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Resources for Biology


Brassaia actinophylla, Schefflera Microscopy Work Water

Biology, the study of living organisms, has a number of specialties such as cytology, taxonomy, evolution, ecology, immunology, and neurobiology. Related fields are medicine, environmental studies, and biochemistry. This guide will point you toward sources for definitions, overviews of biological concepts, and places to find research papers on topics in the field. The list is far from complete; don't hesitate to ask a librarian for help.

Table of Contents:

Indexes and Databases
For more information and additional suggestions, visit the Databases Guide for Biology.
  • Biological Sciences
    http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/biologicalsciences?accountid=4806

    Citations and abstracts to research in all areas of biological sciences, including biomedicine, biotechnology, zoology, and ecology. Coverage is from 1982 to the present. Biological Sciences indexes over 6,000 primary journals plus patents, conference proceedings, books and reports.
  • General Science Collection
    http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/mnafolke?db=SPJ.SP04

    A collection of over 200 journals covering such topics as particle physics, advanced mathematics, and nanotechnology. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
  • Plant Science
    http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/plantscience?accountid=4806

    Indexes literature from 1994-present on pathology, symbiosis, biochemistry, and genetics.
  • PubMed
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?otool=mngaclib

    The primary source for scholarly information in the health sciences. This database is provided by the National Library of Medicine and indexes scholarly literature in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. Many links to full text are included for articles older than six months. Most of this database may also be searched in the ProQuest interface as MEDLINE.
Reference Works
  • General
    • Concise Encyclopedia: Biology
      Offers brief definitions and in some cases longer articles on a wide variety of topics in the field, including plants and animals, terminology from ecology, microbiology, and biochemistry, and scientific terms.There is another concise encyclopedia covering biochemistry and molecular biology available at Ref QD415.A25 B713 1997.
      • Location(s): Ref QH 302.5 .A2313 1996
    • Dictionary of Biology
      http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/BOOK_SEARCH.html?book=t6

      Defines key terms in the life sciences, including biology, biophysics, biochemistry, and medicine.
  • Plants and Animals
    • Birds of North America
      Comprehensive and authoritative profiles of current knowledge of approximately 700 species of birds native to North America. Each profile describes the bird, covers distribution, systematics, migration, habitat, food habits, sounds, migration, behavior, breeding, demography, conservation, and appearance. There is an extensive bibliography for each entry.
      • Location(s): Ref QL 681 .B625 1992
    • Dictionary of Entomology
      Offers succinct definitions of terms in the field, identification of insects, names of families, topics, and prominent entomolgists.
      • Location(s): Ref QL 462.3 .G67 2001
    • Dictionary of Plant Sciences
      http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/BOOK_SEARCH.html?book=t7

      Defines terms in the field of botany, including plant physiology, cytology, ecology, genetics, evolution, and taxonomic groups.
    • Dictionary of Zoology
      http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/BOOK_SEARCH.html?book=t8

      Covers aspects of animal behavior, genetics, evolutionary studies, ecology, physiology, genetics, cytology, and zoogeography.
    • Encyclopedia of Endangered Species
      Describes over 700 animals and plants currently threatened with extinction. Arranged taxonomically; an index provides common and scientific name access. For each species the status, description and biology, habitat and current distribution, and history and conservation measures are described. Includes indexes by geographic location and a list of wildlife and conservation organizations.
      • Location(s): Ref QH 75 .A1 E53
    • Flora of North America North of Mexico
      An ongoing project that provides essays on the physical and biological factors that have affected the evolution and distribution of plant life on the continent, including physical setting, vegetation and climates of the past, contemporary vegetation and phylogeny, humankind and flora, and classification of flora.
      • Location(s): Ref QK 110 .F55 1993
    • Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia
      A survey of animals, organized by taxonomic class. Discussions include distribution, behavior, and appearance; well illustrated with numerous color plates.
      • Location(s): Ref QL 7 .G7813
  • Special Topics
    • Dictionary of Ecology
      http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/BOOK_SEARCH.html?book=t14

