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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides


Find resources

Welcome to your online guide to finding resources for Biology

Choosing the right resources

As a Biology student, you are expected to find and use high quality literature. You'll need to use a range of different sources and demonstrate your ability to find good results in order to impress your tutors and to develop your research skills. Our online Skills Guides have lots more useful information about planning and running your searches. 

Finding Journals


All journal titles are listed on YorSearch, and can be found by doing a title search.

Click on the journal title to see the library’s print holdings or the View It link to navigate through to the full-text journal online, if available. Electronic access may be offered by more than one link so check which years are available. 

Finding books

Book can be a great place to start your reading around a topic. Biology books are located in the X section on the third floor of the JB Morrell Library. Many books will also be available online as e-books. Look for the links in YorSearch, under the View It section of each book.



To start a more detailed search for articles and other research evidence, you'll need to use online databases. These are collections of resources that allow you to search for articles from hundreds of different journals at the same time.

To get the most out of searching the databases you need to plan your search in advance and think about which keywords you are going to use. Use the tutorials on the right-hand side of the page to learn more about this.

Key databases for Biology
Additional chemistry-related resources

Using operators

iconMost databases allow you to enter elaborate controlled searches using special words and characters ("operators")...

Problems finding resources

Tips on what to try if we don't have access via the Library:

  1. Try Google Scholar
    Google Scholar includes links to freely available PDFs and alternate versions of articles.

  2. Search institutional repositories
    If the article you need was written by someone at a university, they might have placed a copy in their institutional repository. Look at their website for more details.

  3. Apply for it using our free Interlending Service
    We can source articles and books from elsewhere.

  4. Visit other libraries
    You can access items at other libraries. Apply to the Library for a SCONUL Access card so that you can access other UK university libraries or visit the British Library at Boston Spa. Book a place on our free weekly minibus. 

  5. Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian
    Stuck? Email for advice. 

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