This guide is designed to help you research information about biology. It includes an index of scholarly sources that should be used. Included in the list are websites and search engines that will be helpful in your research. If you have any trouble finding these sources, please ask a librarian for help. Good Luck! Any comments or suggestions are welcome!
  • RCC Library Home Page: Most materials found in this research guide are available at the library's home page.
  • Reference Desk: Please contact us if you have any questions concerning this guide or research.



The on-line catalog provides access to the Library's collection of approximately 40,000 books, periodicals and audio-visual titles. These resources may be used to find information for assignments or general interest.

Tutorial for searching catalog and ordering books from Metro Boston Library Network (includes Boston Public Library)

Helpful Search Terms:

  • Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular Biology

New Books

Simberloff, D. (2013). Invasive Species: What everyone needs to know. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Call Number: QH353 .S56 2013

Wilson, T. and Hastings, J. W. (2013). Bioluminescence: Living lights, lights for living. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press.
Call Number: QH641 .W55 2013
Avise, J.C. (2013). Evolutionary Perspectives on Pregnancy. New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press.
Call Number: QP251 .A95 2013
Brockman, J. (Ed.). (2013). This Explains Everything: Deep, beautiful, and elegant theories of how the world works. New York, N.Y.: Harper Perennial.
Call Number: Q173 .T53 2013
Zimmer, C. (2013). Evolution: Making sense of life. Greenwood Village, C.O.: Roberts and Company Publishers.
Call Number: QH366.2 .Z526 2013

Dudley, J. T. (2013). Exploring Personal Genomics. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.
Call Number: QH447 .D83 2013
Dale, J. W. (2013). Understanding Microbes: An introduction to a small world. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Call Number: QR41.2 .D35 2013

Martin, R. D. (2013). How We Do It: The evolution and future of human reproduction. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books.
Call Number: QP251 .M325 2013

Circulating Books

Talaro, K. P. and Chess, B. (2012). Foundations in microbiology . New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill.
Call Number: QR41.2 .T35

Panno, J. (2011). Viruses: the Origin and Evolution of Deadly Pathogens. New York, N.Y.: Facts on File.
Call Number: QR360 .P36 2011

Allen, T. D. (2011). The Cell: a Very Short Introduction. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Call Number: QH582.5 .A45 2011

Darnell, J. (2011). RNA: Life's Indispensable Molecule. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Call Number: QP623 .D37 2011

Saterbak, A. (2007). Bioengineering Fundamentals. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Call Number: TA164 .S38 2007
Walker, T. (2012). Plants: A very short introduction. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Call Number: QK45.2 .W25 2012
Allison, S. K. (2012). Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing damaged ecosystems. New York, N.Y.: Routledge.
Call Number: QH541.15.R45 A45 2012

Reference Books

Armstrong, P. (2007). All Things Darwin: An Encyclopedia of Darwin's World.Westport, C.T. : Greenwood Press.
Call Number: REF QH31.D2 A7894 2007

Dulbecco, R. (Ed.). (1997). Encyclopedia of Human Biology (2nd ed.). San Diego, C.A.: Academic Press.
Call Number: REF QP11.E53 1997 v.1-9

Walker, P. M. B. (Ed.). Cambridge Dictionary of Biology. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.
Call Number: REF QH302.5.C46 1990

Ruse, M. (Ed.). (2008). Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Call Number: REF QH331.O914 2008.

Reich, W. T. (Ed.). (1995). Encyclopedia of Bioethics. New York, N.Y.: Macmillan Pub. Co.
Call Number: REF QH332.E52 1995 v.1-5.

Daintith, J. and Martin, E. A. (Eds.). (2005). Oxford Dictionary of Science (5th ed.). New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Call Number: REF Q123 .C68 2005

SIngleton, P. and Sainsbury, D. Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley.
Call Number: QR9 .S56 2006

Electronic Books


The library has recently added 20,000 online books from the vendor Ebrary. This is the “community college” collection, of interest to students and faculty at 2-year colleges. All books are simultaneously available to all RCC users.

Encyclopedia of Life Science
Cullen, K. E. (2009). Encyclopedia of Life Science. New York, N.Y.: Facts On File.

Arguing for Evolution: An Encyclopedia for Understanding Science
Cotner, S. and Moore, R. (2011). Arguing for Evolution: An Encyclopedia for Understanding Science. Santa Barbara, C.A.: Greenwood.

Natural Curiosities
Wallace, A. R. (2011). Natural Curiosities. New York, N.Y.: Parkstone International.

Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology
J. Ayala, F. J. and Arp, R. (Eds.). (2010). Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Malden, M.A.: Blackwell Pub.

Encyclopedia of Adaptations in the Natural World
Simmons, A. (2010). Encyclopedia of Adaptations in the Natural World. Santa Barbara, C.A.: Greenwood Press.

Life As It Is: Biology for the Public Sphere
Loomis, W. F. (2008). Life As It Is: Biology for the Public Sphere. Berkeley, C.A.: University of California Press.

