UCB Libraries


EBIO Research Guide for Graduate Students

Library Contacts


For immediate assistance, stop by the Research Desk on Norlin Library's second floor, call 303-492-7521, use one of our Ask Us services (including IM!), or try our extensive How do I... series. Be sure, too, to keep an eye out for Learner's Lunch, most Wednesdays at noon in E113 in Norlin!


  • Key Tools

  • Get Content

  • Manage Research
  • Goverment Info, GIS
    & Special Collections

Chinook is CU Boulder’s on-line catalog and e-Resources access point. It's the best place to start if you're looking for a book or a journal.


If you're searching for articles, you'll have the best success in article databases. You can access these tools plus full text electronic artice from anywhere--seamlessly while you're on campus or using the VPN off-campus.You can also access material from off campus simply by using the links on the library web site. You'll just be asked to log in, and then have access.

To you can browse any of our full text databases by clicking on Find Articles & Databases. From there, select the subject area that interests you, or if you know the name of the database, scroll down to search for the database by title.


For all areas of biology, we recommend starting with general databases:


  • Web of Science (a.k.a. Web of Knowledge)
    1970 - present. Science Citation Index. Top tier journals (highest impact)
    Interdisciplinary with over 9,000 titles

  • Google Scholar
    Broadly searches the full text of the scholarly literature.

You'll also want to consult focused biological databases to be sure you're getting full coverage of the literature:



Finding articles that are owned by CU


  • If you're in a database, look for the 'Find it at CU' logo button. Just click the button, and a new page will open, letting you know if we have the article online or in print. If we don't there is a direct link to the interlibrary loan form.

  • If you have an article citation from a book or paper, enter the citation details into the Article Finder. Or simply search the title of the journal in Chinook, check whether we have the dates you need, and keep browsing down to the article you'd like.

  • PASCAL (CU’s off-site storage facility in Denver)
    If you're looking for a journal articles in print and it's in PASCAL, we'll scan and send the article to you on 24 hour turn around. Scanned copies should be under 50 pages.

Finding articles and books not owned by CU


Use Interlibrary Loan. This service is free of charge. PDFs of articles are sent to your email address. You can also request books that we don’t own through Prospector and Interlibrary Loan.


  • ILLiad
    Traditional borrowing from other institutions, 2 week or less delivery of copies (paper or electronic) of articles, dissertations, books, etc., are sent at no cost to you.

  • Prospector
    This is your best first choice for borrowing books CU doesn't own. Prospector requests usually arrive in 3-5 days.

Find an overview of citation management with information on Refworks, Mendeley, Zotero, and more on our How do I... page for citation management.


All of the citation management tools below allow you to create personal databases of citations, organize your research, create bibliographies and automatically create and format citations in papers. Look at some of their strengths below to choose a system, or consult with one of the librarians above to select and set up a system.

Free software that is particulary good for academic social networking and organizing article PDFs. Makes it easy to share PDFs within your research group. Desktop and web versions; best functionality with internet connection. If youv'e synced your library, you can access citations offline. Contact: Alison Hicks, alison.hicks@colorado.edu



Free, open-source software that integrates very well with a web research environment. Easy tagging and note-taking. Allows sharing of references with a lab group via group libraries. Available as a plugin for Firefox (easiest) and as a standalone tool with connectors to Safari, Firefox, or Chrome. If youv'e synced your library, you can access citations offline.

Manage your own research, too, but knowing the impact it has. Find out more by learning about metrics for measuring the impact of research & scholarship.

Your research may require some unusual types of information, and the library has specialists to help you with all of it.



Your research may also make use of GIS data and mapping. The Map Library can help you find GIS datasets to use.


Government Information

For much of your research, organizations like USGS, the US Forest Service, and the EPA may have useful information. The Government Information Library can help you find what you need. The Government Information collection is an especially great resource for resources on the American West, such as:



Special Collections

Special Collections contains a variety of materials, both rare and current, covering many areas of science. For biology, highlights of particular interest include a first edition copy of Darwin’s Origin of the Species, Hooke’s Micrographia, and Wallace's Island Life.