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Biology (general)

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

Information about websites

Your professor might allow you to use websites for your research. When searching for websites, be watchful for:

  • Who is the author of the website? Is the author credible?
  • What is the author's agenda or bias? Is coverage of the issue balanced? If not, can you find other websites that present the opposing view?
  • Be wary of the site's domain or URL. Professional societies usually have a domain of .org; government sites usually have a domain of .gov. University domains are .edu, but not all .edu pages are creditable or reliable. Students, staff, and faculty may have personal sites hosted on the university's site and the information on these sites are not peer-reveiwed.
  • Be careful of hoax sites like Dihydrogen monoxide, Lake Michigan Whale Watching, or Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.
  • If a researcher posted an article on a personal website, but you can't find the article in a professional journal, you should ask why you can't find it in a professional journal. If it hasn't been published, there might be a reason.

Online field guides and encyclopedias

There are many online field guides. Just a couple are listed below.

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