      Covers thousands of terms in habitat management, molecular ecology, and conservation, as well as identifying important biologists in the field.
    • Encyclopedia of Biodiversity
      Provides in-depth, scholarly articles on topics ranging from agriculture, conservation, economic aspects of biodiversity, microbial biodiversity, public policy, and systematics.
      • Location(s): Ref QH 541.15 .B56 E53 2001
    • Encyclopedia of Bioethics
      Covers issues and controversies in bioethics in lengthy, scholarly articles, each one accompanied by a current bibliography of key sources.
      • Location(s): Ref QH 332 .E52 2004
    • Encyclopedia of Evolution
      Offers in-depth essays covering evolutionary aspects population genetics, cell and developmental biology, molecular evolution, diversity of life, evolutionary systematics, biogeography, behavioral ecology, human evolution, and more.
      • Location(s): Ref QH 360.2 .E54 2002
    • Encyclopedia of Genetics
      A one-volume textbook covering genetics of bacteria and viruses, drosophila and other insects, mammals, humans, and plants as well as DNA-based analysis and population genetics.
      • Location(s): Ref QH 427 .E54 2001
    • Encyclopedia of Human Biology
      Offers articles on topics in human biology, ranging from behavior, biochemistry, genetics and psychology to medical research. There is an index to the set in the final volume.
      • Location(s): Ref QP 11 .E53 1997
    • Encyclopedia of Microbiology (Academic Press)
      Covers topics in microbiology, reviewing research in such areas as bacteriophages, anaerobic respiration, and AIDS. The articles, written for the informed non-specialist, are substantial.
      • Location(s): Ref QR 9 .E53 2000
    • Handbook of Stem Cells
      A collection of technical articles written by experts on aspects of stem cell research, including basic biology, methods, applications, regulation and ethics, and even the patient's perspective.
      • Location(s): Ref QH 588 .S83 H36 2004
    • Walker's Mammals of the World
      Covers the description, habitat, behavior, and biology of every genus of living mammal.
      • Location(s): QL 703 .N69 1991
    • Oxford Companion to Animal Behaviour
      Covers topics in ethology in short articles, defining terms and discussing theory and discoveries in the field.
      • Location(s): Ref QL 750.3 .O94 1982
Browsing for Books
Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Below is a brief listing of some of the subject locations in the field of biology.
  • GE Environmental education
  • GF Human ecology
  • HC 79 Environmental economics
  • Q Science (General)
    • QD 146-197 Organic Chemistry
    • QE 701-996 Paleontology
    • QH Natural History
      • 301-425 Biology (General)
      • 426-470 Genetics
      • 471-489 Reproduction
      • 501-531 Life
      • 540-549 Ecology
      • 573-671 Cytology
    • QK Botany
    • QL Zoology
  • R Medicine
  • S Agriculture
  • SB Plant culture
  • SD Forestry
  • SF Animal culture


Annual Reviews
Annual series are secondary sources that recap research in key areas of the field. They are an excellent place to gain a sense of the various approaches to a given topic and the literature that supports it.
  • ADVANCES IN MARINE BIOLOGY v. 1, 1963- (QH 91 .A1 A22)
  • ADVANCES IN VIRUS RESEARCH v. 1, 1953- (QR 360 .A3)
  • ANNUAL REVIEW OF BIOCHEMISTRY v. 37, 1968- (QP501.A7); current volumes online
  • ANNUAL REVIEW OF CELL & DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY v. 1, 1985- (QH 573 .A54) current volumes online
  • ANNUAL REVIEW OF ENTOMOLOGY v. 1, 1956- (QL 461 .A5); current volumes online
  • ANNUAL REVIEW OF GENETICS v. 1, 1967- (QH 431 .A1 A54); current volumes online
  • ANNUAL REVIEW OF GENOMICS & HUMAN GENETICS v. 1, 2001- (QH 431 .A56); current volumes online
  • ANNUAL REVIEW OF NEUROSCIENCE; current volumes online
  • COLD SPRING HARBOR SYMPOSIUM ON QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY v. 20, 1955- (QH 301 .C68)
  • WILDLIFE MONOGRAPHS no. 9-173, 1956-2009 (QL 1 .W54); current volumes available online
  • Annual Reviews
    http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/arsearch.dtl

