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Biological Sciences: Reference Sources

Resources for library research on biology-related topics

Specialized encyclopedias provide a wealth of information, such as basic, background information on a topic, bibliographies of articles, books, and other materials on a topic, and images, sounds, and graphics to add interest to your presentations and posters.  To find more specialized encyclopedias, you can perform a keyword search in the LSU Library Catalog for "encyclopedia" and "your topic" (for example, type in "encyclopedia ocean" or "encyclopedia plant").

Subject-specific dictionaries are useful for those working on cross-displinary projects and students new to a discipline.

Handbooks provide standard information, including tables of data, citations to literature, and brief synopses of topics.

Taxonomy is the describing, identifying, classifying, and naming of organisms. Knowing the taxonomic name for an organism you are interested in will aid you in searching databases for articles. Use the sources below to locate taxonomic names as well as citations to publications which describe, identify, classify, or name an organism.  Many encyclopedias also include taxonomic names in entries about specific organisms.

Use laboratory protocols and methods to locate step-by-step instructions on laboratory and research methods. 

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