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Biological Sciences: Web Resources



*       Integrated Taxonomic Information System  

Hierarchical classification information for plants, animals, fungi, and microbes.

*       Species 2000  

A federation of taxonomic databases from several organizations.

*       Taxonomy Browser  

Easily visualize, or browse for, organism-specific data and articles.


*       Germplasm Resources Information Network Taxonomy (USDA -ARS)  

Provides hierarchical classification, geographic distribution, and literature references.

*       Plants Database  

Hierarchical classification, distribution, related taxa, and images of plants native or naturalized to the U.S. and territories


*       AmphibiaWeb (University of California Berkeley)  

Hierarchical classification of More than 5700 species.

*       Animal Diversity Web (University of Michigan)  

Hierarchical classification. Includes scientific and common name searches.

*       Invertebrate Zoology Collection-Smithsonian Museum of Natural History  

Includes scientific and common name searches.

*       Systematic Entomology (USDA) 


*       TIGR Reptile Database  

More than 8800 species. Geographic distribution, references, and images.
Includes scientific and common name searches.



American Institute for Biological Sciences -

The American Institute of Biological Sciences was established as a national umbrella organization for the biological sciences in 1947 by 11 scientific societies as part of the National Academy of Sciences. An independent non-profit organization since 1954, it has grown to represent more than 80 professional societies and organizations with a combined membership exceeding 240,000 scientists and educators.

American Journal of Bioethics Online -

Journal articles with the study of moral issues in the fields of medical treatment and research.

Avibase – The Worldbird Database -

Avibase is an extensive database information system about all birds of the world, containing over 2 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages and more. This site is managed by Denis Lepage and hosted by Bird Studies Canada, the Canadian copartner of Birdlife International. Avibase has been a work in progress for nearly 12 years and I am now pleased to offer it as a service to the bird-watching and scientific community

Biodiversity Heritage Library -

Ten major libraries and research institutions in the U.S. and Britain intend to digitize the literature on biodiversity in their collections and make it openly accessible through a "biodiversity commons."

Biology Browser -

produced by Thomson Scientific (the makers of Web of Science) there are guides for animal kingdoms, scientific glossaries, links to news articles and websites with life science information, especially good for zoology

Encyclopedia of Life -

"The Encyclopedia of Life is an unprecedented global partnership between the scientific community and the general public. [Their] goal is to make freely available to anyone knowledge about all the world’s organisms." It is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

EurekAlert! -

An online, global news service, for universities, medical centers, journals, government agencies, corporations and other organizations engaged in research to bring their news to the media. Includes a section for Biology.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System -

Quick, easy to use resource to find scientific names of organisms and phylogenetic trees.

Intute -

Provides online access to over 31,000 evaluated web resources for education and research in the health and life sciences.

Library of Congress: Science Reference Services -

Site has a subject guide for biology, genetics, natural history and zoology. Topics can be browsed in the A to Z index of of the science reference services website.

National Center for Biotechnology Information -

Established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information, NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information - all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease.

National Library of Medicine Bookshelf -

The Bookshelf is a growing collection of biomedical books that can be searched directly by typing a concept into the textbox above and selecting "Go.”

Plants Database (USDA) -

The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.

Public Library of Science -

Contains peer reviewed journals available to all internet users, including PLoS Biology.

SciCentral -

Has sections for Biosciences and Health Sciences that provide news articles and have guides to other online tools. -

The U.S Government portal to their scientific information from various branches.

Scirus -

A science specific search engine for locating information on the internet.

Tree of Life Web Project -

The Tree of Life Web Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists from around the world. On more than 3000 World Wide Web pages, the project provides information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their evolutionary history (phylogeny), and characteristics.

United States Geological Service -

A multi-disciplinary science organization that focuses on biology, geography, geology, geospatial information, and water, we are dedicated to the timely, relevant, and impartial study of the landscape, our natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten us.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-

Provides health and environment information including studies and legislation.

US Fish and Wildlife Service -

Contains information about United States species including habitat information, projects, studies and legislation.

US Geological Survey -

Provides habitat information for species and information on conservation.

USGS Biological Resource Division -

Their mission is to work with others to provide the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support the sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources.

WorldWideScience -

A global gateway that allows searching of national and international science databases from Japan, South Africa, France and other countries.


Subject Guide

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Michael Saar
201 Mary & John Gray Library