 


Sheldon K. 2018 February 26. Learning library basics. Paper presented at: DelVal Experience I. Delaware Valley University. Doylestown, PA.

Radio Interviews

Last name First initial [Host]. Date first aired. Story title, sentence style capitalization [Radio broadcast episode]. Name of show. Producer. [accessed date]. URL


Inskeep S [Host]. 2014 July 8. Buddhist monks face jail time for July 4 fireworks display [Radio broadcast episode]. Morning Edition. NPR. [accessed 2015 Nov 28].  


The same format applies for reports sponsored by the government as for other sponsors.

Last name First initial. Year. Report title, sentence level capitalization. Edition, if available. Publisher's location: Publisher's name. Report number, if available. 


Feller BA. 1981. Health characteristics of persons with chronic activity limitation, United States, 1979. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US). Report No.: VHS-SER-10/137.


Last name First initial. Year Month Day. Name of survey, sentence level capitalization [survey or questionnaire]. 


Smith J. 2009 May 3. Measuring information service outcomes survey [survey]. 

Theses or Dissertations

Author. Title of dissertation or thesis [content designator]. [Place of publication]: publisher; date


Lutz M. 1989. 1903: American nervousness and the economy of cultural change [dissertation]. [Stanford (CA)]: Stanford University.

Oviedo S. 1995. Adolescent pregnancy: voices heard in the everyday lives of pregnant teenagers [master's thesis]. [Denton (TX)]: University of North Texas.


Online video, no author

Title of video, sentence style capitalization [video]. Year posted. Title of program, if available. Website title. [access date]. URL


How smart are animals? [video]. 2011 Feb 9. NOVA scienceNOW. PBS. [accessed 2012 March 25].

Online video, with author

Author. Year posted. Title of video, sentence style capitalization [video]. Title of program or hosting platform, if available. Website title. [access date]. URL


National Geographic. 2008. 2 degrees warmer: ocean life in danger [video]. [accessed 2017 March 25].

See for more details on where to locate this information. 


Title of homepage, sentence style capitalization. Year. Edition, if available. Publisher's location: Publisher's name; [date updated; date accessed]. URL


APSnet: plant pathology online. 2005. St Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Association; [accessed 2005 Jun 20].

Is the example you need missing?

Contact the Library at to request a new example and citation help!

Setting up RefWorks


RefWorks is a new way to collect, manage, and organize research.  You can read, annotate, organize, and cite your research as well as collaborate by sharing collections.

From simple bibliographies to papers formatted with in-text citations or footnotes, RefWorks handles it all. ​To learn more about RefWorks, use our RefWorks research guide.

To create a RefWorks account:

  1. Go to the link below and click Use login from my institution
  2. Fill in your information, making sure to use your DelVal email address.  
  3. Go to your inbox and click the email link to complete the activation process. 

Already have an account? Just go to the link below and click "Log In"

Getting Help