Biological Sciences

Database search tips


  • Scopus
    Covers all life, health and physical sciences (1960+) including MEDLINE content, with most records linked to full text, citation data (1996+) and hyperlinked references
  • MEDLINE (OvidSP)
    The premiere biomedical database (1946+) that uses controlled indexing and provides some full text
    Includes biology, clinical and experimental medicine, earth sciences, biochemistry, biotechnology, horticulture, and taxonomy, in two collections (archives 1945-68) and BIOSIS Previews (1969+) which includes books, meetings and patents. 

Full list

Library databases for Biological Sciences.

Reference works | E-books

Reference works

Animal behaviour and welfare

Bioengineering and biostatistics

Environmental, plant science, horticultural and dairy science

Life and medical sciences

Marine and freshwater


Structural biology

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The Joint Graduate School in Plant and Food Science was established between the University and Plant and Food Research (Crown Research Institute) in 2010, being the first such collaboration of its type in New Zealand. While some of the generic life science resources listed in the database and e-book package tabs of this guide will be appropriate for students in the joint graduate school, several more specialist ones are also included in the list below.

Databases, datasets and compendiums

The Joint Graduate School in Biodiversity and Biosecurity was established between the University and Landcare Research in 2011.

Databases, datasets and directories


Image: Aerial views of Auckland from 1940 (left) and 2008 (right) Auckland Council GIS Viewer.

Finding maps, imagery and data | New Zealand | International

Finding maps, imagery and data

  • Finding data
    Accessing data from the Geospatial data guide.

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New Zealand


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Lab protocols | PatentsNew Zealand biology publications | Writing guidelines | Current awareness services | Print collections

Lab protocols

Structural drawing packages

Other structural drawing packages are available in databases such as Reaxys and SciFinder.

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New Zealand biology publications

New Zealand biologists publish in high profile international journals and in lesser-known local titles, some of which are published by the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) and the Crown Research Institutes or CRIs (known as Department of Scientific and Industrial Research [DSIR] before 1992). Such titles may contain items on regional conservation and ecological issues, and applied sciences in fields such as aquaculture, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and horticulture. The RSNZ has publications from 1869 and promotes scientific research via the Marsden Fund (est. 1994) and the Rutherford Foundation (est. 2008).

New Zealand journals with biological content are listed below. Most of these titles are indexed by the Scopus database.

RSNZ journals are indexed in New Zealand Science, as is scientific material from Crown Research Institutes, which include the following:

New Zealand Science
Includes some New Zealand science journals not indexed by international databases. Some of these have low journal impact factors, a feature of many specialist titles. The New Zealand Science interface enables you to simultaneously search (or exclude) other databases covering more popular New Zealand literature (such as Newzindex, the Newspaper Index and Index New Zealand), as well as the Forest Bibliography.

Index New Zealand
Indexes newspapers, magazines and journals including popular science titles relating to science topics and also contains New Zealand Science as well as non-science New Zealand datasets.

  • Index New Zealand is compatible with the bibliographic software package EndNote and requires the use of an import filter (rather than the direct option used by most databases).

Archive of indexed publications from the School of Biological Sciences 2004-2013
To access full-text and citation data, copy and paste titles into Scopus.



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Writing guidelines

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Current awareness alert services

Current awareness alert services are offered by most large science databases. Alerts enable you to:

  • Set pre-determined topic searches.
  • Be notified about new publications by certain authors.
  • Be notified when publications are cited.

Unlike general searching, you need to be logged into a database to save alerts, or access previously-saved alerts.

  • Setting alerts in Scopus is highly recommended as Scopus harvests data and citations from many other databases. If you have an existing registration for ScienceDirect, use that for Scopus as well.
  • Setting alerts in Ovid interface databases (e.g., Biological Abstracts, FSTA [Food Science and Technology Abstracts], PsycINFO, and MEDLINE) is a little more involved but is the same procedure for each, and they use a shared login.

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Print collections

Biological Sciences print collections are housed in the General Library and are catalogued in Dewey Decimal sequence. Most material is on Level M (Dewey 500-600s), but there is also material (primarily related to conservation and national parks, or the history of biology) on Level 1 (Dewey 300s).
Dewey categories for Life Sciences are:

  • 570 = Life sciences and biology
  • 580 = Botany and plant science
  • 590 = Zoology
  • 600 = Medicine

Other biological-related titles can be found in the Engineering collections (primarily topics on biotechnology, engineering science, and bioengineering and biomedical engineering). These are catalogued under the Library of Congress system.

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APA is the preferred referencing style for the School of Biological Sciences.


Serial title abbreviations

Names of taxa appearing within references

  • Taxonomic names are normally rendered in italics.
  • When they appear in a reference and the surrounding text is in italics (for example, in a book or unpublished thesis title), enter the taxonomic name in regular font to distinguish it from the surrounding text.
  • Figure captions are sometimes rendered in italics. In this case enter a taxonomic name within the caption in regular font.


  • Referencing
    Access a range of tools and support material to assist your referencing work


  • Quick©ite
    Use this interactive tool to view examples of references.
    Covers a range of styles used at the University of Auckland including APA.

Last updated : 23 April 2021
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