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Biological Sciences: Find Books

How to search for a library book online

Use the box below to search the catalogue

The catalogue contains all BU library owns, and it's a quick way to search for books and multimedia that you can borrow. 

  • Search by title - you can put a comma and then the author's surname to narrow it down, for example Tale of two cities, Dickens
  • Narrow down by date - you can adjust the date range of al;l your results using the sliding bar on the left hand side
  • Narrow down by location -  you can narrow down to one of the 2 libraries, or select 'ebooks' to only see online content.

How to find a book in the library

570 Biology in general
571 Physiology
571.6 Cell biology
572 Biochemistry
573 Specific physiological systems in animals
575 Specific physiological systems in plants. 
576 Microbiology
576.5 Genetics
576.8 Evolution
577 Ecology
578 Natural History in general
579 Natural history by species
580 Botany (583-88 looks at plants species by species)
590 Animals in general
591 Topics common to all animals
592 Animals species by species (up tp 599)


Different Types of Academic Books

  • Usually big - you probably won't read from cover to cover.
  • Give a good overall introduction. 
  • Best place to start and find the main areas of debate and discussion.
  • Click here for a good example.
  • Chapters are written by different authors.
  • There is an editor or editors on the cover
  • In referencing you list the author and title of the chapter, and also the details of the book (see referencing guide.
  • A specialist book on one topic. 
  • Often (but not always) just one author.
  • Good for going deeper in academic discussions and debates.
  • A family of books by a publisher on a similar theme/ area. 
  • By different authors/ editors.
  • Can be useful for finding other books on a topic
  • Festschrifts: Written in honour of a scholar, and the subject matter will be in areas of the scholar's own work and interest.. 
  • Conference Proceedings: Sometimes published as a book, and can bring together some of the most recent research in an area. 
  • Reference Books: Many books in the library are labelled 'reference only' - what we mean by reference books in this context is that they are books you'd dip into for short articles, definitions or statistics. 
  • Theses: these are PhDs and master's dissertations. These can be very useful for seeing what questions other people are working on.

Essential Links

These are the 3 main links you'll need to use a lot in finding and using books for your work.