Welcome to the Biology Subject Guide where you can learn about the best resources at the UNT Libraries for your biology research. I'm the biology librarian, Erin O'Toole; please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions about research and the Libraries. Start off your research by reading about the types of resources we offer below and then move on to the tabs at the top of the screen.
Reference Sources, such as encyclopedias, handbooks and dictionaries, are a good place to start your research because they provide:
Books in both print and electronic format provide:
Articles in both print and electronic format provide:
Websites must be evaluated for credibility, authority and accuracy before using and provide:
Many instructors require you to use peer-reviewed sources for your papers and projects, but what does that mean?
Most databases allow you to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles. Here are two examples:
1. Identify the keywords in your research question. Keywords are words that carry content and meaning. The keywords in the research question "What is the feeding range of the blue whale in the Pacific Ocean?" are feeding range, blue whale and Pacific Ocean.
2. Brainstorm synonyms for your keywords. Think of words similar to your keywords in case a database doesn't use your original keywords. Synonyms for blue whale are baleen whale and Balaenoptera musculus.
3. Create Boolean searches using the keywords. A Boolean search is a search using the words AND, OR and NOT between the keywords. These words have a special function when used in a database.
4. Use the truncation symbol to search for word variations.You can avoid doing multiple searches for variations on word endings using the truncation symbol * (the asterisk) in most databases. Entering the keyword "blue whale*" will look for both blue whale and blue whales.
5. Add keywords to limit the type of article you retrieve. If you want a literature review, add "AND review" to your keywords. To find a research study, add "AND study" to your keywords.
6. Enter your Boolean searches in the Advanced Search of a database. Always go to the Advanced Search in a database to enter your Boolean searches because it gives you multiple boxes with the Boolean operators between them. If you are using a search with multiple search strings, enter OR within the search boxes and AND between the search boxes.