Life Sciences

This subject guide is designed for individuals looking for information relating to life or biological sciences or those looking to develop their information and academic literacies in the natural sciences.

The life sciences collection can be found via Library Search. Print books are available on Level 5 of the University Library or Level 3 for the short loan collection.

College Librarian

Paul Cannon

Paul.Cannon@glasgow.ac.uk

Academic writing and critical appraisal

LEADS’ academic writing classes are designed to help students produce high-quality scientific writing and understand referencing. The critical analysis series introduces students to critiquing research.

Guides to identifying appropriate resources for an assignment and critically appraising information and writing a literature review are available.

Identifying appropriate information sources

New students may find the resource ‘Identifying the right source of information for the right purpose’ useful. The guide will help you identify the different types of information and recognise when to use one information type over another.

Depending on your information requirements, you may have to look beyond the University of Glasgow Library collections. Library Hub Discover provides access to the collections of many UK national, academic and specialist libraries.

You may also need to engage with grey literature, information that has not formally been published or undergone a peer review process. Examples of grey literature include dissertations and theses, clinical guidelines or reports published by professional bodies. Guidance on grey literature repositories.

Finding relevant information

Reference resources

eLS (formerly known as the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences) is a reference resource of over 5,000 reference articles covering the breadth of life sciences.

JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, will help you learn fundamental laboratory skills and further your understanding of research through videos of research methods.

Springer Protocols is the world’s largest database of life sciences protocols. These ‘recipes’ allow scientists to recreate experiments in their own laboratories.

Textbooks and monographs

Reading lists provide an initial starting point for research. Beyond reading lists, Library Search is the primary method of finding information whether you study on- or off-campus. Video guides to Library Search are available.

Journal articles

Bibliographic databases provide access to quality assessed information. Prior to searching for journal articles you should consider formulating a research question and structuring a literature search, before developing a literature search strategy. Video guides to key databases are available on EdShare.

The key resources for all Life Sciences subjects (in alphabetical order):

Finding fulltext articles and books

There are numerous tools to help you find the fulltext version of articles. If you cannot find what you are looking for book loan and article ordering facilities are available or suggest an item for purchase.

Managing information

Processing information

LEADS run academic development classes that focus on the most effective ways to revise and take exams, and how to use feedback to continually improve your academic performance.

Managing information

EndNote can be used to manage and cite information. Training on EndNote is available through IT Training. Support for EndNote is provided by the IT Helpdesk. EndNote also provide their own online training.

Keeping up-to-date

Keeping up-to-date with information is a difficult task. There are various methods, tools and apps that make keeping up with the published literature an easier task.

Plagiarism and copyright

Attribution and avoiding plagiarism

LEADS run academic writing classes designed to help students understand referencing and incorporate sources into your written assessments.

Copyright and IRP issues

Copyright is intended to protect the authors and creators of original material. Guidance on understanding copyright and lawfully using copyrighted materials is available on Copyrightuser.

Presenting and communicating knowledge

LEADS run science communication classes that introduces good presentation and poster design, and speaking to an audience about your work.

Systematic reviews

A number of resources are available to help develop the search component of a systematic review. The guide to search strategies for systematic reviews in medical, veterinary and life sciences signposts to additional resources to ensure that protocols and systematic reviews meet the required methodological standards.

Managing your online identity and digital footprint

The digital identity Moodle site will help you control your digital identity by promoting a positive identity online and preventing or limiting negative online identity.

Information in the workplace

Information is a key component in aiding transition to and from the workplace, whether that be on placement or upon graduation.

Professional bodies often provide access to academic and trade journals. Tools such as PubMed provide access to quality information sources, whilst PubMed Central, CORE and browser plug-ins provide open access research papers.

Need help?

Prior to making an appointment please see the self-help resources in the tabs above, the literature search and review in MVLS resources or systematic review resources, as appropriate.

Undergraduate and taught postgraduate (Masters level) students should book an appointment with the College Library Support Team in the first instance.

Doctoral students and staff can make an appointment to see Paul Cannon Mon-Tue via Zoom, an appointment to see Paul Thu-Fri via Zoom, or contact Paul via email.

For systematic reviews, a draft protocol or project plan, copies of line-by-line draft searches and pre-identified relevant literature should be emailed three working days ahead of the appointment. The systematic review resources and systematic review guide will help you develop a protocol.