Biology 102 – Barron

Scientific American, credit: sarahemcc, Creative Commons.

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.

At any point in your research, you can ask a librarian for help. Find our contact information on the right side of this page. Contact Us

Reference Sources

Print 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
  • The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide R 590.3 C772e
  • The Encyclopedia of Wild Life R 591.03 H286e
  • Larousse Encyclopedia of the Animal World R 591.03 L332
  • A Dictionary of Zoology R 591.03 L495d 1973
  • Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia R 591.03 W595m
  • Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior R 591.51 B424e
  • The Oxford Companion to Animal Behaviour R 591.51 M143o
  • 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
  • An Atlas of Comparative Zooplankton: Biological Patterns in the Oceans R 592 S762c
  • Guide to Identification of Marine and Estuarine Invertebrates; Cape Hatteras to the Bay of Fundy R 592.09 G676g
  • Marine Invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest R 592.092632 K88m 1987
  • Foraminiferal Genera and their Classification R 593.12 L825f
  • A Dictionary of Entomology R 595.7 L495d
  • Fishes of North America R 597 H531f
  • The Fresh & Salt Water Fishes of the World R 597 M634f
  • Fishes of the World: An Illustrated Dictionary R 597 W562f
  • Encyclopedia of Fish R 597.003 B974e
  • Encyclopedia of Fishes R 597.003 P342e
  • Elsevier’s Dictionary of Herpetological and Related Terminology R 597.9 W273e
  • The Encyclopedia of Snakes R 597.96 M444e
  • The Bird Almanac: The Ultimate Guide to Essential Facts and Figures of the World’s Birds R 598.2 B618b
  • 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
  • Santa Barbara Shorebirds and Waterfowl: A Study Project R 598.2923 D723s
  • Grzimek’s Encyclopedia of Mammals R 599 G895g
  • The Encyclopedia of Mammals R 599 M135e
  • Walker’s Mammals of the World R 599 W178m 1999
  • Encyclopedia of Mammals R 599.003 B974e
  • Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals R 599.5 P458e

Online Sources

Credo Reference includes hundreds of reference sources.

Books & Articles


Search the library catalog 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 periodical database:

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

  • Intute a comprehensive site of online resources for studies and research.
  • 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

This Citation Worksheet is a helpful way to keep track of your sources and all the elements you will need in citing them for your bibliography.

Links to APA citation: