Subject Guide to Online Biology Resources

Contents for Online Biology Resources

Good Starting Places: Reference Books 

Reference books are a good place to start research. They can help you find background information, choose topics, and understand concepts and terminology. To access online resources from off campus you will need a your My Chemeketa user name and six-digit password; host provider students may obtain a login from the instructor or librarian.

Encyclopedias & Handbooks 


Browse dictionaries of the biological sciences

Finding more electronic books

To access these books from off campus you will need your My Chemeketa user name and six-digit password. Type a word or phrase describing the subject in the search space below:


Finding Articles on Your Subject

All the electronic databases listed in this section may be accessed by going to the library's Database Page. If you are accessing the databases from a location other than Chemeketa Community College, remember to click the link marked, "Off-campus users."

Journal Article Databases 

These tools index and/or provide full text access to articles in magazines, newspapers, and scholarly or professional journals.


You may need to combine multiple search terms to find articles on your topic. Many databases have an Advanced Search screen that has find a form for entering multiple terms.

picture of Gale Advanced Search screen

TIP: When using keywords, try truncating: theor* finds theory, theories, theoretical, etc. (* is the truncation character for Gale).

If you find an article that meets your needs, look at its description for additional terms you can use to search.

Academic OneFile [Gale] More information about this database
The best place to start. Has journals in all the sciences.
Business Insights: Essentials [Gale] More information about this database
May seem a surprising place to find articles on biology, but there are many articles on biology as applied science.
GREENR (Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources) More information about this database
Includes articles on management of biological resources.
MEDLINE More information about this database
The world's largest database of medicine-related abstracts, produced by the National Library of Medicine; includes many journals in biological sciences. On the results page, click "Chemeketa journals" to filter the results to journals in Chemeketa's databases.
ScienceDirect More information about this database
Over 900 full-text, academic journals in the health and life sciences. Journals available in the collection are shown with a green icon (picture of subscribed icon with text You are entitled to access the full text of this document), indicating full text.
Supplementary database page
Includes numerous databases in the biological sciences. An icon (may include full text) indicates those which have some full text documents.

Finding Images 

You may wish to find photos or diagrams of your subject. Britannica ImageQuest is a searchable database of more than two million images. All images are rights-cleared for non-commercial, educational use. To access online resources from off campus you will need a your My Chemeketa user name and six-digit password; host provider students may obtain a login from the instructor or librarian.

Special Guides

Using Environmental Information
Includes valuable advice on what kind of sources instructors like you to use.
Finding Information on Positive or Neutral Aspects of Population Growth
It is easy to find literature predicting evil consequences to rapid population growth, but much more difficult to find literature supporting the opposite conclusion. Here are some ways to find "pro" arguments on the topic. There is also a lengthy list of sources.
Finding Information on Negative Aspects of Population Growth
This page is intended to supplement the BI131 instructional handout listing materials with a "anti" position on population growth. There is a lengthy list of sources.
Finding Information on Salmon
A very extensive guide to information on salmon, with emphasis on chinook and coho salmon
Willamette River
Guide to information on the Willamette River.


Internet Sites


Search biology sites with our customized search tool, or browse the descriptions below.


Browsing List

Big Picture Book of Viruses -
Great site for information on viruses. "The Big Picture Book of Viruses is intended to serve as both a catalog of virus pictures on the Internet and as an educational resource to those seeking more information about viruses. To this end, it is intimately linked to All the Virology on the WWW, and our collection of Virology Courses and Tutorials." There are various ways to search: by name, virus family, disease, etc.
Ecosystems - USGS -
Major links to all sorts of government biology information. Searchable.
The Biology Project (University of Arizona) -
An "interactive online resource for learning biology developed at The University of Arizona." Includes problem sets and tutorials in various areas of basic biology. There are many illustrations. A Guided Tour is available.
Bio-Tech's Life Science Dictionary -
More than 8300 terms deal with biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, cell biology and genetics; there are also some terms relating to ecology, pharmacology, toxicology and medicine.
Internet Directory for Botany -
"The Internet Directory of Botany is an index to botanical information available on the Internet, compiled by Anthony R. Brach (Harvard University Herbarium, Cambridge / Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, USA, www page), Raino Lampinen (Botanical Museum, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Finland; www page), Shunguo Liu (G.F Ledingham Herbarium, University of Regina, Canada; www page) and Keith McCree (Oakridge, Oregon; www page). It consists of two parts, an alphabetical directory and a categorical directory." Indexes and categorizes a huge number of sites relating to plants.
Kimball's biology pages -
Reference manual for introductory biology students. Alphabetical list of terms with brief definitions and some links to more information.
Marine Biology Web -
Contains a glossary of marine biology, bibliographies ("Marine Biology Reference") of selected materials on topics in marine biology, and links to related sites.
MIT's Open Courseware - Biology -
Biology course materials from the Massachusettes Institute of Technology
NatureServe Explorer -
NatureServe Explorer [is] a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals, and ecological communities of the United States and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs."
PlantFacts -
A horticultural/agronomy search engine linked to over 40 databases. Also includes image files and videos. A project of Ohio State University.
Tree of Life -
"The Tree of Life is a project containing information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their history, and characteristics. The information is linked together in the form of the evolutionary tree that connects all organisms to each other." Illustrations, distinguishing characteristics, reproduction, and other information about lifeforms is included, along with suggestions on where to find further information.

Finding Additional Materials, Including Print 

See a list of some printed reference books in Chemeketa's library.

The library subscribes to the following current periodicals in printed form:

  • Audubon
  • Bioscience
  • National Wildlife
  • Sierra

Finding other books and and audiovisual materials 

Use the library catalog to look for additional materials. The catalog page includes instructions on using the catalog, as well as links to other library catalogs. You can search by key words, by authors, or by subject headings. A suggestion on where to find subject headings to use in the catalog is given below.

The Library of Congress has a Web site where you can search for subject headings. When you put in a search term, the results will list terms in a table. Those with a red button marked, "Authorized and references" are terms that the Library of Congress uses in subject catalogs. Clicking the button may show more specific ("narrower") terms.

picture of catalog screen

Fig. 1. The catalog search

You may have to do several searches to find books that might be pertinent to your subject.

If you live in the Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service (CCRLS) district, you may also access the catalog online at your local public library. In addition to the books in the Chemeketa College Library, the catalog also contains the collections of the 17 public libraries located in the regional library district. You can request books through the catalog, and can pass your search through to Summit (see below).


Chemeketa students registered for credit may use Summit, the Orbis Cascade Alliance catalog, to request items from 36 member libraries in Oregon and Washington. Summit uses a search called WorldCat. Authorized users have access to all of the material in the Chemeketa Community College library, plus about 28 million items in Summit. Chemeketa users may request items using the barcode number from their ID card, and have them sent to Chemeketa, or they may set up a Visiting Patron account at another Alliance library.

To comment or request help, please e-mail Reference or call 503.399.5231.

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Updated: 20 March 2013