These resources contain basic overview information that can be useful when you're just beginning your research.
You can also search URSUS for biology-specific encyclopedias and handbooks, many of which are accessible online! A few examples are below, but there are many more.
Below are a few of the "top" journals in biology by the number of times their articles have been cited. To see many more journals in biology, including sub-specializations, see our Journals by Title page and select "Health and Biological Sciences" in the Subjects area.
Below are just a few of our databases useful for biology research. For more databases with biological sciences content, check out our Databases A-Z page and select "Biology" from the drop-down.
You can search for books in our library and other libraries using the links below. If you're not sure how to find what you're looking for, ask us!
The following open textbooks may be helpful to you!
Primary sources in the sciences are first-hand accounts of original research or projects, written by the researchers themselves.
Secondary sources in the sciences analyze, summarize, or discuss information from one or more primary sources.
For example, a journal article written by a group of researchers about their experiment would be a primary source. A newspaper or magazine article summarizing the journal article for a non-scientific audience would be a secondary source. A book or review article that summarizes the researchers' journal article plus many others about similar topics to draw broad conclusions would also be a secondary source.
Confusingly, primary and secondary sources are often found in the same databases, so you have to apply a little thoughtful analysis to the item you are looking at to determine if it is a primary or secondary source.
Examples of Primary Sources:
Examples of Secondary Sources:
Flowchart used with permission of Cardiff University Library.
URSUS is the combined library catalog for the entire University of Maine system. You can search the entire system, or select University of Southern Maine Libraries in the drop-down.
Other helpful tips:
Most databases, as well as URSUS and MaineCat, assign subjects to books and articles. A subject is a designated word or phrase that describes an idea or concept and groups all articles or books about that concept together.
There are many ways you can get research materials from other libraries. In the vast majority of cases, there is no charge to you for this service!