Introduction to Biological Research
Dr. Clark/Ms. Zeile
The nature of your research assignment is the major determinant of the information sources you will use. In the sciences, research is constantly introducing new information on virtually all areas of investigation. This new information can be disproved or improved rapidly, so currency is an important consideration when doing a research project in the sciences. Thus, much of the information used in such a project will come from scholarly journals which are published far more frequently and quickly than books are. There will be instances, however, when books will contain relevant information for scientific research projects. This is especially true as you begin your research project. Background material and vocabulary pertaining to your topic can be quickly and easily found in printed material. It is essential that you examine your assignment and determine what kind of information you will need. By doing this you can better choose which indexes and databases to consult.
- Biology data book - Ref QH 310 .A392 (3 volumes)
- Concise dictionary of biomedicine and molecular biology - Ref R121 .J86 2002
- Darwin's universe : evolution from A-Z - Ref QH360.2 .M55 2009
- Dictionary of theoretical concepts in biology - Ref QH 302.5 .R63
- Elsevier's dictionary of biology - Ref QH302.5 .E47 1998
- Encyclopedia of evolution - Ref QH360.2 .E54 2002
- Encyclopedia of life sciences - Ref QH302.5 .E53 2001
- Facts on File dictionary of biology - Ref QH302.5 .F38 1999
- Grizimek's animal life encyclopedia - Ref QL .G7813 2003
- Magill's encyclopedia of science : animal life - Ref QL7 .M34 2002
- Oxford dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology. - Ref QP512 .O94 2000
- Scientific style and format - Ref T11 .S386 2006
Depending on your topic you may be able to use books as sources for your project. Books or conference proceedings can be very helpful for providing background, factual information, methodology, and comparative analysis of a subject. Use the Library Catalog to locate this type of resource. Try using both the Subject and Keyword searches for words that pertain to your subject.
In all areas of scientific research, journal articles are essential sources of information. The following indexes should prove useful to you as you work on your project.
An expansive index to the world’s life sciences journal literature, with topics ranging from botany to microbiology to pharmacology.
General Science Abstracts
Indexes 150 science journals and magazines from the US and Great Britain. Coverage is from 1984 to the present. Updated monthly.
Medline indexes over 3,500 periodicals in all areas of medicine, including dentistry and nursing.
Info Trac - Health Reference Center Academic
Use this database to find articles on: Fitness, Pregnancy, Medicine, Nutrition, Diseases, Public Health, Occupational Health and Safety, Alcohol and Drug abuse, HMOs, Prescription Drugs, etc. Many of the citations include the full text of the article.
ProQuest Biology Journals
ProQuest Biology Journals™ provides access to a wide range of biology topics. The database includes over 370 titles, with more than 325 available in full text. With thousands of articles available online, ProQuest Biology Journals includes some of the most popular information resources for users in academic, government, and public research environments.
Provides full-text access to 174 journals, and indexes many more. Science Direct covers Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Genetics, and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and more. (To get full-text articles when searching in this database, you must choose Source: Subscribed Journals. Please see a librarian for clarification.)
Locating Journals Not Available in the Alma College Library
Follow the Full Text Journals link on the library home page. This allows you to search for any journals to which the library has full text access.
Follow the Other Library Catalogs link on the library home page. Two important links on this page go to the library catalog at Central Michigan University and Michigan State University.
Interlibrary Loan is also available. However, you must be prepared to wait up to two weeks to receive the article.
Biology Online: Information in the Biological Sciences
Contains a dictionary of biology, biology tutorials (adaptation, cell biology, developmental biology, freshwater ecology, genetics and evolution, neurology, regulation in biological systems, origins and evolution of life), and other biology resouces on the web.
An open-access monthly peer-reviewed journal featuring "works of exceptional significance in all areas of biological science." The Public Library of Science is a "nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource."
Scirus is the "most comprehensive science-specific search engine on the Internet." It searches over 150 million science-specific Web pages, providing access to journal articles as well as web-sites.
Many journals have some of their more recent issues available online via the web.