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Biology: Biology 360 - Herpetology

A guide to information resources in the life sciences

Biology 360 - Herpetology


Part I

I. Type of topic:

            A. Biological

            B. Biographical


II. Finding a Book on Your Topic  [sea turtles]

            A. Keyword search on online catalog  (39 results)

                        1.  Pay attention to format:  online or print?

                                    a.  Publication date is also important--concentrate on recent materials

                        2. If no title is available at WC, try Link+

                                    a. Select an ILL  if Link+ is unsuccessful, use online form

                        3.  January Interim is very short--order Link+ or ILL asap!!

III. Online Resources

            A.  General search:  Google

                        1. Pay attention to your sources!

                                    a.  Wikipedia:  is this a reliable site?

                                    b. Other www sites:  are these always trustworthy?

            B.  Library website:  familiarize yourself!

`                       1.  Open “Find Books & Articles”

                        2.  Select “Search Databases by Subject”

a.  Select – "Biology"

b.  Search full text databases: Academic OneFile; Public Library of Science (PLOS); OmniFile Full Text Select

i. Apply search limits: select “full text” and/or peer-reviewed (i.e., “scholarly”) journals to narrow your search

ii. Email search results or save to disk (flash drive)

3.  “Journal Titles A to Z List” provides information on print and online periodical holdings—details coverage and format options

            a. Identifies specific journal subscriptions--this is not a "database"

                        i.  Find "Journal of Herpetology"

4.  If we do not own a journal title--online or print - request an ILL using online form


IV.  Biology Research Guide:  Recommended Databases

See "Herpetology" course information resources and outline under "WC Biology Courses" tab





Part II

Herpetology/Information Resources

Reference Sources:  Online

Gale Virtual Reference Library  (GaleNet):  a series of over 200 online reference works, available on the campus network.  The following titles may provide useful information when getting started with your research paper topics:  Animal Sciences (2002); Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia  (2003);  Environmental Encyclopedia (2003); Beacham’s Guide to Endangered Species of North America (2001); and Gale Encyclopedia of Science (2004).


Oxford Reference  contains a wealth of facts, figures, definitions, and translations from over 300 Oxford reference titles, including The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians (2002).  Many are in-depth, scholarly articles from the Oxford Companion series.

Reference Sources:  Print

Ref Q 121 M3  McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology   20 vols.  2007

Provides up-to-date reliable information on every field of modern science and technology.  Vol. 20 is an index to the complete set.

Ref  QH 302.5 E58  Encyclopedia of Life Sciences  20 vols.   2002

This impressive resource is aimed at an undergraduate and professional audience.  Provides short answers or facts on specific questions or in-depth coverage of broader topic areas.  Vol. 20 is a 20,000-entry subject index.


Periodicals:  Print & Electronic

You may wish to browse through recent issues of Herpetological Review.  Other journals of possible interest are:  American Midland Naturalist; American Naturalist; BioScience; Integrative & Comparative Biology; Journal of Ecology; Nature (online); and Science.


The Journal Titles A-to-Z list allows access to over 60,000 print and electronic journals.  You may search by individual title or by subject area.  All of our current print holdings are listed, as well as links to a wide variety of full text electronic publications.  Searches using “herpetology” and “amphibians” yielded the following full text online publications:  Amphibian & Reptile Conservation;  Contemporary Herpetology; CopeiaHerpetotropicos:  Tropical Amphibians and Reptiles; Journal of Herpetology (JSTOR: 1968-2009); and Phyllomedusa: Journal of Herpetology


Electronic Database Searching

Gale Academic OneFile  is the premier online source for peer-reviewed articles from the world’s leading journals and reference sources.  One File provides indexing to over 13,000 journals, with more than 6,500 full text titles.   Among the full text biology journals of possible interest for the students in the herpetology class—American Scientist; Biological Bulletin, BioScience, Natural History, New Scientist, PNAS, Pacific Science, Southwestern Naturalist, and Western North American Naturalist.  You will also have full text access to journals pertinent to your research topics from the following fields:  biomedical science; environmental science; and endangered species. 

For assistance with the College’s electronic resources, contact Joe D. or any of the professional librarians at Wardman Library.

You may e-mail (or save to disk) any search results from the online journals or databases.


Online Catalog

To find books that cover your topic in more depth, enter a search on the online catalog. You may select subjects on herpetology using Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings or by “keyword” [i.e., "snakes"; "dinosaurs"; "turtles"; or "lizards"].

Interlibrary loans (ILL):  if you wish to obtain a photocopy of an article from a journal we don’t have, you may submit an ILL request using the online form.  Loans usually arrive within a week.  Link+ loans for books arrive sooner because they are delivered by courier.

Use this service!  Be sure to place your ILL and Link+  requests during the January Interim ASAP!


Jan. 7, 2014