Welcome to UNB Libraries' (Saint John) Guide to Biology. The purpose of this guide is to help you find resources related to this discipline and enhance your learning. If you are taking a biology course at UNB Saint John, you may find you also have a specific course guide available.
How you want to begin your research depends on your topic and your knowledge. If your topic is brand new to you, you might want to start with book based material. The data and information in books, at least, in non-fiction, academic books, generally differs from that found in articles. It is presented at length but tends to be presented in less depth and with less specificity. Book content may be less "cutting edge" and more likely to present standard, and accepted information. Journal articles often present more controversial content and preliminary research results which require more testing before they are accepted.
For students, books are a logical starting point for research because they often introduce several relevant topics around a broader subject while articles often deal with a single, very specific topic with an assumed context -- that is, articles may assume an audience with a high level of subject knowledge.
Once you have some background on your topic which may help you think critically about related information and data, you will be ready to plunge into journal articles, grey literature, and beyond. Enjoy the search!
In this guide, you will find links leading you to reference materials (dictionaries, specialized encyclopedias, handbooks ...), books (both online and in print), databases (containing full-text journals, full-text articles, and linked material), and more. That said, not everything you will need will be here. Remember, you can always visit a library and ask a librarian for more help.
In addition to this subject guide in biology, you might also wish to explore:
News and Views
Biology News, Science, AAAS
News: Biology, National Science Foundation
Biological Sciences, Nature
Biology, Guardian, UK
Reference / Statistics
Dictionaries, Glossaries ...
Dictionary of Biology, licensed resource
Dictionary of Ecology, licensed resource
Glossary for Vascular Plants, New York Botanical Garden, public access
Encyclopedias, Yearbooks, Compendia, ...
Encyclopedia of Life, public access
Encyclopedia of DNA Elements at UCSC, public access
Handbooks, Manuals, Guides ...
NCBI Handbook, NIH, US, public access
NCBI Help Manual, NIH, US, public access
Wildland Fire Incident Management Field Guide, National Wildfire Coordinating Group, public access
Regional Field Guides, Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification, British Columbia, public access
Guide to North American Birds, Audubon, public access
Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases: General Field Procedures and Diseases of Birds, National Wildlife Health Center, USGS, public access
A Field Guide to Honey Bees and Their Maladies, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, public access
Field Guide to the Prairie, University of Minnesota, public access
Montana Field Guides, Natural Heritage Program, Montana, public access
Field Guide to the Southern PiedmontUniversity of South Carolina Upstate
Alaska Rare Plant Field Guide: The Taxonomy, Conservation Status, Distribution, Morphology, and Ecology of 80 Rare Vascular Plant Species of Alaska, University of Alaska Anchorage, public access
A Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants: Identification, Ecology, and Conservation, Colorado State University, public access
Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket, Maria Mitchell Association, public access
Field Guide to the Grasses of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, public access
1987 US Army Corps Wetland Delineation Manual, Rutgers, public access
A Field Guide to Invasive Plants of Aquatic and Wetland Habitats for Michigan, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, public access
Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates, Department of Environmental Protection, West Virginia, public access
Field Guide to Nonindigenous Marine Fishes of Florida, USGS, public access
Recognising water weeds: Plant identification guide, Department of Primary Industries, New south Wales, Australia, public access
Biodiversity of the Western Volcanic Plains, Department of Education, Victoria, Australia, public access
Image Gallery, USDA, public access
NOAA Photo Library, public access
Image Library, American Society of Mammalogists, public access
Image Database, Virtual Field Herbarium, Oxford, public access
Maps, Atlases, Gazetteers...