    Online access to the tables of contents of the Annual Reviews: 29 volumes published yearly covering biomedical, physical, and social science disciplines. Full text (usually from 1998 to the present) is available for 14 titles: the Annual Review of Anthropology, Biochemistry, Cell & Developmental Biology, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Ecology & Systematics, Entomology, Genetics, Genomics & Human Genetics, Immunology, Neuroscience, Physical Chemistry, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
In related fields
  • AGRICOLA
    http://agricola.nal.usda.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=bbSearch&STARTDB=AGRIDB

    Citations and abstracts for agricultural publications from the 15th century to the present, including articles from over 600 periodicals, USDA and state experiment station and extension publications, and selected books. Subjects include animal and veterinary sciences, entomology, plant sciences, food and human nutrition, and earth and environmental sciences. Many records are linked to full-text documents online. A resource of the National Agricultural Library.
  • Open Science Directory
    http://www.opensciencedirectory.net/

    This directory provides access to over 13,000 open access journals in the sciences, including those from PubMed Central, Highwire Press, Biomed Central, and the Directory of Open Access Journals, as well as several international efforts to make scientific research more broadly accessible. Many of the articles in these journals can be searched using a Google customized search option at the site.
  • PubMed
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?otool=mngaclib

    The primary source for scholarly information in the health sciences. This database is provided by the National Library of Medicine and indexes scholarly literature in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. Many links to full text are included for articles older than six months. Most of this database may also be searched in the ProQuest interface as MEDLINE.
  • Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Knowledge)
    http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://webofknowledge.com/?DestApp=WOS&editions=SCI

    Search citations and abstracts in more than 5,700 major journals across 164 scientific disciplines, including agriculture, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, medicine, pharmacology, physics, plant sciences, psychiatry, and zoology. It is also possible to search for works that have cited a specific author or a specific work using this resource.
  • Science Reference Center
    http://gacproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?authtype=ip,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=sch

    This database contains full text for nearly 640 science encyclopedias, reference books, and journals. Topics covered include: biology, chemistry, earth & space science, environmental science, health & medicine, history of science, life science, physics, science & society, science as inquiry, scientists, technology and wildlife. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
Journals

Print journals are housed in the periodicals collection on the first floor of the library. Additional journals may be available in full text through various subscription databases.

Many scientific and medical publishers make their journals contents available online for free within six months to two years of publication. These can be accessed through these Web sites:

Free Medical Journals links to over 1,200 journals with free content
Highwire Press
includes free access to back issues of many of its journals
PubMedCentral an archive of life science journals maintained by the National Library of Medicine

  • American Biology Teacher
  • American Midland Naturalist
  • Audubon
  • American Midland Naturalist
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Annals of the Entomological Society of America
  • Behavioral Ecology
  • Bioscience
    http://gac.liblink.umn.edu/gac?sid=sfx:e_collection&issn=0006-3568
  • Botany
  • Canadian Journal of Zoology
  • Cell
  • Copeia
    http://gac.liblink.umn.edu/gac?sid=sfx:e_collection&issn=0045-8511
  • Ecology
    http://gac.liblink.umn.edu/gac?sid=sfx:e_collection&issn=0012-9658
  • Entomological News
  • Environment
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Environmental History
  • Evolution
    http://gac.liblink.umn.edu/gac?sid=sfx:e_collection&issn=0014-3820
  • Genes & Development
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Horticulture
  • JAMA: journal of the American Medical Association
  • Journal of Cell Biology
    http://gac.liblink.umn.edu/gac?sid=sfx:e_collection&issn=0021-9525

