Using the Biological Literature: A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition

Free Standard Shipping

Purchasing Options

ISBN 9781466558571
Cat# K15521



SAVE 20%

eBook (VitalSource)
ISBN 9781466558588
Cat# KE20441



SAVE 30%

eBook Rentals

Other eBook Options:


  • Presents an updated history of the biological literature
  • Contains both print and electronic resources
  • Includes guidance on performing database searches for the biological literature
  • Lists specific abstracts and indexes, professional associations and their publications and services, databases, standard reference resources (e.g., dictionaries and encyclopedias, handbooks, textbooks and treatises), works describing methods and techniques, periodical literature, and more
  • Recommends both open access and subscription-based journals
  • Provides an associated website with continually updated links to web-based resources


The biological sciences cover a broad array of literature types, from younger fields like molecular biology with its reliance on recent journal articles, genomic databases, and protocol manuals to classic fields such as taxonomy with its scattered literature found in monographs and journals from the past three centuries. Using the Biological Literature: A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition is an annotated guide to selected resources in the biological sciences, presenting a wide-ranging list of important sources.

This completely revised edition contains numerous new resources and descriptions of all entries including textbooks. The guide emphasizes current materials in the English language and includes retrospective references for historical perspective and to provide access to the taxonomic literature. It covers both print and electronic resources including monographs, journals, databases, indexes and abstracting tools, websites, and associations—providing users with listings of authoritative informational resources of both classical and recently published works.

With chapters devoted to each of the main fields in the basic biological sciences, this book offers a guide to the best and most up-to-date resources in biology. It is appropriate for anyone interested in searching the biological literature, from undergraduate students to faculty, researchers, and librarians. The guide includes a supplementary website dedicated to keeping URLs of electronic and web-based resources up to date, a popular feature continued from the third edition.

Table of Contents

Searching the Biological Literature

General Sources
Classification, Nomenclature, and Systematics
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Field Guides
Full-Text Sources
General Works
Guides for young Scientists
Guides to the Literature
Mathematics and Statistics
Methods and Techniques
Textbooks and Treatises
Writing Guides
Reviews of the Literature

Abstracts and Indexes
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Genetics, Biotechnology, and Developmental Biology
Microbiology and Immunology
Ecology, Evolution, and Animal Behavior
Plant Biology
Anatomy and Physiology

Editorial Reviews

Praise for the Previous Edition:

"The third edition of this valuable reference work continues to provide a useful survey of the rapidly expanding biological literature, emphasizing theoretical disciplines. … Highly recommended for all college and university libraries, and for lower-division undergraduates and higher."
—B. E. Fleury, Tulane University, CHOICE, 39(9) May 2002, p. 1566

"The third edition of this comprehensive work expands its subject coverage of web-based resources, which was initiated in the second edition. Print resources are described and their online or digital counterparts also noted. … Recommended for libraries serving two-year technical and community colleges, four-year liberal arts colleges, and major research universities as well as organization, society, and government agency libraries that have biology as a subject focus."
Science & Technology Libraries, 21:3-4, 211-221

"The book is easy to follow … It is a very useful resource for collection development librarians and for graduate students who may want to become familiar with an area of biological sciences. Highly recommended for academic libraries."
Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Spring 2002