Biogeoclimatic Maps, British Columbia, public access
Air Atlas, National Park Service, US, public access
Heritage Landscape Atlas, Energy and Environmental Affairs, Massachusetts, public access
SCAR Map Catalogue, Australia Antarctic Data Centre, public access
Composite Antarctic Marine Gazetteer, public access
Biological Atlas of the Arctic Seas 2000, NOAA, public access
Statistics, Data, Data Sets
Global Diversity Information Facility, public access
Recommended Data Repositories, Scientific Data, Nature, significant public access
Open Data, Canada, public access
Open Data Sets, Open Data, Newfoundland and Labrador, public access
Open Data: Nature and Environment, Nova Scotia, public access
Wet Areas Mapping and Flow Accumulation Channel, Natural Resources, Nova Scotia, public access
Yukon Conservation Data Centre, Environment Yukon, public access
Data.gov, US, public access
Science Datasets, apply filter Biology and Ecosystems, for instance, USGS, public access
National GIS Data, US Fish and Wildlife Geospatial Services, public access
Data and Software, NCBI, NIH, US, public access
National Marine Mammal Data Portal, Department of the Environment, Australia, public access
National Biodiversity Data Centre, Ireland, public access
Habitat and Species Data, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Ireland, public access
AQUASTAT, FAO, public access
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Marine Biodiversity Information Network, public access
Taxonomies, Nomenclature ...
Integrated Taxonomic Information System, public access
Catalogue of Life: Annual Checklist, public access
International Plant Names Index, public access
GRIN Taxonomy for Plants, U.S. National Plant Germplasm System, public access
Tropicos, Missouri Botanical Garden, public access
Birds of North and Middle America Checklist, American Ornithological Society, public access
A Classification of the Bird Species of South America, South American Classification Committee, American Ornithologists' Union, public access
Butterfly and Moth Taxonomy, Butterflies and Moths of North America, public access
WoRMS, World Register of Marine Species, public access
CaRMS, Canadian Register of Marine Species, public access
World Nemertea Database, public access
COPEPOD: The Global Plankton Database, NOAA, public access
FishBase, public access
Books, Studies, Reports
UNB WorldCat searches the WorldCat database and offers up-to-date availability information for material held by UNB Libraries. WorldCat contains more than 130,000,000 bibliographic records (including books, journals, videos, music ...) referring to the holdings of libraries world wide. WorldCat also includes selected journal articles and internet resources.
Mobile users should note that although UNB Libraries has moved to a responsive web design, mobile interfaces and apps may NOT yet provide all the functionality of other types of web-based access.
Please note: While many of the following items allow unlimited simultaneous users, in some cases, the item may allow only a single user at any given time.
Members of the UNB/STU community of users may also use UNB WorldCat, to access individual electronic book / book-length titles such as:
Understanding mammalian locomotion: concepts and applications, John Edward Arthur Bertram
Integrative organismal biology, Lynn Bloxom Martin; Cameron K Ghalambor; Harry Arthur Woods
Climate change and plant abiotic stress tolerance, Narendra Tuteja and Sarvajeet Singh Gill
Forest under story : creative inquiry in an old-growth forest, Nathaniel Brodie, Charles Goodrich, and Frederick J Swanson
As well, the University community may access several collections of electronic books including:
Some internet sites offer full-text, public access books and book-length works either as collections or as individual linked titles. Examples of such sites of interest to biology include:
Biology and Life Sciences, National Academies Press, public access
Bookshelf, NCBI, NIH, US, public access
[Nature Publications], Environment and Climate Change Canada, public access
Ornithological Monographs, last 20 volumes, public access
Flora of North America, online volumes, public access
Article / Research Databases
For those interested in biology, there are both licensed bibliographic databases, listed in Key and Additional Resources below, as well as major public access databases such as PubMed, a US government database.
These databases will be especially useful when you are beginning a research project and looking for information on a topic.
For other licensed databases, please see the Article Databases page.
- Biological Abstracts (now in BIOSIS Citation Index) Now fully incorporated into BIOSIS Citation Index. Biological Abstracts provides "indexes and abstracts for life science and biomedical research."
Unlimited simultaneous users.
- Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) "is a comprehensive database on the science, technology, and management of marine, brackishwater, and freshwater environments and resources."
Unlimited simultaneous users.
- CAB Direct Combines CAB abstracts and CAB abstracts archive into a single database indexing literature in the fields of plant science; animal science; pathogen, pest, parasite, and weed management; natural resources and ecology; forestry, forest products, and agroforestry; soil science; rural development, tourism, and economics; food science and food products; biotechnology; and agricultural engineering. The database is grouped into the following categories: animal sciences, plant sciences, ecology & environmental sciences, agricultural economics & rural studies, human sciences, and leisure, recreation, and tourism.
