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Biological Sciences: Databases

Subjects: Biology, Zoology

Database A-Z

Use the Database A-Z to browse or open Oxford's bibliographic databases and other online resources.

Click on the Subject menu and scroll down the list of categories to Biological Sciences.

You can view sets of resources for Bibliographic databases, Reference books, e-book collections, and websites in biological sciences.

You can find a full guide to using the Database A-Z on our e-resources guide - Finding and Connecting to E-resources

Searching the literature

Research Databases at Oxford

Oxford subscribes to many research databases, accessed through our Database A-Z or SOLO. Bibliographic databases can be used to locate journal articles, conference proceedings, books and patents on a particular subject or by a particular author. 

If you are on campus you can access most databases & e-journals directly. For off-campus access start at SOLO and log in with your Oxford Single Sign-On.

These bibliographic databases provide good coverage of the life sciences literature:

Retrieving full text

Find it @ Oxford

This pop-up button shows which issues of a journal we have access to. Current issues and backfiles of the same journal often come from different suppliers. You will see this button appear in databases to which we subscribe. Clicking it will quickly allow you to see if a particular article or book you have found is available in print or electronic form at Oxford.

10 Search Tips

1. Ask a clear research question.  Break the question down in to keywords.

2. For each keyword, consider relevant search terms (synonyms, alternative spellings, broader/narrower terms, etc.)

3. Apply truncation wildcards, usually * to find plurals/alternative word endings and ? to replace a single character.  e.g. Bacteri* will find Bacteria, Bacterial, Bacterium, Bactericidal etc.

4. Quote marks are often used to specify a phrase.

5. Consider the relationships between your search terms using Boolean logic: use AND to narrow your search (records must contain both search terms); OR to broaden your search (records can contain either search term); and NOT to exclude from your search (records must not include a particular term).

6. Search strings may be joined using parentheses or run as separate search sets and combined at the end.

7. Consider whether filters should be applied to your search e.g. by date – try to be consistent between databases.

8. Where possible tap into the subject headings or thesauri provided by the databases to retrieve relevant records.

9. Bibliographies at the end of articles (citations) facilitate searching by the ‘association of ideas’.

10. ‘Related records’ (e.g. based on similar bibliographies) can be a good way to retrieve information from other disciplines that keyword searching may miss.

Cited Reference Searching

Cited reference searching (finding out what articles have cited an article after publication) can be done on Web of Science (Science Citation Index), or for articles published after 1996 on SCOPUS. Look for Times Cited or Citations.

Google Scholar also has 'Cited by' links.

Remote Access

If you are a full current member of the University of Oxford, you can access most library electronic resources off-campus.

Use your Single Sign On (SSO)

Go to SOLO and click on Oxford Single Sign On (top right). For most of our e-books and e-journals this is all you need.

If you do not know your SSO details please visit the SSO section of the IT Services website .

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Only necessary for a few library resources. With VPN you can access the University network as if you were on campus. Register with IT Services.