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Guide to research information resources in biology

E-Books and Online Reference Books

Reference Sources

  • Encyclopedia of Earth - All about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. Includes environmental life sciences such as environmental biology, ecology, forestry, fisheries, marine biology, agriculture, aquaculture, and related fields.
  • eLS Citable Reviews in the Life Sciences - Full-text of over 3,000 articles across the life sciences with over 6,000 figures including photographs, tables and illustrations; hyper-links, and regular updates.
  • Credo Reference - Find references from thousands of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, subject-specific titles and multi-media sources on all subjects.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library - The full text of hundreds of reference books.
  • Oxford Reference Online - Full text of over 100 of the Oxford reference works on a variety of subjects.
  • Sage Knowledge - Full text of Sage reference books.
  • Science in Context - Integrates authoritative scientific reference content with headlines and videos to demonstrate how science relates to the real world. Includes images, experiments and videos.


  • ProQuest Ebook Central - The site for thousands of ebooks on all topics from this vendor. It includes the collection formerly known as Ebrary Academic Collection.
  • National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Bookshelf - The Bookshelf is a searchable collection of online biomedical textbooks and other literature. In addition to some classic biology and medical textbooks and monographs, it also includes books and databases.
  • National Academies Press - Biology & Life Sciences - The National Academies work encompasses all of the life sciences, from molecular genetics to biodiversity, and examines a wide range of issues, from improving education in biology to advising how researchers can equitably and efficiently share rare and costly research materials. Many of the Academies reports also explore policy questions that arise from applications of biology, as in biotechnology and conservation biology. Books can be read online or downloaded as pdfs.
  • Books@Ovid - Full text of selected titles in nursing and allied health sciences.
  • EBSCO eBook Collection - A selected collection of ebooks (formerly NetLibrary).
  • JSTOR: Biological Sciences - Full text of scholarly journals and books in arts and science, business and economics, language and literature, humanities and social sciences. Current journals are not entered into the database for two to five years.
  • Online Books Page - Full text of over 20,000 free online books, maintained by the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
  • SpringerLink - Full text of the Springer journals available through the CUNY consortium, and Hunter's collection of Springer ebooks. Green icon next to title indicates that we have access to a book or journal.