Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

Biology - Reference Sources

The reference collection is an excellent place to begin your research if you want to find:

  • a summary of a topic
  • background information on a topic
  • a list of recommended resources
  • factual information

When you find a reference book:

  • Scan the table of contents to see how it is organized.
  • Note its publication date to determine currency of the information.
  • Use the index to locate your topic within the book.

Scroll down for a list of some key resources in the field of Biology. These titles are located in the reference section.  You can click on this link to perform a search in SAILS using the topic Biology.
A brief guide to biology Krogh, David, 1949-
This book focuses on the core topics of biology with a friendly writing style and vivid illustrations while exploring current real world issues. A five-part organization covers atoms, molecules, and cells; energy and life; genetics; evolution and the diversity of life; and ecology. For anyone interested in increasing their biological literacy - enabling them to make informed decisions at the ballot box and understand the research findings they see in the news. QH 308.2 .K765 2007

About life : concepts in modern biology Agutter, Paul S., 1946-
This book uses modern biological knowledge to tackle the question: "What distinguishes living organisms from the non-living world?" In the first few chapters, the authors draw on recent advances in cell and molecular biology to develop an account of the "living state" that applies to all organisms, but only to organisms. Subsequent chapters use this account to explore questions about evolution, the origin of life and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Towards the end of the book the authors consider human evolution, intelligence and the extent to which our species can be regarded as biologically unique. About Life is written as far as possible in non-technical language; all scientific terms are explained straightforwardly when they are introduced. It is aimed at the general, non-specialist reader, but the novel approach that it takes to general issues in biology will also interest students of the life sciences. Book jacket. QH 331 A344 2007

The Facts on File dictionary of biology
Aimed at high school students, this reference defines the basic principles and terms used in the field of biology. Approximately 300 new entries have been added to this fourth edition, including entries on beta-oxidation, cerebral nuclei, DNA fingerprinting, and rapid eye movement. Pronunciation symbols and new line illustrations have also been added. The appendices include charts of the animal and plant kingdoms and amino acids, as well as a list of online resources. Annotation 2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
REF QH 302.5 F38 2005

Encyclopedia of biology Rittner, Don.
Designed to serve a popular audience as well as high school and beginning undergraduate students, this encyclopedia contains short entries, written in accessible language, on the people, terms, theories, and issues important to the field. Interspersed within the volume are nine essays on topics that include endangered species, the history of cytogenetics, blood identification, and insects and humans. Seven appendices are included which contain a bibliography, websites, software and animation sources, Nobel Laureates, the periodic table of elements, biochemical cyles, and the tree of life. Many b&w illustrations are included. Rittner is a professional science writer; McCabe is curator of entomology at the New York State Museum in Albany.
REF QH 309.2 R58 2004