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Biological Sciences: Getting Started

Getting Started

When doing research in biological sciences there are a variety of sources available to you.  The first step is selecting a topic and figuring out what types of sources of information you will need to use for your research.

If you need scholarly and/or peer reviewed articles, you will want to start with a database. If you need background information, a good starting point would be a subject encyclopedia. 

If you need help figuring out where to begin you may always contact me.


Thank You

A big thank you to Teresa Omidsalar for graciously giving me permission to use her Child and Family Studies Research Guide as a template for this guide.

Electronic Reference Sources

Online encyclopedias are a good starting point for research.

Print Reference Sources


There are many print reference sources that are also good starting points for research. The following are shelved in the reference collection on the 3rd floor of Library South (Palmer Wing).

A color atlas of plant structure:  QK642 .B68 2000

A dictionary of biology: QH302.5 .D43 2000 

American Horticultural Society encyclopedia of plants and flowers:  SB403.2 .A438 2002 

Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior: (Volumes 1-3)  QL750.3 .E53 2004

Grzimek's animal life encyclopedia:  (Volumes 1-17) QL7 .G7813 2004 

Science in the early twentieth century: an encyclopedia:  Q125 .H345 2005  

The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds: QL681 .T43 1980 

The Sibley guide to birds:  QL681 .S497 2000  

The Sibley guide to bird life & behavior: QL681 .S495 2001 




Adele Dobry's picture
Adele Dobry
University Library
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Useful e-Journals

Even though you can find journal articles in the Library's databases, below are some important journals for this area that are available electronically.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300