Biology 102 – Barron

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About this Guide

This research guide will help students locate appropriate resources for their Biology 102 Literature Search Assignments. Use the “tabs” above to navigate through the pages of this guide.

Paper Writing Assistance

Consult these campus resources for help with writing and editing:
About SBCC’s Writing Center
The SBCC Learning Resource Center Writing Tools Online

Need More Help?

Have a question? Stop by the Reference Desk, or contact a librarian by phone, email, or chat for more help.Contact Us

Library Tutorials

Interested in learning more about the library on your own? Explore the library’s online tutorials.

Print Reference Sources

Not for your bibliography, but for background, definitions, facts and suggestions for further reading, you might want to consult one of the specialized reference books located in the Luria Library reference section:

  • A dictionary of zoology — R 590.3 A416d or online as an ebook
  • The encyclopedia of animals: A complete visual guide — R 590.3 C772e
  • A dictionary of zoology — R 591.03 L495d 1973
  • Encyclopedia of animal behavior — R 591.51 B424e
  • A color atlas of dangerous marine animals — R 591.69 H196c
  • The great book of the sea: A complete guide to marine life — R 591.92 G935g
  • Foraminiferal genera and their classification — R 593.12 L825f
  • Encyclopedia of fishes — R 597.003 P342e
  • The encyclopedia of snakes — R 597.96 M444e
  • The birds of California: A complete, scientific and popular account of the 580 species and subspecies of birds found in the state — R 598.2 D272bi
  • Grzimek’s encyclopedia of mammals — R 599 G895g
  • Walker’s mammals of the world — R 599 W178m 1999
  • Encyclopedia of marine mammals — R 599.5 P458e or online as an ebook

Online Reference Sources

To access electronic sources from off campus, you will need to log in using your Pipeline username and password:


Search the library catalog (books+) for information on your animal. For best results, use the Advanced Search feature. Choose “subject” from the drop down menus, then search using your animal’s scientific name, genus or phylum.


Search for articles in the following periodical databases. To access electronic sources from off campus, you will need to log in using your Pipeline username and password:

During your search in the library databases, you can limit your results to scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. Just check the “scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals” box in the left-hand panel of your search results page.

Additional online scientific journals can be found here:

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan is a free service for students. Students can request copies of articles or borrow books from another library. Students are advised to request loans early in the research process as loans can take three to ten days.

Evaluating Websites

Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible:

  • Purpose: How and why the source was created. Is it intended to educate, inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Do the authors, publishers, or sponsors state this purpose, or try to disguise it? Why was this information published in this particular type of source (book, article, website, blog, etc.)? Is the source designed for the general public, students, or experts?
  • Relevance: The value of the source for your needs. Does the type of source meet your assignment’s requirements? Does the information answer your question, support your argument, or add something to your knowledge of the topic? Is it too general or too specific? Is it too basic or too advanced?
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness and completeness of the information. Do the authors present the information thoroughly and professionally? Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong, emotional, manipulative, or offensive language? Do they leave out, or make fun of, important facts or alternative perspectives?
  • Verifiability: The accuracy and truthfulness of the information. Do the authors support the information they present with strong factual evidence? Do they cite or provide links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic? Can you verify the information in other credible sources? Does the source contradict itself, include false statements, or misrepresent other sources?
  • Expertise: The authority of the creators of the source. What makes the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source authorities on the topic? Do they have related education, experience, or other expertise? Do they provide an important alternative perspective? Has the source been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor or through peer review?
  • Newness: The age of the information. Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as science, technology, or current events), or could information found in older sources still be useful? When was the information presented in the source first published or posted? Are newer sources available that would add important information to your understanding of the topic?

Recommended Websites

For more help locating reliable information online, see the Finding Credible Web Sources research guide.

Academic Search Engines

  • World Wide Science is a global science gateway—accelerating scientific discovery and progress through a multilateral partnership to enable federated searching of national and international scientific databases.

Help with Writing

The following sites can help when it comes time to write your paper:

How to Cite

Many biology professors ask that students use APA citation style for research assignments. Check with your professor to confirm which citation style he or she requires.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab provides great guidance for proper APA citation. Use the specific links below to read more about how to cite different types of resources in APA format: