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Biological Sciences Libraries

Sources of Scientific Information

Knowing which databases to use when trying to access scientific literature and information can be tricky so we have curated a list of key recommended resources to start with. All links have been enriched to trigger a log-in screen for University members so you can have full access to the full resource.

If you need any help or support with these resources, the Biological Sciences Libraries Team can help with access as well as advice on effective literature searching. 


For a full list of subscribed resources available to students and researchers at Cambridge, visit the University's A-Z Databases guide.

Resource name Why use it? Access
Scopus Scopus provides access to the world's largest collection of abstracts, references and indexes of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities literature. Seamless links to full-text articles, related articles, and other library resources make Scopus quick, easy and comprehensive. Excellent if you are working on a specific subject or need to search across multiple areas.   Scopus access
Web of Science Web of Science offers a rich collection of indexes representing journals, books, and proceedings in the sciences, social sciences and art & humanities. Links to full-text articles, connected articles, and other resources allow for quick access to a wide range of literature. Great for multidisciplinary research as well as subject-specific work. Web of Science access
PubMed PubMed provides references to life sciences and biomedical literature going back to the 1950s. With integrated links to library resources as well as open access materials, this is an excellent resource for more medical-focused human research. PubMed access
PsycInfo Developed by the American Psychological Association (APA), PsycInfo provides over 2 million references of journal articles, book chapters and dissertations, all from psychological and related disciplines. With direct links to library resources, or enough information to find a copy within Cambridge University Libraries collections, this database is invaluable for anyone working on psychological topics.  PsycInfo access
Annual Reviews Annual Reviews provides a wide collection of biological sciences-related review articles, ranging from Animal Biosciences through to Virology and beyond. Annual Reviews aims to capture current understanding of a topic, including what is well supported and what is controversial. An excellent resource for getting an overview of a topic through review articles summarising key research and emerging issues. Annual Reviews access
SAGE Research Methods Online An invaluable research methods tool created to help researchers and students with their research projects. Links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with search and discovery tools. Use it to explore methods concepts to help with the design of research projects, understanding of particular methods or identifying a new method, conducting research, and writing up findings. SAGE Research Methods Online access
bioRxiv bioRxiv is an online archive of unpublished preprints for the life sciences. By publishing here, authors can make their findings immediately available to the scientific community. Take the opportunity to read work-in-progress and the latest research before it goes into a formal journal publication. bioRxiv access


Resources to support lab work

Having resources to supplement lab work is always useful so we have pulled together a few key online resources for use alongside any experimental activities.

Resource name Why use it? Access

JoVE Unlimited: Journal of Visual Experiments 

Educational videos demonstrating science concepts and laboratory methods suitable for undergraduate and graduate work. JoVE videos also bring to life the intricate details of cutting-edge experiments enabling efficient learning and replication of new research methods and technologies. JoVE Unlimited access
Wiley Current Protocols Includes over 24,000 step-by-step techniques, procedures, and practical overviews that provide researchers with reliable, efficient methods to ensure reproducible results and pave the way for critical scientific discovery. There is a broad subject coverage for researchers, and a section on Essential Laboratory Techniques will be of particular use to undergraduate students.

Wiley Current Protocols access

Springer Nature Experiments A research solution allowing researchers to quickly find and evaluate protocols and methods in the life sciences. Springer Nature Experiments access
Cold Spring Harbor Protocols  An interactive source of new and classic research techniques. Fully searchable by keyword and subject. Coverage includes cell and molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, protein science, and imaging. Regularly updated. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols access
PsycTests Provided by the American Psychological Association (APA), this is an extensive collection of items associated with psychological measures, scales, surveys, and other instruments essential to the research needs of professionals, students, and educators across the behavioural and social sciences. PsycTests access

For more resources, visit the Databases A-Z Guide for a full listing of what you can use in your work.