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Topical Guides: Life Sciences Research

Life Sciences Research > 2: Getting Started

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2A: Types of Resources

A portal or gateway site is the best place to begin research. These sites, which are intended to serve as "jumping off" points, will lead the researcher to a variety of useful sources that have been selected because of their relevance or quality. A portal site may include thousands of links on a wide range of topics, or may be very specific in scope and point to a small number of resources.

Portal sites may allow keyword searching, provide topical, hierarchical browsing (drilling down) or both search and browse capabilities. Another useful starting point for research is the search engine, particularly those that are subject-specific.

2B: Examples

AgNIC: Agriculture Network Information Center

A searchable gateway to quality agricultural information on the Internet as selected by the National Agricultural Library, Land-Grant Universities, and other institutions.

BEN: BiosciEdNet

A portal for teaching and learning resources in the biological sciences.

Biology Online

A portal of quality Internet resources, tutorials, and answers on a wide range of biological topics. Run and populated by enthusiasts.

DNA Learning Center

A educational vortal for learning about all matters related to DNA.

Forestry AgNIC

A Web directory of over 1,500 organized forestry links developed by the University of Minnesota forestry library.

Portal: Biology

From Wikipedia, this biology portal is a starting point for biology themed Wikipedia entries and topics. A biography, picture, and article are all selected and featured on the portal page - who/what will be there today?

2C: How to Find More

The Internet Public Library Subject Collections (IPL)

Core internet resources are arranged by discipline and then by more specific subject area. An option is also available to find associations or serials related to the subject. These sites have been selected and organized by librarians. A link to pathfinders on very specific topics is also available.


Search Biology Online to find information about biofuels.


Pop Quiz

Portal sites are useful for:

Correct answer: [NOTE: Score is not recorded]

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