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Biological Sciences Libraries


The University of Cambridge subscribes to hundreds of specialist databases to support teaching, learning and research. Almost all of these can be accessed from wherever you are if you have Raven credentials. The A-Z list of databases provides links to all the subscribed resources you can access through the University in one place. To help you even more, we have prepared a list of useful scientific databases and resources for supporting lab work. 

Here is a list of some of the most relevant databases covering topics in Zoology.

Resource name Why use it? 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
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
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
bioRxiv bioRxiv is an online archive of unpublished preprints for the life sciences.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
eLS (formerly Encyclopedia of Life Sciences) eLS is a monthly-updating reference work containing over 5,000 specially commissioned articles, written by leaders in the field, and offers authoritative and comprehensive coverage of the life sciences. As all articles have been peer-reviewed a balanced representation of the literature is ensured. eLS access
Birds of the World Birds of the World is an ornithological research resource that brings together scholarly content from four celebrated works of ornithology with millions of bird observations from eBird and multimedia from the Macaulay Library into a single platform where biologists and birders can explore comprehensive life history information on birds. It includes nearly 11,000 species accounts as well as research citations, range maps and scientific illustrations. Birds of the World access
Biodiversity Heritage Library The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. The BHL portal provides free access to hundreds of thousands of volumes, comprising over 60 million pages, from the 15th-21st centuries.  Biodiversity Heritage Library access



We provide books for research and those on undergraduate reading lists in print but many are also available in electronic format. These can be accessed through searching iDiscover but some are also included in ebook packages. Below are some that may be of interest to anyone studying or working on Zoology subject areas.

Resource name Why use it? Access
Springer Biomedical and Life Sciences The Biomedical and Life Sciences eBook Collection brings together up-to-date resources from trusted authors working around the world in all aspects of life, including: ecology; conservation and biodiversity; zoology; plant sciences; and genetics.

For off-campus access, University members will be prompted for their Raven ID

Access Springer collection

Oxford Very Short Introductions Oxford Very Short Introductions offers a bridge between reference content and higher academic work. All titles provide intelligent and serious introductions to a huge range of subjects, written by experts in the field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readbale.

For off-campus access, University members will be prompted for their Raven ID

Access Oxford Very Short Introductions



The University subscribes to a vast number of electronic journals and many more are available as open access. You can search for articles on some of the databases listed above or use iDiscover to search for journals and articles.

If you find something that is not available to you, it may be that you need to request a copy of an article through our Request a Digital Copy service. Further information can be found on the Request a Digital Copy guide or you can ask the Senior Library Assistant for help.


Install the Lean Library button

Compatible with most browsers, Lean Library is a browser extension that will automatically detect when you have access to something. This access might be provided through the University of Cambridge's subscriptions, or it might be an Open Access version. This will reduce the need for hours spent trying to log in to different websites or hitting paywalls and will give you quick access to what you need.

If all else fails, Lean Library will direct you to one of our services to help you get access to the resource from another institution or collection. 





Zoology Library





The Library 
Department of Zoology 
Downing Street
Cambridge - CB2 3EJ 

Telephone      01223 336648
Find us Cam map


Opening hours:

Mon-Thu   8:30am-5pm

Friday       8:30am-4:30pm

Library users should check the Updates on the homepage for any changes to opening hours before coming to the library.


Study space access restricted to:

  • Current staff and students of the University


Non-University members and anyone requiring assistance must contact the library in advance as staff are not always available.


Senior Library Assistant: Jane Acred