Top 5 Biology Databases

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While biology majors spend a lot of time “in the field,” they also clock hours in the lab and on the internet for extensive research. If you’re looking for articles on anything from butterfly migration patterns to conservation efforts, these databases (all provided by the library) can help you!


ScienceDirect holds over 9.5 million articles and chapters on various subjects. This database divides up the different kinds of sciences into categories, making it easier for you to search topics within a broader subject. Popular articles from each category are listed as well- for example, the article “Aluminum in brain tissue in autism” is currently the most popular article under the “Life Sciences” umbrella.


BioMed Central

Boasting access to many different scientific journals, BioMed Central provides a wide range of sources. In particular, you will find scores of research on genomes here. Since BioMed Central is open access, its articles are “permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers.”


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Environmental Studies and Policy Collection (Gale)

This collection gets to the heart of the business and political side of biology. The library website explains more about Environmental Studies and Policy Collection:

Providing robust coverage of the field of environmental issues and policy, this collection, which includes magazines and academic journals, provides instant access to the multiple viewpoints of this volatile field of study, including perspectives from the scientific community, governmental policy makers, as well as corporate interests.


General Science Collection (Gale)

Current top searches for the General Science Collection include: Alternative Energy, Cancer, Genetically Modified Organisms, Global Warming, and NASA. For the most up-to-date research and trending topics in science, check out the General Science Collection.


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While a more medically-focused database, PubMed can be helpful for pre-med biology students. According to its website, “PubMed comprises more than 28 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.”


View the Biology Research Guide for more help.

Top 5 Underrated Library Perks


With so much to do and see in the library, it’s easy to overlook some of our resources. But, if you’re a student here at Union, the library has several perks for you that you shouldn’t miss out on! Check out the list below and make the most of your library experience.


Top 5 Underrated Library Perks:

  1. The Research Guides.

What’s your major? You name it, we have a guide for it. Using your subject’s Research Guide, located through the library website, you have access to a tailor-made list of the best databases, articles, books, and tips for how to succeed in your major. Check out the heavily-used Pharmacy Guide for an example: librarian Jeannie Byrd worked hard on this guide to help Pharmacy majors with their papers, clinicals, and careers. Instead of searching aimlessly online for resources, you can look to a Research Guide- the best resources have already been gathered for you!


2. The Recording Studio.


Who doesn’t enjoy a good podcast? Well, with the library’s Recording Studio, you can make your own! All current Union students, faculty, and staff can use the Recording Studio by reservation only, and reservations must be made a day in advance. This is easy to set up- you can make reservations online via our website. The Recording Studio is perfect for those who want to record but don’t have equipment of their own.


3. The Self-Check Machines.

When you need to check out in a hurry, the self-check machines are a great way to bypass lines at the Circulation Desk. Simply locate a machine, let it read your student ID barcode, and select the option to check out. For more info about how to use the self-check machines, check out this guide.


4. The Research Coaches.

If you need help with…

  • Framing your research question
  • Choosing where to look for resources
  • Using resources in the most effective way possible
  • Knowing how to evaluate different sources
  • Citing your sources accurately

…then a Research Coach is your best bet! The library has several professional Research Coaches who can help you with getting started on research projects. You can make an appointment with a Research Coach or simply drop in to visit one at the Research Desk.


5. The eBooks.


Not everyone loves eBooks, and while you’re entitled to your opinion, eBooks do help the environment by cutting back on paper products. Plus, you can access an eBook anywhere, using a tablet, phone, or computer. We also have an option where you can download an eBook, if you know that you will be going somewhere without wi-fi but still need to read. Finally, since eBooks are easier to produce, many of the eBooks that we have in our collection are more current and cover a broader range of topics than our print books. Click here to learn more about how to download eBooks, and here to learn more about our eBook collection.