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BIOD20: Special Topics in Virology

This guide is for students in BIOD20 to help them locate topics and articles for their journal club assignment, as well as guidance on analyzing articles.

Keywords Matter

Ask yourself three questions:

  1. What is my topic?
  2. What are the key aspects of this topic?
  3. What are alternate keywords for each aspect?

Brainstorm keywords to use in your search. Pick words that represent each key aspect of your topic. This can be challenging. The same idea can be expressed in many ways. To ensure the best results when searching, brainstorm several keywords whenever possible.

Sample Topic: Detecing Drug-Resistant Mutations in HBV

Let's say you were interested in finding research articles on methods for detecting drug-resistant mutations in Hepatitis B virus. What are some keywords you could use?

Key concepts:

  • Hepatitis B virus AND mutation(s) AND drug resistant

Related keywords/synonyms for each concept:

Hepatitis B virus:

  • HBV
  • Hepatitis B


  • Mutate, mutates, mutated
  • Mutating

Drug resistant:

  • Drug resistance