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Resources for My Subject

Plant Sciences: Home

Information about the Plant Sciences Library, including information for researchers

What's in this LibGuide

This LibGuide will help you get started with using resources related to Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge, including:

  • Finding out if named books or journals are held in the Plant Sciences Library [plus Herbarium Library], or can be found elsewhere in Cambridge
  • Accessing e-resources
  • Searching for subject-related published papers, including some recommended databases
  • Help with referencing and Reference Management Software

Contact e-mail :

Print material

If you need information on plants, the Plant Sciences Library is the logical place to start, and all members of the University are welcome to use it. A brief indication of the material we hold can be found on these webpages under the 'collections' tab above. Further information on specialist print resources for plants, and library help, is available via the Plant Sciences Library website.

But the Plant Sciences Library isn't the only major resource for plant-related material at Cambridge.

There is a separate Herbarium Library in the Sainsbury Laboratory, which holds floras, works on taxonomy and monographs. Further information can be found on the Herbarium Library website. Please note, the Sainsbury Laboratory is a restricted access building.

The Cory Library [most of which is also conveniently housed in the same space as the Herbarium Library in the Sainsbury Laboratory] holds items relevant to horticulture. For more information, please visit the Cory Library website

There are many libraries in the Cambridge system, and some may also hold items of interest, but it depends very much on the subject you are researching. Use iDiscover to check what we have and where it is. You may also need to check the libraries directory, for opening hours, admissions policies, etc.

The Plant Sciences Library

group working area

collections & reprints

2 computer bays

Online resources

The subject areas related to Plant Sciences are relatively well-served by e-journals, but it depends rather on your subject. Almost certainly, any paper cited on a reading list will be available online : in fact links are normally provided! Check out the 'Researching a topic' tab above for more information.

You might find that some papers you need to read may not be available online. This is usually not a problem : The Plant Sciences Library or the Herbarium Library may well have a paper copy of the journal. If not, it might be available in another Cambridge library, or could be requested from another UK library. If in doubt, please ask us for further help.

Although some subject areas are now taught with heavy reliance on e-books, the sciences are not well-served by this format. Furthermore, books do not feature strongly on reading lists. Because in the sciences information must be completely up-to-date, it would be difficult for books, whether e- or paper, to provide that. Please be aware that sometimes the e-book available is not the most recent edition published either!

A few standard texts may be available as e-books, but it is by no means the case that all the books you need to read  are available online. If they are available, reading lists in lecture notes normally tell you so. E-books are also linked from the library catalogue iDiscover

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Search for books, journals and research papers

Use the library catalogue interface, iDiscover, to search for books, journals and research papers.

If you need to check whether the Plant Sciences [or other] Library holds a particular item, you can select it from the drop-down list in the right-hand column.