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Subject guides: Biosciences

Biosciences sections

Click here for access to the Henry Stewart Talks

The printed collections in UCL Library Services are described below. There is also information about:

Visit the Bioscience blog to keep up to date with new library resources (both printed and electronic), Open Access, interesting events, useful websites and general library news.


If you would like to receive training on any of the Library resources please contact me (f.wood@ucl.ac.uk) for more information. Subjects covered include finding references using the Library's electronic resources (journals and databases), searching PubMed, and how to identify and locate relevant electronic journals. Other relevant resources can be discussed. The sessions can be subject or resource specific.

Resources for Medical Students

Students following Medicine at UCL will find the resources they need in the Science and Cruciform Library. Please consult the subject guides.

Printed collections

The principal collections for the Division of Biosciences can be found in the following Libraries:

See separate pages for maps and opening hours.

Book collections

The Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves; a typical classmark looks like this:


This the classmark for Lewis Wolpert's book entitled "Principles of Development" where:

  • MEDICAL SCIENCES is the book collection;
  • E 10 is the classification (all books with E 10 are about developmental biology);
  • WOL is the first three letters of the author's surname.

Short Loan Collection books

These can be found in the Short Loan Collection on the ground floor of the Science Library. Please remember to issue the books out in the room itself otherwise the alarm will be set off.. The Library catalogue will tell you whether they are available for either a 3-hour, or 2-day loan period.


A classmark beginning with a number, e.g. 950 CH 2 GRA, indicates a book in store, not on the open shelves. Store books should be requested online via the catalogue, and once requested will normally be available for collection after 3pm the next working day. Please see Stores for more information.

Where can I find the collections?

Within UCL, material on subjects relating to Biosciences can be found in the following locations:

BIOLOGY (Science Library, 1st floor) - Biological studies (general), mathematical and statistical biology, ecology and biogeography, microbiology, genetics and evolutionary biology.

BOTANY (Science Library, 1st floor) - Specialist areas include plant pathology, conservation and fungi.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE SCIENCES (Language & Speech Science Library, Chandler House, 2 Wakefield St) - Speech and language disorders, linguistics, language acquisition, psychology, hearing, voice, special education and neurological disorders (see subject guide).

MEDICAL SCIENCES (Science Library, 2nd floor) - The main Medical Sciences collection consists of all areas of studies including human anatomy and physiology, cellular biology, molecular biology, developmental biology, genetics, biochemistry, neuroscience, pharmacology, pathology, immunology and history of medicine.

NEUROLOGY (Institute of Neurology, Queen Square Library)


PSYCHOLOGY (Science Library, 1st floor) - See subject guide.

ZOOLOGY (Science Library, 1st floor) - Animal ecology, conservation, physiology, biochemistry, developmental biology and animal behaviour. Specialist areas include entomology, vertebrates and marine and freshwater biology.

Periodicals Collections

The main collections in the Library are:

  • Medical Sciences Periodicals - Science Library, 2nd floor (last two years) - check the catalogue for more details.
  • Biological Sciences Periodicals - Science Library, 1st floor (2000 onwards) - check the catalogue for more details.
  • Psychology Periodicals - Science Library, 1st floor (2000 onwards) - check the catalogue for more details.
  • Phonetics and Linguistics - Language & Speech Science Library.
  • Speech Sciences - Language & Speech Science Library.

Please note that for all subjects, paper copies of journals that we have electronic access to have moved to Store. Please see Stores for more information.

To find locations for journals that we do not hold here at UCL, use the following:

  • Union List of Serials - to search all of the journal titles taken within the University of London.
  • COPAC - to access to many of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland including the British Library.

For electronic journals, see below.

UCL Explore and the Library catalogue

Explore is a one-stop service for the discovery and delivery of printed and electronic resources. You can search for material within a single resource or across a range of resources simultaneously. Your choice of resources includes:

All resources: A remotely-held catalogue of millions of electronic journal articles and other full-text e-resources
Library catalogue: Printed and electronic book and journal titles
Journal articles: Articles in journals
Digital collections: UCL Library Services’ digital collections
UCL Discovery: Open access documents from UCL’s publications repository
UCL Exam papers: Electronic copies of UCL exam papers
UCL Archives: UCL’s archives catalogue
UCL Journals: Journal titles to which UCL Library provides access, print and electronic

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Electronic collections

Electronic sources

Material held in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL: you will usually need your UCL Information Systems username and password in order to gain access to them.


Bibliographic databases available from the Library include:

  • MEDLINE - covers all areas of clinical medicine, and is also an excellent source for many related areas including biochemistry, pharmacology, genetics, cell biology and physiology.
  • PubMed - the public version of Medline.
  • EMBASE - covers all areas of biomedicine. It specialises in the coverage of: drugs and toxicology; clinical medicine; basic biological sciences; biotechnology, bioengineering and biophysics; pharmacy and pharmacoeconomics; psychiatry; environment and pollution; forensic medicine.
  • BIOSIS Previews - covers life sciences and biomedical research. It is often overlooked but well worth a browse. Available via the Web of Knowledge.
  • Web of Knowledge - a gateway service to several resources, including the Web of Science which includes the Science Citation Index. This covers all science-related areas including biochemistry, biology, medicine, neuroscience, pharmacology and psychiatry. Conference proceedings are also covered.

For a complete list of databases available at UCL, see www.ucl.ac.uk/library/database. All the above databases can be accessed from this page. You can either browse resources alphabetically, or display a list by subject.

Electronic journals

A range of electronic versions of journal titles is available. Start from the list on the Library's web pages at www.ucl.ac.uk/library/ejournal where you will find details of access arrangements for each title.

Other electronic resources include:

Electronic Books

UCL subscribes to an increasing amount of electronic books. Please see the Library e-books webpage for more details. Details of electronic books can also be found on Explore.

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Other libraries

UCL has many specialist medical libraries which are available for all registered members of the institution. These include:

The Wellcome Library is also available. It holds collections of books, manuscripts, pictures and films on the history of medicine, from the earliest times to the present day.

Senate House Library currently holds collections of books and journals relating to all areas of Psychology.

For more information about the use of other libraries, see the full information at www.ucl.ac.uk/library/otherlib.shtml.

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Contact details

If you have any problems in using the Library, come to the Enquiry Desk, or contact the Subject Librarian for Biosciences:

Francine Wood
E-mail: f.wood@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: internal: 32628; external: 020 7679 2628

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Last modified 16 June 2014

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