Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Good things to do before getting started:
- Play the Name Game: know all of the names your species is known by (e.g. a barrel-eye fish is also known as "Macropinna microstoma," "spook fish," and sometimes is referred to just by its family name of "opisthoproctidae.")
- Find a Family Tree: be clear on the classification of your species (where it is on its family tree) - this can eliminate a lot of confusion later down the road, and help you with determining how to search
- Housekeeping: get set up on RefWorks so you can be sure to save what you are finding for future referrals
Linnaeus' Classification of Species
Don't forget about reference materials! Items such as encyclopedias and dictionaries can be an excellent starting point for your research. In addition to offering reliable background information on issues and topics in your area of interest, they can also help you find a research topic.
Credo This link opens in a new window
Provides access to hundreds of online reference books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations from a variety of publishers. Covers both general reference and subject-specific reference titles for a variety of disciplines. Topic Pages give great background overviews on subjects.
Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
Spanning the entire spectrum of life sciences, it is a primary resource for researchers, students and teachers. Search for your species using the specific "Genus/Species" search.
Gale eBooks This link opens in a new window
Full-text encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Oxford Reference This link opens in a new window
Oxford Reference contains full text dictionaries and encyclopedias from the Oxford University Press. It is easy to search and contains entries on a wide array of topics from business, computing and environmental science to art, biology, literature, religion, and political science.
Science Reference Center This link opens in a new window
Science Reference Center provides easy access to full-text science content including encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals, web sites, pictures, illustrations, audio clips and video clips. Includes ability to limit by lexile reading levels.
Offers hundreds of revisions or addenda to entries from previous editions as well as new or revised entries on topics such as key cases in bioethics, the human biome, genetically modified foods, emergency preparedness and response, social justice, sustainability, chemical warfare and torture, among many others.
, Computer & Information Sciences
, Health and Exercise Science
Ask a Librarian
Chat with us during library reference hours using the chat in the lower right corner of this page, or visit Ask a Librarian.