What is Biology?

Biology is the study of living organisms and includes branches such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, botany, zoology, cell biology, genetics, and ecology.

There are two ways to search for information on biology in the library: books and databases

How do I find Biology Books?
Use the Library Catalog to find books in the library.

  • Perform an All Fields Search using words like “ecology” or “cell.” This will search for everything in the catalog.
  • Perform a Subject Search using words like “physiology” to search for items on a specific topic.
  • If you want to browse the shelves, you will find biology books in these call number ranges: 540-549

The Library also has a small collection of textbook resources. See our Reserves Collection for the latest editions.

How Do I Search the Databases?
The Library has several article databases. If you are away from campus, you must access these databases through Ocean Connect. If you are unsure how to do this, please follow these instructions, or ask the Library staff for assistance.

Here are a few suggested databases for physics:

  • Science Online – Definitions and background information in short, encyclopedic style articles.
  • ScienceDirect – A full text database providing coverage of journals and books from a wide variety of subject disciplines
  • Academic Search Premier – Provides full text access to a very broad range of topics: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.
  • GreenFile – Offers scholarly and general titles about human impacts on the environment. Topics include global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
Internet Resources for Biology
The table below is a list of free biology e-resources.

Most of these resources are open access. For more information on open access, view our open access subject guide.

Site Description
Biology Free e-text book produced by the openstax college initiative
Concepts of Biology Free e-text book produced by the openstax college initiative
Anatomy and Physiology Free e-text book produced by the openstax college initiative
Biodiversity Heritage Library The Biodiversity Heritage Library works collaboratively to make biodiversity literature openly
available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community and is a component of the Encyclopedia of Life.
BEN The Biological Science Education Network is part of the National Science Digital Library and is managed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). it provides access to over 19,290 reviewed resources covering 77 biological sciences topics.
Biology Reference An online encyclopedia for biology terms. Includes a forum where guests can post questions and other information
Biointeractive Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, this site provides educational materials including articles, videos, virtual labs, and more.
BioMed Central a portal to over 259 peer-reviewed, open access journals in the biomed fields
Tree of Life Web Project a large-scale biodiversity project that provides text and images for many species, both living and extinct
Animal Diversity Web an online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology at the University of Michigan
Encyclopedia of Life an ambitious project to create a web page for each species, the EOL is a collaborative project sponsored by institutions like Harvard University, the Field Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution
Catalog of Botanical Illustrations an online image database sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Marine Mammal Center a pioneering institution in the field of marine mammal research
BIODIC an ultrastructures image gallery maintained by the Free University of Brussels
Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body the real deal, 1918 edition revitalized in ebook form
Atlas of the Human Body made by the American Medical Association
Open Stax free, open source biology textbooks for use
Science Daily Science Daily is a credible science news site founded in 1995. Articles include findings from the top universities and research organizations. Consult this site for scientific current affairs.
Research Tips
  • Always limit your searches to works published within the last 10 years or less. Science research is quickly outdated.
  • Check if the article is peer reviewed. For more information on peer review sources, look here.
  • How long was the study conducted? Who are the researchers who conducted the experiment? Who published the paper? How many subjects were used? You should always ask yourself these questions.
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