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* Biology Research: Books

This guide is a starting point for research in the field of Biology. Resources include database recommendations, reference selections, catalog search tips, and internet resources.

Examples of Biology Books in AU Library

Look for these books and more!  Click on the title to view this book in the AU catalog.

Biology Subject Headings

Use these terms to find books in the AU Catalog using the Subject Heading search.

Library Catalogs

Ashland University Library Catalog

AU Library Catalog:  

OhioLINK Catalog

OhioLINK Catalog:  
About OhioLINK:
  • OhioLINK is a consortium of 121 Ohio academic libraries.  
  • You may request that books be sent to the AU Library or to any OhioLINK pickup location.
  • Your library record, including OhioLINK loans, is maintained by the AU Library. You will find a quick link to My Account on the library main page. Check the status of your requests or renew items there.
  • It normally takes 3-5 business days for items requested from OhioLINK to arrive at the designated pick-up location. You may return items to any OhioLINK library.
  • You will be emailed when OhioLINK requests are ready for you to pick up at the library you designated.
  • To request articles use the interlibrary loan article request form.

 Map of OhioLINK libraries


 Go to the WorldCat Catalog

Includes books and other media in libraries worldwide. Enter your zipcode to find availability in a library near you.  To request books not available through OhioLINK use the interlibrary loan book request form.

Keyword Search or Subject Search?

Keyword searching uses natural language.  A keyword search may be a good way to begin a search, but it may retrieve a few irrelevant results.  One strategy is to start with keyword search, and from the results select an article record that looks useful. You may then make note of the Subject heading or MeSH that are assigned by the database. You may continue your search using the subject terms in the keyword search or in a precise subject search.


Keyword search tips for databases and book catalogs:

  • Use only simple words or phrases, not sentences (Not “the benefits of the cervical cancer vaccine ” but simply “cervical cancer vaccine” )
  •   Use AND to limit your search to results that include ALL of the keywords (Ex.- male  AND female.  Excludes articles just about men or just about women. An AND search always results in fewer results.)
  •  Use OR to expand your search and indicate that you would like results with either term (Ex.-male OR female iIncludes articles about men, about women and about men and women. An OR search normally results in more results.
  •  Use * as a wildcard (truncation).  Tacked on to a root word it retrieves variants. For example: nurs* retrieves articles on nurse, nurses, nursing, etc. (Note: OhioLINK databases use $ instead of *)
  •   Use quote marks or parentheses to indicate that you want one or more words in the exact order in which you  type them  
  • Try to think of other ways to think of your concept in order to increase your results (Ex.-Rather than looking for articles on “gender” you can try: gender OR sex difference OR male OR female OR men OR women)

Subject Searching (Controlled Vocabularies). Controlled vocabularies are standardized, hierarchical lists designated to represent the major subject concepts and conditions contained within a database.

Before an item is added to a database or catalog, its subject matter is determined. This way, there is a consistent method for retrieving the same information concepts even when different terminology has been used by an author. The listing is standardized and somewhat predictable. 


Biological Sciences-General Reference Books

Reference books are a great place to start your search.  Reference books provide an overview of a topic, typically just a few pages. If you take a few moments to skim a reference book, you'll get some great ideas on the key points on your topic that you can use for deeper research.  

Reference books are shelved on the main floor of the library.  The books must be used in the library, but because the entries are so brief, it is usually takes just a few minutes to jot down a few notes or make a list of relevant keywords.