4 simultaneous users.
- Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide, produced by NISC, indexes published literature (journals, monographs, proceedings of conferences and symposia, government reports, grey literature, books, theses, and dissertations) on wild mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Major topic areas include studies of individual species, habitat types, hunting, economics, wildlife behavior, management techniques, diseases, ecotourism, and zoology.
Unlimited simultaneous users.
- Chemical Abstracts (SciFinder Web) Produced by the American Chemical Society, this is considered to be the most current and comprehensive information source for literature in chemistry and related sciences such as: proteomics, genomics, biochemistry, biochemical genetics, engineering and physics.
Unlimited simultaneous users
- Scopus Scopus, a new multidisciplinary online resource, will be invaluable to students and faculty in various fields of study within the sciences, health sciences and the social sciences. Scopus offers full-text linking, abstracting-and-indexing information and provides access to over 66 million abstracts dating back to 1966.
Unlimited simultaneous users.
Other databases and search engines include:
PubMed, public access
PubMed for handhelds, public access
PubMedCentral, searchable full-text periodical collection, public access
PubMedCentral Canada, public access
Europe PubMedCentral, public access
Biodiversity Heritage Library, public access
Index of Botanical Publications, Harvard University Herbaria and Libraries, public access
Index to American Botanical Literature, New York Botanical Gardens, public access
Agricola, National Agricultural Library Catalog, USDA, public access
National Agricultural Library Digital Collections, USDA, public access
AnimalBase, early zoological literature online, public access
Ornithological Worldwide Literature, American Ornithology, public access
Publications Database Search, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries, public access
bioRxiv: preprint server for biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, public access
There is also access to a wide variety of periodical titles available including:
BioMedCentral Journals, significant public access
PMC Journals, significant public access
PLOS Publications, public access
Searchable Ornithological Research Archive, SORA, University of New Mexico Libraries, public access
AgReseach Magazine, 2004 forward, full-text, public access
The Auk, 1884-2001, full-text, public access
The Condor, 1899-2000, full-text, public access
Conservation Biology, licensed access
European Journal of Cell Biology, licensed access
Historical Biology, licensed access
Journal of Fish Biology, licensed access
Journal of Plant Biology, licensed access
Marine Ornithology, 1978 forward, full-text, public access
Internet / Multimedia
Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine
Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan
BC Species & Ecosystems Explorer, British Columbia
Forest Watershed Research Center, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick
Significant Species and Habitats Database, Natural Resources, Nova Scotia
Biodiversity Collections, University of Texas at Austin
FAA Wildlife Strike Database, Federal Aviation Administration, US
ABRS Databases and Online Resources, Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of Environment and Energy, Australia
UK Biodiversity Framework, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, UK
Search for a UK species, Natural History Museum, UK
Scotland's Biodiversity, Scottish National Heritage
Species, Scottish National Heritage
Associations, Societies ...
Government Departments, Agencies ...
Biology and Ecosystems, USGS
National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, US
Endangered / At Risk Species
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Aquatic Species at Risk, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Species at Risk, Fisheries and Land Resources, Newfoundland
Species at Risk, Parks Canada
Endangered Species, US Fish and Wildlife Service
ECOS: Environmental Conservation Online System, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Wildlife Habitat Research Reports, Forest Science Program, British Columbia
Search our database of bird species, Forests, Fish and Wildlife, Prince Edward Island
Canadian Atlas of Bird Banding, Environment and Climate Change, Canada
Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas, Bird Studies Canada
All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, public access
Birds of North America Online, licensed resource
Maritimes Butterfly Atlas, Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre
Maine Butterfly Survey, University of Maine
Wilson and Reeder's Mammal Species of the World, Bucknell University
Division of Mammals Collections, Smithsonian
North American Mammals, Smithsonian
Aquatic Species, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Georgia Marine Mammal Stranding Database, Georgia Museum of Natural History
Beaked Whale Identification Guide, Smithsonian
Pacific Walrus Research, USGS Alaska Science Centre
National Aquatic Animal Health Program, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Fisheries Information Summary System, Environment, British Columbia
National Wild Fish Health Survey Database, US Fish and Wildlife Service
FishTraits Database, Virginia Tech, public access
Fauna databases and online resources, Department of Environment and Energy, Australia
Index of Botanists, Harvard University Herbaria and Libraries
PLANTS Database, USDA
Woody Plants Database, Cornell University
Index of Botanical Specimens, Harvard University Herbaria and Libraries
Flora of Missouri, Missouri Botanical Gardens
Index Herbariorum, New York Botanical Garden
Duke Herbarium, Duke University
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin
Flora databases and online resources, Department of Environment and Energy, Australia
Botanical Databases, Australian National Botanic Gardens
Australian Pollen and Spore Atlas, Australian National University
Fungi, Lichens, ...