Inspired by Biology: From Molecules to Materials to Machines
Committee on Biomolecular Materials and Processes. (2008). Inspired by Biology: From Molecules to Materials in Machines. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.


Browse these paper journals and magazines in the library's periodicals section for articles about biology:

  • Scientific American
  • National Geographic


Access to millions of journal, magazine, newspaper and reference source articles through our research databases.

Biomedical Reference Collection

Provides access to 100 full text journals covering such disciplines as clinical medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system and the preclinical sciences.

Science Full Text Select

Offers a broad range of science literature including access to 320 full text science journals covering all fields of science.

Science In Context

Science in Context features authoritative information for assignments and projects, and provides detailed coverage of popular subjects from earth science and life science, to space, technology, mathematics and science history and biography.

Green File

GreenFile is a collection of scholarly, government and general-interest titles includes content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.

Streaming Videos

Full length and segment videos from Films On Demand.

Films On Demand

Plant Biology (87 minutes)
Making plentiful use of animation, this comprehensive video clip library of 32 two- to three-minute segments brings plant biology to life! Visual learners will particularly benefit from the intricate processes and key botanical concepts illustrated in each self-contained video. A versatile teaching tool, Plant Biology is also an excellent student research resource.

The Sensitive Skin of the Earth: Microscopic Plant Life and the Health of Our Planet (52 minutes)
Southern Africa’s Namib Desert—at first glance, a barren and lifeless setting. Looking closely at the desert floor, however, we see black and multicolored patches adorning the landscape. Regions in Asia and North America present a comparable picture, and indeed, even in the Arctic and Antarctic, the Earth’s frigid deserts, such deposits appear everywhere. How can these sensitive organisms survive in extremely dry and cold climates? What state would our global ecosystem be in without them? This program explores the mysterious role that lichens, mosses, cyanobacteria, and green algae play in the well-being of our planet. Viewers learn about the natural microtechnology of these life forms and how it protects desert environments from erosion while performing photosynthesis and carbon sequestration on a massive scale. Not available in French-speaking Canada.

Sexual and Asexual Reproduction(16 minutes)
All forms of life, from the simple to the highly complex, possess not only the ability but the instinct to reproduce. This program gives an introduction to the basic biological concepts involved with sexual and asexual reproduction. Starting at the cellular level, the video distinguishes between reproduction that occurs sexually, in an exchange of genetic material between two organisms, and asexually, in which organisms produce offspring with a genetic makeup identical to the parent. Several plant and animal examples are included, as are clear explanations of meiosis and mitosis. The various evolutionary benefits and disadvantages of both types of reproduction are also examined. Viewable/printable educational resources are available online.

The Nature of Biology: An Introduction (33 minutes)
Why study biology? What’s it all about? Why does it matter? This is the video that helps answer these common questions about biology. Images from the natural world reinforce the sense of wonder and excitement involved in studying life science. Interviews with science professionals help viewers appreciate the impact and value of biology in society. The program is organized around the general themes of biology: Diversity of Life, Heredity, Cells, Interdependence of Life, Flow of Matter and Energy, and Evolution of Life. Through exploring these themes, students gain an understanding of the principles and values of life science. An upbeat introduction to the study of the living environment. A great way to begin a class in the life sciences! A Cambridge Educational Production.

NewsHour: Human Biology (71 minutes)
Genetic and neurological research has led to increasingly sophisticated medical capabilities—resulting in a growing number of moral and ethical quandaries. This cluster of NewsHour segments surveys recent milestones in biology—many of which have produced as much controversy as insight. Reporting on the newly-identified anti-aging gene SIR2 and the cross-species implantation of stem cells, the program also inquires into artificial limb technology, the dynamics of the teenage brain, and the storage of environmental toxins in the human body. A visit to the American Bible Belt, including Kentucky’s Creationist Museum, highlights the ongoing debate over human origins.

Web sites

There are many helpful web sites about abortion. The web sites listed below have been evaluated by library staff. Remember to always evaluate internet resources. To find out more about evaluating web sites, Cornell University has an informative guide.

United States Government Biological Resources
Site sponsored by the USGS featuring studies done by government agencies in various areas of the biological sciences.

National Science Foundation
The NSF is an independent federal agency conducting research in all areas of science. The site provides information, discoveries and research it has conducted in the field of biology.

Learn Genetics
The University of Utah's Genetic Science Learning Center provides information and resources on cells, DNA, cloning and genes.

This site holds a database of useful biological numbers. It allows you to quickly find any common biological number important for your research.

Citing Sources: Style Guides

APA Style Tutorial

Laguardia Community College Library MLA and APA citation style

The Owl at Purdue: APA Formatting and Style Guide

The Owl at Purdue: MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide

Basic Research Help

Please click the Ask a Librarian icon if you have any questions concerning these guides, need help finding material for your research or any general questions you might have.

General Library Information

Research guide prepared on May 18, 2011 by Ry Burgess; updated May 23, 2013 by Mallory Wilson; updated March 24, 2014 by Katie Bliss.