    Scholarly journal covering all aspects of cellular structure and function, including nuclear organization and structure, cell cycle and division, cell growth, survival and death, cellular adhesion and motility, and intercellular communication. Cell biology can also encompass structural and molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics.
  • Journal of Freshwater Ecology
  • Journal of Heredity
  • Journal of Neurophysiology
  • Learning & Behavior
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Nature Neuroscience
  • Plant Cell
    http://gac.liblink.umn.edu/gac?sid=sfx:e_collection&issn=1040-4651
  • Plant Physiology
    http://gac.liblink.umn.edu/gac?sid=sfx:e_collection&issn=0032-0889
  • Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Websites
  • General Information
    • BioNetbook
      http://www.pasteur.fr/recherche/BNB/bnb-en.html

      A searchable directory of biology web pages.
    • Online Biology Book
      http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/BIOBK/BioBookTOC.html

      Lectures covering basic chemistry, cellular biology, genetics, thermodynamics, protein synthesis, plants and structure, animal organ systems (integumentary, respiratory, etc.), evolutionary theory, and biological diversity, and more.
    • Scirus
      http://www.scirus.com/

      A search engine for science web sites and journal articles (which may not be available for free).
  • Audio and Visual Resources
    • EcoPort
      http://www.ecoport.org/

      Contains over 13,000 photographs and over 75,000 species records (memes).
    • Listen to Nature
      http://www.bl.uk/listentonature

      from the British Library, offers 150,000 animal sounds that can be browsed by location, animal type, or habitat. For best results, use an advanced search of the catalog and limit to wildlife sounds.
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
    • Amphibiaweb
      http://amphibiaweb.org/

      From Berkeley's Digital Library Project, offers information about amphibian species, including distribution maps, sound files, photographs, and references to relevant biological research.
    • Animal Diversity Web
      http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/

      From the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology. Animals are classified by phylum, order, class and family. Searchable.
    • Encyclopedia of Life
      http://www.eol.org/

      The goal of this Website is to create a Web page for every living organism that includes "taxonomy, geographic distribution, collections, genetics, evolutionary history, morphology, behavior, ecological relationships, and importance for human well being." Within ten years the project hopes to have pages for some 1.8 million organisms. Some of the contents come from other Websites such as the Animal Diversity Web.
    • Plants Database
      http://plants.usda.gov/

      From the USDA's National Resources Conservation Service, provides basic information about plants growing in the US, including images, species abstracts, growth distribution, growth data, and more. Includes sections on "culturally significant" plants and invasive species.
    • Tree of Life
      http://tolweb.org/tree/phylogeny.html

      A multi-authored Internet project containing information about phylogeny and biodiversity.
  • Biotechnology
  • Developmental Biology
    • Virtual Library: Developmental Biology
      http://www.sdbonline.org/archive/Other/VL_DB.html

      Includes a subject index, organism index, societies/organizations index, journals/publishers index and more.
  • Historical Information
    • History of Biomedicine
      http://www.mic.ki.se/History.html

      This page contains links to resources on indigenous cultures, Mesopotamian, ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and Western medicine.
  • Marine Biology
    • Census of Marine Life
      http://www.coml.org/

      A website that chronicles the work of the Census of Marine Life, an international effort to document and study the diversity and distribution of life in the oceans. The site provides lists of publications arising out of the project (including a database of published papers), a summary of projects with links to their websites, an image gallery, and more.
  • Online Documents/Reports
    • DOE Information Bridge
      http://www.osti.gov/bridge/index.jsp

      Free access to Department of Energy (DOE) research and development reports, some of which relate to biology and environmental sciences.
Photo Credits (L to R)

Stems of a Plant - http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottkinmartin/381668773/
Microscopy Work - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kasimetcalfe/172440119/
Playing Water Games and Learning- http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanomak/361278132/

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