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Biosciences: Effective Library Research: 2. Where to search

Online tutorial introducing you to the skills and techniques needed for effective library research.

library search title image

Once you have decided the type of information that you need, you can choose the best research tool to help you find that material.

There are two Library tools that will help you find materials:

Library Search 

A-Z Databases

As well as containing information that is not picked up via Google, the Library systems allow you to be more precise with your searching as they offer specialist features to improve your research discovery.


Develop your knowledge of the library research tools by working through the Library Search and database information.

Library Search is a good starting point for introductory material, and to search for known items to see if the library provides access.

For example you can check if we have electronic access to a book or journal, such as Campbell biology or stem cell development. 

This is useful as some sources only include short bibliographic details with an abstract, therefore, you will need to locate the full text. 

Research databases allow you to tailor your search more precisely using all the sophisticated functionality available within them. You can can select your subject from the drop down subject menu in the A-Z Database listing to see a subset of resources in that category.

The subject listings will highlight the 'core resources'; these are key databases that are likely to be of interest to anyone studying and researching in that area.

Each entry in the A-Z database list has an information icon. Hover over that symbol for information about the content that is available in the database and an idea of why it might be useful for research purposes. Shown below is the information for Web of Science, which is a valuable research database.


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