Skip to Main Content

Biology (general)

A general guide for finding information sources about biology topics through the library and the web.

Searching for books

There are many ways to find books for your research. On this page, you'll see the two most common ways to find books and e-books from the library's website: the search box on the home page and the library's catalog.

Search box

The search box on the library's home page is a Google-like search of the library's catalog as well as most of the library's research databases. As such, it might be the fastest way to find books. For example, let's look for books about bioinformatics:

  • Go to the library's home page.
  • Type "bioinformatics" in the box that says Search for books, journals, and more... and click "Search".
  • In the left menu, under the heading CONTENT TYPE, click on "Book / eBook".

When I did the search, result #8 shows:

Bioinformatics: databases and systems
by Letovsky, Stanley
Book: AVAILABLE. QH441.2 .B55 1999. 4th Floor
eBook: Full Text Online

  • The call number (QH441.2 .B55 1999) tells us that the book is a print book in the library's collection
  • The link to Full Text Online tells us that this book is also available as an e-book.

1. Watch for book reviews! Sometimes what shows up in your search results is a book review, not the actual book. Usually, in these instances, there will be a line that says: "Book: Citation Online".
2. Sometimes we actually have e-books in our collections that don't show up when using this tool. It's always best to also check the library catalog (below) and specific databases (like ScienceDirect when Elsevier is the publisher, SpringerLink when Springer is the publisher, and Wiley Online library when the publisher is John Wiley).

Library search box - video tutorial (3:50)

Library catalog

An alternative for finding books, both print and e-books, is to search the library's catalog. Using the library's catalog, you won't get confused (or frustrated) with book reviews showing up in your results list. And, some of our e-books don't show up when using the search box on the library's home page. Everything that you find will be a book, DVD, or CD. Let's try looking for a book about bioinformatics again:

  • Go to the library's home page.
  • Click on the dark gray "Books & e-Books" tile.
  • Type "bioinformatics" in the box below the heading "Search the Library Catalog for Books and Media" and click "Search".

See the video below for ways to limit and sort the list.


University of Michigan - Dearborn Logo
  • 4901 Evergreen Road
    Dearborn, MI 48128, USA
  • Phone: 313-593-5000
  • Contact us