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Campus wide information services are co-ordinated and supported centrally by the University Library, which gives access to online databases and journals, subject gateways etc.

With regard to its monographic collections, the Library is, in principle, a single copy library. Additional copies may be acquired where a particular text is heavily used or where heavy demand is anticipated.

    Cambridge libraries

    Information on Cambridge Libraries can be found here.

    Cambridge University Library, Main Reading Room
    Medical Library, Addenbrooke's Site
    Betty and Gordon Moore Library, Wilberforce Road/Clarkson Road

    Electronic resources

    An increasing number of journals are available in electronic format. These are noted in the Union List of Serials, but the University Library website includes a consolidated list of the full text electronic journals which are currently available, free of charge, throughout the University.

    Access and passwords

    Many of the networked electronic services are made available within the "cam" domain, via IP address recognition, so you will not normally be prompted for a password. Off-campus access is restricted to current staff and students of the University of Cambridge through Raven password.

    Recommended Bibliographic Services

    • UK Pub Med Central

      UK Pub Med Central allows access to:
      • 2 million+ full text, peer reviewed published journal articles covering all fields of biomedical and health research (the UK PubMed Central repository)
      • 25 million+ PubMed and PubMed Central abstracts
      • National Health Service (NHS) clinical guidelines
      • UK biomedical and health PhD theses
      • European Patent Office Patents, Agricola, Chinese Biological Abstracts and Citeseer databases  
    • ISI Web of knowledge

       A broad based index to the international journal literature of science and technology. Includes references to articles, editorials, letters and reviews. Abstracts to many items are included from 1992.

      Non journal material, such as conference reports, books, reports or dissertations, are not included, so it is unwise to rely solely on the Citation Index without also consulting Medline or BIOSIS.

      Citation searching is a unique and valuable feature of the Web of Knowledge databases. Citation searching is a method of looking for information on a particular subject, which is not dependent upon the use of keywords. You start with an article, which you know to be central to the development of a topic, and trace all the later references that cite the article you started with. The real value of this is that if there is a field in which a crucial contribution occurred in, say, 1987, you can look to see what papers published since that time have cited that 1987 paper, ie how the subject has moved on since that 1987 paper.

      An important point to bear in mind is that different authors may cite the same article in different ways and that the actual relationships of the papers can only be judged by reading the full text.

    • EMBASE

      A commercially produced biomedical index, including EMBASE and MEDLINE Covers around 3,500 journals. Embase is particularly strong in coverage of drug research, pharmacology and toxicology. Like Medline, Embase has its own thesaurus, EMTREE, to assist searching.

      You've been given (or you have found) a reference; how do you find the book or article?

      Having found a list of useful references, you will then need to find out whether they are available in Cambridge.

    • University Library

      This page provides links to the Cambridge University Library online catalogues Newton, Janus etc which include listings of book and journal holdings of all the University’s libraries

      The page also provides links to other major academic and national library catalogues, such as those of the British Library, Library of Congress and the Consortium of University Research Libraries. If an item is not apparently held by the University you can still request it through Inter Library Loan at The Betty and Gordon Moore Library or at certain departmental libraries.

      George Cronin, Biological Sciences subject specialist at The Betty and Gordon Moore
      Telephone: (7) 65670

    Information contacts

    For information regarding Major Subjects such as content and timetables, please see the contact details on the Major Subjects webpage.

    For information regarding Minor Subjects such as content and timetables, please see the contact details on the Minor Subjects webpage.

    For general administration of BBS and general questions which cannot be answered in departments, please contact the Faculty of Biology Office (, (7)66899)

    If you wish to move to or from BBS or wish to change Major and/or Minor subject(s), please contact the departments involved AND the Faculty of Biology Office.