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Biology: Get Started

Provides print and electronic resources for those researching in Biology.

In this guide...

Find print and electronic resources when doing research in Biology.

Starting places...

For topics in Biology...

If you're looking for an overview or background information with suggestions for further reading then


try e-reference resources, reference books or Annual Reviews.

If you're looking for books or ebooks then search the Library Catalog.
If you're looking for journal articles then

start with Web of Science or other recommended databases.

If you have a citation and need to find the full article then

use Citation Search to search across all full text resources and if needed place an ILLiad request.

If you want to perform citation searching then

use the Web of Science to perform citation searching.  What is citation searching?

If you have questions, or need help then email Dr. Huttenlock


"I hope you find this guide helpful. Don't hesitate to contact me to discuss your research or ask a question."


Dr. Terry Huttenlock 

Send Email 
Office: Buswell 152 
Phone: x5352

Search library FAQs

Text: 630.426.3432
Phone: 630.752.5169

Types of Sources

Primary Sources, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

What’s the difference?

A Primary Source is original research, the first place a researcher publishes his or her findings.

        Examples: journal articles, conference presentations, technical reports, field data.

  • Contain a detailed description of the research methodology and results. 
  • References to research which a publication is based on or attempting to refute. 

A Secondary Source discusses, explains, describes, analyzes, or summarizes primary sources.

         Examples :books and review articles. 

  • Provide citations (references) to the primary literature.
  • May indicate the key researchers and research institutions in the field

A Tertiary Source  describes or analyzes a group of secondary sources.

         Examples: annotated bibliographies, encyclopedias and dictionaries.

  • Great source of background information on a topic.