Biology Literature Search HelpLink to top Life Sciences page
This is a SHORT list of databases which will fill 90% of literature search needs in the Biology Library. Please don't hesitate to ask the staff in the library or contact a Subject Librarian for additional help and suggestions! If you prefer, you may browse the longer, alphabetical lists of Biology and Medical Journal Indexes and Databases.
- Medline Not just clinical medicine; this is usually the first choice for most biology topics. Use whichever connection you prefer; most folks here use the PubMed version. [PubMed Suggestion: sort your "Clipboard" by "journal", since Medical and science departmental libraries shelve journals alphabetically by title.]
- Web of Science Very useful for all subjects; especially helpful for interdisciplinary subjects like biotechnology or bioethics.
- Scopus Very useful for all subjects.
- Agricola Coverage centers around agriculture, but also useful for environmental topics and many aspects of biotechnology.
- SciFinder Web Basically Chemical Abstracts online, 1907+ but this also includes all of Medline and many other features.
- Academic Search Premier and/or Health
& Wellness Resource Center and/or Applied
Science and Technology Full Text
When you have VERY little time, these databases can be life savers. You can limit your retrieval to articles that have full-text available right within the database.
- Find it! Life Sciences MultiSearch or Science/Engineering QuickSearch box. For more info see Find it! FAQ.
- Books are often a very good place to start, because they have nicely pre-selected reference lists and a more general approach to many subjects. Search in WU Danforth Campus Libraries Catalog and WU Medical Library Catalog. Or use Searchbox for WU Libraries' Catalogs and Missouri Botanical Garden Catalog. There are lots of other book sources, but many of them will require interlibrary loan.
- Selected Search Pages The Internet is becoming too easy and valuable to ignore, but information is seldom "peer-reviewed", so select your sources carefully!
After you have a list of articles you want to read, you'll need to locate them in the libraries. Ask for help or check Find Journal Articles. If the title of the journal is abbreviated, you may need to determine what the full title is before you can determine if we own the journal. These lists of journal abbreviation sources may be helpful for that. We have print sources at the Biology Library desk, also.