Fungal Databases, U.S. National Fungus Collections, USDA
Nomenclature Fact Sheets, U.S. National Fungus Collections, USDA
Fungi of Australia Glossary, compiled by C.A.Grgurinovic, Department of Environment and Energy, Australia
Fungi databases and online resources, Department of Environment and Energy, Australia
Fungi: Australian Plant Information, Australian National Botanic Gardens
Fungal Records Database of the British Isles, British Mycological Society
List of Elements in Alberta - Lichens, Open Data, Alberta
Lichens of British Columbia: Illustrated Keys, Part 1: Foliose and Squamulose Species, Special Report Series, 8, Ministry of Forests, 1994
The Lichens of British Columbia: Illustrated Keys, Part 2: Fruticose Species, Special Report Series, 9, Ministry of Forests, 1999
Identifying Lichens of Nova Scotia: a reference guide book, Environment, Nova Scotia
History of Biology
Collections, Biodiversity Heritage Library
Biographical Memoir of Edward D. Cope 1840-1897, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Biographical Memoirs, vol. XIII - Third Memoir, National Academy of Sciences, 1929
Charles Darwin's Library, Biodiversity Heritage Library
Darwin Correspondence Project, University of Cambridge
John Muir Correspondence, Journals ..., University of the Pacific
Correspondence of O. C. Marsh, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
Multimedia Gallery, USGS
Macaulay Library, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, wildlife media since 1929
Citing / Writing
Citations are a natural by-product of a good literature or bibliographic search -- they come from the results your search produces. They may be found, collectively, in bibliographic databases and citation indexes. They may be derived from statistical databases and other data collections. They may make reference to individual books, periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers), working papers, and technical reports. They may be gathered from compilations such as bibliographies or appear in lists of works cited and references. Citations may also be produced in reference to material you read or heard, to images you discover, and to all kinds of electronic files which are displayed, read, played, or otherwise accessed.
To structure citations appropriately it helps to have a good guide. There are several standard guides from which you may choose. In university, choosing the "best" one will depend on the requirements of the assignment, the nature of the contents and the preferences of the individual professor. Some guides emphasize a particular discipline, some are cross-discipline and some may emphasize a particular form of material.
Style Guides and Guidelines
COPE Guidelines, including the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers, Committee on Publication Ethics
Council of Science Editors Documentation Style, Writing Center, University of Wisconsin
CSE Quick Citation Guide, Pennsylvania State University Libraries
Scientific Style and Format Citation Quick Guide, University of Chicago Press
A Student's guide to writing in the biological sciences, Harvard University
Abbreviations and Acronymns
Journal Title Abbreviations, Web of Science
NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases, National Library of Medicine
Citation Management Software
Data Management / Curation
Framework for Creating a Data Management Plan, ICPSR, University of Michigan
Create and Manage Data, UK Data Archive
Data Management Plans, Digital Curation Centre, UK
Data Management Checklist, Digital Curation Centre, UK
- Concern over low vitamin D intakes among UK South Asians
- The UAB to gather worldwide experts on degrowth and environmental justice
- New wasps named after Crocodile Dundee and Toblerone amongst 17 new genera and 29 species
Royal Society Publishing: Open Biology
- LIM kinase1 regulates mitotic centrosome integrity via its activity on dynein light intermediate chains
- Constitutive regulation of mitochondrial morphology by Aurora A kinase depends on a predicted cryptic targeting sequence at the N-terminus
- Cancer immunotherapy: broadening the scope of targetable tumours