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Biology Research Guide: Articles

Resources for biology students. Contact us at the Reference Desk for help with your library research, by phone at (819) 822-9600, ext. 2608 or by email at

What is a journal?

The term journal is often used to describe a specific type of periodical publication that disseminates the results of scholarly research. We often think of a journal as a record of experiences and observations, and in this case journals record the observations and experiences of researchers. Journals are important sources of information in the sciences, because they contain the results of current research or experiments.

Periodicals in general are published at regular intervals (weekly, monthly, etc.), and contain articles written by experts in a field of study or record the transactions of a public body or learned society, or even current events. The term scholarly is often applied to periodical articles which have been peer-reviewed before publication. Scholarly or peer-reviewed articles have been reviewed by a group of subject specialists, and have passed measures of quality before publication. Scholarly articles always include references or a bibliography.

Find articles

Click on the links to the databases below to find journal or periodical articles in the biological and related sciences. Search for subjects, keywords or authors. If you are working from off campus, you will be prompted to enter the bar code number found on your ID card before you will be granted access.

Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) Start here for articles from scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazines on a broad range of subjects.

BioOne A small full-text database (approximately 70 journals) with articles in the fields of biological, ecological and environmental sciences.

JSTOR An archival database of multidisciplinary scholarly articles, including life sciences.

Science Direct A full text database of scholarly articles in more than 1700 journals from Elsevier.

SpringerLink Searchable full text database of over 300 Springer journals, including those in environmental sciences, life sciences and others.

Web of Science - Science Citation Index (For use within the library only) This is an index of articles in more than 5700 journals in 164 disciplines from 1998 onward.

For links to additional indexes and databases go to the library's Databases A-Z list.

Find full text

No link to full text or PDF in the database? Don't give up. Try these 3 steps:

1. Type the journal title in the box below to find out if the article is available in another BU database

The system will tell you if Bishop's University library users have access to that title and what issues are available, and will provide a link to the journal in the appropriate database or databases.

2. Search for the journal title in the online catalogue to find out if we have the journal issue in print.

3. Search for the journal title in Interlibrary loans/Colombo to get a copy of the article from another institution. Ask for help using this free service at the Reference Desk.