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Science-Specific Search Engines

Scirus -- "the most comprehensive scientific research tool on the web."

Vadlo -- especially for biology research. Search protocols, online tools, seminar presentations, databases, and software.

Find Articles in Biology

Frequently Used Journal-Indexing and Full-Text Databases:

BioOne full-text collection of peer-reviewed journals in the biological sciences, specifically in the fields of botany, ecology, entomology, mammalogy, microbiology, ornithology, paleontology, and zoology.

BIOSIS Previews (1980-present) available through the Web of Knowledge gateway. The online edition of Biological Abstracts, this weekly-updated database covers journal articles, meetings, patents, book chapters, and other publications from more than 6,000 serial sources in biology and biomedicine, including the interdisciplinary fields of biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics, and molecular biology.

JSTOR general biology, botany and plant sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology.

ProQuest mostly full-text of articles in newspapers, popular magazines, and scholarly journals. Multidisciplinary.

PubMed from the National Library of Medicine.

Science Direct full text of more than 1000 journals published by Elsevier. Multidisciplinary.

Web of Science citations and abstracts from more than 5800 journals covering a broad range of scientific disciplines. Multidisciplinary.

Directories, Encyclopedias, and Other Resources

Amphibians and Reptiles


Center for North American Herpetology


Animal Diversity Web from the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

Endangered Species Program from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.


The Birds of North America Online from Cornell's Lab of Ornithology. VU no longer subscribes; summary information can still be accessed.  


Catalog of Fishes from the California Academy of Sciences.

Fishbase serves as a reliable and current handbook, encyclopedia, index to published literature, taxonomic reference, photo gallery, and source for biodiversity maps and other specialized data for about 30,000 species (more than 254,000 common names are indexed).

General Nature

Discover Life information on animal and plant life, the natural environment, and ecological conservation. The "All living things" section leads to encyclopedic entries on close to 1.2 million species of plants and animals with color photographs, common and scientific names, links to range or distribution maps, and details of life history, anatomy, habitat, conservation status, and more.

Encyclopedia of Life an ongoing effort to document all 1.8 million named species on the planet.

Encyclopedia of Life Sciences peer-reviewed articles on many aspects of the life sciences.

NatureServe Explorer contains entries on "more than 60,000 plants, animals, and ecosystems of the U. S. and Canada." Scientific and common names, conservation status, distribution maps, life histories, and more.

Tree of Life Web Project structured to illustrate the genetic connections between all living things, the project provides information about biodiversity, the characteristics of different groups of organisms, and their evolutionary history.


FlyBase freely accessible database of the genes and genomes of the fruit fly, drosophila.

GenBank the NIH genetic sequence database, an annotated collection of all publicly available nucleotide (DNA and RNA) sequences and their protein translations.

Genetics Home Reference presents information in a question and answer format, with explanations on how a disease is inherited, the symptoms, and what treatments are available. Provides general information on genes, gene maps, genetic markers, chromosomes, DNA, and details on the specific genes related to a particular disease.

JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) protocols for experimental techniques in video format.

Learn.Genetics Explanations of the basics of genes, genetics, chromosomes, DNA and RNA transcription and translation, and protein production and function.

Primer of Molecular Genetics a publication of the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Project.

Virtual Library of Genetics a gateway to websites chosen by genetics researchers for their authoritative content and utility in lab work and research.


Butterflies and Moths of North America includes details of size, identifying features, life history, flight pattern, caterpillar hosts, food, habitat, species range, and conservation status of more than 2,800 species of butterfly and moth in the U.S. and Mexico.

Entomology Index of Internet Resources a directory and search engine of insect-related resources on the Internet.


Agricola: citations to journal articles, books, reports, theses, patents, software, and audio-visual materials related to agriculture, 1979-current.

Botanical Society of America's Online Image Collection.

Flora of North America a project to catalog all plants that "grow outside of cultivation" in North America.

International Plant Names Index scientific names and associated bibliographic references for all seed plants, ferns, and fern allies.

The Vanderbilt Arboretum: an island of trees in an urban sea....

Online Textbook

Kimball's Biology Pages "It has always seemed to me that the many parts that make up the subject of biology are related to each other more like the nodes of a web than as a linear collection of independent topics."

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