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How to find information on all aspects of biology

Scientific Literature

Science literature is made up of primary and secondary literature, together known as scholarly literature--research reports and analysis--and tertiary literature--news, opinion, and summaries. In most cases, you should use the "most primary" source available for academic work.

Tertiary literature is a general term for non-original or non-scholarly work. Science stories in newspapers are tertiary. Textbooks are also generally considered tertiary, because they report summaries of research and analysis, not original work. Most Dictionaries and Encyclopedias are tertiary and should be used for background information, identification of key vocabulary terms for searching, and quick information. See the Background Information page (left) for resources.

Scholarly literature (primary and secondary) is mostly made up of Journal Articles, primarily searched through online databases, or Scholarly Books, searched in the Library Catalog. See the Journal Articles page and/or the Books page for resources.

Websites can be any level of literature but are most often secondary or tertiary. The websites listed in this guide on the Websites page are guides to more sites. There are also websites listed on the Specific Topics pages.

Citation Styles

While many science classes at SCSU use APA, the field of Biology does have it's own citation style, known as the CSE (Council of Science Editors) or CBE (Council of Biology Editors). We do have the Manual (2006 ed) in print, but there are many good guides online as well.

Biology News

What's new in Biology? Updated biology news from

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BBC Video

Watch clips from the BBC's nature programming on YouTube: BBC Earth. The latest uploads are listed below:

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