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Biological Sciences

Session Goals

At the end of this session you should be able to:

  1. Answer your assignment questions using Scopus or Web of Science databases or search engines (Google Scholar).
  2. Locate and request journal articles not held at the University of Calgary.
  3. Cite your literature using the journal "Zootaxa" as a Style Guide.

Find peer reviewed journal articles: Refine your search

  • Identify keywords, synonyms and search terms related to your topic.
  • Incorporate Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) that specify the logical relationship of your search terms.
  • Use truncation or wildcard symbols ( *, ?, and $) with your terms to find plurals and variant spellings.
  • Consider appropriate database limiters (publication date or types and animal or human subjects), subject headings and field Indexes


Scopus is a comprehensive interdisciplinary database that includes over 18,000 journals. Coverage is very strong in the sciences and features a citation tracker to determine the number of times an article has been cited.

Web of Science (Web of Knowledge platform)

Connect to Web of Science
Coverage at the University of Calgary Library is from 1900 and is updated weekly.

Other Biological Sciences databases are available on the Library Home Page ---> Research 

To access U of C databases and online or fulltext articles from Off-Campus you need to login using your student ID or U of C IT Username and Password ---> Select Authentication Screen

To check Journal Abbreviations use:

Topic Search

Enter your search term(s) to search across BIOSIS Previews titles, abstracts and other fields.


  • moon snail and feeding
  • Dungeness crab or cancer magister
  • "DNA codes" (Use quotation marks to search a phrase)

Field Search

Search by Topic, Author(s), Journal Name, Publication Year(s) and other search options.

Use field searching to refine your search and improve the relevance of your search results. 

                  See examples -->


  • In Author:  Barclay R*
  • In Publication Year: 2015
  • In Address: Calgary
  • In Topic: Fruit Bat*
  • In Publication Name: Canadian Journal of Zoology

Google Scholar

Connect to Google Scholar

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Annotated Bibliographies

Sequence Databases

NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) - GenBank

  • " annotated collection of all publicly available DNA sequences" from the National Institute of Health (NIH, U.S.)

Barcode of Life & Barcode of Life Database (BOLD)

  • Barcode of Life
  • Search Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) Public Data Portal
    • Genetic sequences of many genetic markers, notably the barcoding marker COI-5P

Taxonomy, molecular, and phylogenetic databases

Find Books and Journals We Don't Have: Interlibrary loan

If the Library does not have the journal or book you are looking for you can order it through the Library's Interlibray Loan Service (Select --> Interlibrary Loan ) or (Library Homepage > Services > Interlibrary Loan).

Turnaround time varies from several days to several weeks depending on the type of documents requested although journal articles can usually be obtained within one week.

Citing Your Sources

Citing Your Literature

Cite any journal references for this assignment following the style used by the journal Zootaxa. Examples are included below:

King, V.M., Armstrong, D.M. & Trott, J.R. (1998) Numerical aspects of pontine, lateral reticular, and inferior olivary projections to two paravermal cortical zones of the cat cerebellum. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 390, 537-551.<537::AID-CNE6>3.0.CO;2-1

Kiss, O. (2013) Three new species of Rhyacophila (Trichoptera: Rhyacophilidae) from Taiwan and Nepal. Zootaxa, 3640 (2), 213–223.


Need other examples? Look at the reference sections of these Open Access Zootaxa articles.


Zootaxa's author guidelines also provide examples for other publication types.


Also, programs like Mendeley and Zotero enable you to import and organize your references and PDF's as well as create bibliographies.
Compare Mendeley, EndNote, Refworks, Papers and Zotero

Contact the Interim Biology Librarian

Any questions, suggestions or comments should be sent to:

Jennifer Lee

Updated September 11, 2017

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