Biology Research Guide
- Find Background Info
- Find Books and Films
- Find Articles
- Citing Sources
Find Background Info
Background sources, such as specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries, are an essential piece of the research process. They can help you:
- Gather information about your topic and understand the scope of the research
- Locate reliable sources and clarify keywords
- Pinpoint important authors, texts, ideas, and keywords about the research area.
Knowing what the primary phrases and concepts are will help you a lot as you are searching library databases and online sources.
Credo Reference is a multi-publisher collection of high-quality reference titles. Available titles also include a range of multimedia options, including thousands of high quality diagrams, photographs, maps, and audio files. Credo includes several books on topics in biology, including:
- 50 Biology Ideas You Really Need to Know
- Dictionary of Microbiology & Molecular Biology
- Dictionary of Developmental Biology and Embyology
- Concise Encyclopedia of Plant Pathology
- The Visual Guides: Understanding the Human Body
Science Reference Center (EBSCO)
The Science Reference Center provides easy access to a wealth of full-text, science-oriented content including science encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals, and other reliable sources. In addition, the database includes a vast collection of images from sources such as Getty, NASA, National Geographic, and the Nature Picture Library.
Find Books and Films
Print and e-books are valuable sources for academic research. They will help you gain an overview of your topic and often contain in-depth information about the scholarship or history of research on a subject. Some books are written by single authors, while others include essays or chapters by multiple scholars within a discipline. Don’t let the length of books intimidate you because you don’t need to read them from cover to cover. Look at the table of contents and index to find the sections that are relevant to your work.
Academic Videos Online (AVON)
AVON provides unlimited access to a comprehensive selection of videos curated for the educational experience.
Find Books Using GriffinSearch
GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other materials available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases. To get started, search by keyword or type in the title of a book here:
WorldCat lets you search for books, articles, videos, and other material that are available in libraries worldwide. If you are doing in-depth research on a topic and are considering requesting resources through Interlibrary Loan, WorldCat can help you discover resources that might not be in the Giovale Library collection.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
Interlibrary Loan is a service where patrons of one library can borrow books and other materials, and access journal articles that are owned by another library.
Utah Academic Library Consortium
Giovale Library participates in the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) and Westminster College students have reciprocal circulation privileges at UALC partner libraries. Each UALC library has different circulation policies, but all require a current, valid, legal photo identification and proof of current enrollment at Westminster. Some libraries may also require other verification methods, so it is recommended that you contact the library you are interested in for details.
Popular Titles and Featured Texts
The Giovale Library provides access to a number of subject databases that you can use to find journal articles on topics within a specific discipline or field of study. The databases listed on this page are those that are most useful for finding research published in Biology.
GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other material available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases.
Springer eJournals Collection (Springer Nature)
Springer eJournals Collection provides full-text access to over 1,900 peer-reviewed journals covering numerous disciplines from the sciences such as biomedical sciences, chemistry, environmental sciences, life sciences, and more. When searching all of SpringerLink, refine your results under content type by journal articles to limit your results to full text articles.
Science Direct: Health and Life Sciences (Elsevier)
ScienceDirect is a leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters. Journals are guided by eminent editorial boards and articles are rigorously peer-reviewed. Books on ScienceDirect cover 24 subject collections across disciplines such as biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology, chemistry, clinical medicine, and environmental science.
Birds of the World
Birds of the World provides comprehensive life histories for all bird species and families. Image and video galleries show plumages, behaviors, habitat, nests and eggs, and more. In addition, this database features recordings of the songs and calls of their species. Contents are updated frequently, with contributions from researchers, citizen scientists, and designated reviewers and editors.
Environmental Studies Research Guide
See the companion research guide for the Environmental Studies program for more links to focused environmental and conservation resources.
Properly citing your sources shows that you’ve done research to become knowledgeable about your topic and helps you avoid plagiarism. Explore citation resources to learn how to correctly cite sources based on style.
Need help with your research?
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Chat with a Librarian
Use the chat box below to ask the library staff a question. If chat is unavailable or we don’t respond quickly, please use the email form on our Get Research Help page and a library staff member will contact you as soon as we are available.