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Subject Guides

Biology: Biology Collections

Biology collections in Cambridge

There are many specialist print and online resources for biology in Cambridge. These pages give you an overview of the resources and research support that libraries can offer.

The School of Biological Libraries' list of library facilities can be found here.

Cambridge Libraries Gateway

What else do libraries have to offer? Try venturing through the Cambridge Libraries Gateway!

Collections Showcase

Document Delivery Services

Where an article is not available from within Cambridge researchers can apply for an inter-library loan from any of the participating College, Departmental or UL Affiliate Libraries.

Both the UL and the Betty & Gordon Moore Libraries operate an online service:

The Betty & Gordon Moore Library runs a free Scan & Deliver service to allow staff and students, who are currently at Cambridge University, to get remote access to their collections that are not currently available electronically.

Holdings coverage

Users should be aware that the service only covers the holdings of the Betty & Gordon Moore Library.

The online order form is here.

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Make a Recommendation

Staff at the Betty & Gordon Moore Library are keen to receive book recommendations. 

You can recommend a resource to the Betty and Gordon Moore Library in person, using their webform or by contacting the Moore Library team directly:

t: 01223 765677

Primary online resources

Web of Science

Web of Science is an online subscription-based scientific citation indexing service that provides a comprehensive citation search. It gives access to multiple databases that reference cross-disciplinary research, which allows for in-depth exploration of specialised sub-fields within an academic or scientific discipline. 

Biology is mainly dealt with by the Science Citation Index which covers more than 8,500 notable journals encompassing 150 disciplines. Coverage is from the year 1900 to the present day.

WoS allows readers to analyse where articles have been cited and form a view of how significant an article may be based on its Impact Factor.


​Similar in content to Web of Science. Scopus claims to be the largest database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. Similarly, Scopus provides tools to track, analyse and visualise research.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides an accessible way to search broadly for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

Google Scholar isn't a database as such, so subject specific searching can be a challenge. However it's an essential tool and can give you a good overview especially where research is published outside the traditional subscription journal channels.


PubMed comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.

PubMed is likely to be primarily of interest to those researching the fields of health and biomedicine. While search results mostly comprise citations rather than full text, researchers and students with University of Cambridge credentials will find direct links to full text articles where access to those articles are provided by the University.

iDiscover: Articles and online resources

Use iDiscover to search the University of Cambridge Libraries' print and online collections. You can search for articles online (both in peer-reviewed journals and from other sources), databases, electronic journals and other online content by selecting the 'Articles and online resources' checkbox before searching.

Full text

Where direct full-text access is not provided through the above tools researchers should consult the iDiscover service to find hardcopy articles in the University of Cambridge network. Where an article is not available from within Cambridge, researchers can apply for an inter-library loan from any of their College, departmental or UL & affiliate libraries.