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_EEB 5347: Principles and Methods of Systematic Biology — Search Essentials for Biological Abstracts

Location of Biological Abstracts Print Collection

Searching Biological Abstracts

Biological Abstracts

This is the forerunner to Biosis, available in print form only and located in the Level A Annex, the lowest floor in the library, at call number QH301.B37. The index runs from 1926 to 1968, when Biosis starts online. The print index has two volumes per year and you must search each volume individually. Each volume has a set of indexes (general contents, subject, systematic and author) and abstracts identified by number for that 6 month time period.

Taxonomic topics can be found multiple ways:

  • In the general contents listing within the organism section of the actual abstracts. To find taxonomic entries for an animal group, find the appropriate organism location in the abstracts and the taxonomic entries are interspersed within all of the entries for that animal group. Because this is within the abstracts themselves there is a fair amount of information available.
  •  Specific taxonomic terminology (such as new species) are listed in the subject index alphabetically, so that going to “new species” will list all the new species for all organisms together, arranged alphabetically by organism group.
  •  In the systematic index which has brief entries listed by ascending organismal group, starting with viruses and ending with mammalia.

In all cases, find the abstract number(s) for your topic and then look them up in the abstract section. To find the full text, search by the journal name first, then year, volume, etc. Search for journal names in the library catalog Homer. Many of the titles will be print only, but some we will have also online.