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NIH Public Access Policy. Did you know that most publications resulting from NIH funded research must be deposited in PubMed Central? The Library can help! Learn More

Research Tools

Biotechnology Information Center Navigation

Online Protocols

Electronic Books

Faculty of 1000

  • Faculty of 1000
    Identifies important biology and medical papers based on the recommendations of leading scientists. Particularly useful for biomedical graduate students and researchers.

Patent Databases

  • Patent Search Resources lists freely accessible, searchable websites for finding patents that have been filed in the U.S. and worldwide.

Web Search Engines

  • Google
    Every body uses it, but are you using it WELL? Discover some quick tips for better searches at GoogleGuide.
  • Google Scholar
    Searches through the full text of many author, publisher, and open access sites for quality research materials. Look for the "Discover at UIUC links" when using Google Scholar-- you'll be linked to full text provided by the Illinois Library!  Tips for effective searching.
  • Scirus
    A search engine for "science" websites.  Allows researchers to search for not only journal content but also scientists' homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional repository and website information.
  • Entrez
    Use Entrez to search multiple NCBI databases at once, including PubMed, GenBank, PubChem, Nucleotide, Protein, etc.!
TIP:  If you're a Firefox user, you can add search engines to the search box on the Firefox toolbar (where the default search engine is Google).  To find and add search engines, go to the Mozilla Mycroft Project page.  Among the search engines available for Firefox:
PubMed U of I full text; Google Scholar; Scirus; Amazon; Wikipedia; U of Illinois Easy Search; YouTube; and many, many, more!  To switch to use one of your chosen search engines, just click on the drop-down arrow, select the search engine, and type in your query!

General Guides for Life Sciences Researchers

How to Use Databases

How to Set up Auto-alerts

Auto-alerts are emails that are sent to you from citation databases or the publishers of journals. Alerts help you keep up to date on published research in a particular topic, keep track of your colleagues' research, or enable you to receive the table of contents of selected journals. Go to our Keeping Current page to learn how to set up auto-alerts.

Ten Simple Rules Collection

Written by PLoS Computational Biology Editor-in-Chief Philip E. Bourne, sometimes with collaborators, the " Ten Simple Rules" provide a quick, concentrated guide for mastering some of the professional challenges research scientists face in their careers. Topic include:

  • Ten Simple Rules To Combine Teaching and Research
  • Ten Simple Rules for Organizing a Scientific Meeting
  • Ten Simple Rules for Aspiring Scientists in a Low-Income Country
  • Ten Simple Rules for Graduate Students
  • Ten Simple Rules for Doing Your Best Research (Hamming)
  • Ten Simple Rules for a Good Poster Presentation
  • Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations
  • Ten Simple Rules for a Successful Collaboration
  • Ten Simple Rules for Selecting a Postdoctoral Position
  • Ten Simple Rules for Reviewers
  • Ten Simple Rules for Getting Grants
  • Ten Simple Rules for Getting Published
  • Ten Simple Rules for Organizing a Virtual Conference
  • Ten Simple Rules for Chairing a Scientific Session
  • Ten Simple Rules for Choosing between Industry and Academia
  • Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia
  • Ten Simple Rules for Getting Ahead as a Computational Biologist in Academia
  • Ten Simple Rules for Providing a Scientific Web Resource
  • Ten Simple Rules for Building and Maintaining a Scientific Reputation
  • Ten Simple Rules for Getting Help from Online Scientific Communities
  • Ten Simple Rules for Developing a Short Bioinformatics Training Course
  • Ten Simple Rules for Teaching Bioinformatics at the High School Level
  • Ten Simple Rules for Getting Involved in Your Scientific Community
  • Ten Simple Rules for Starting a Company

Find out about upcoming conferences

PapersInvited - consists of information and deadlines about calls for papers for forthcoming conferences and special issues of scholarly journals. These calls for papers are issued by professional bodies, journal editors and other conference organizers in all disciplines and from all over the world.

Writing Papers

  • Journal Abbreviations - Translate full journal titles into their proper abbreviations and translate from the journal title abbreviation into the full title.
  • RefWorks - A web-based citation manager. With it you'll be able to create a database of citations (by exporting citations into RefWorks from databases such as PubMed and Web of Science).  Then you'll use your RefWorks database when writing papers, to put your references into the style required. Visit the Illinois RefWorks Support Site for help.
  • EndNote - Many researchers are using EndNote to manage their citations.  It does the same things as RefWorks, but the program usually resides on your computer.  For power users, it is more customizable and has more "styles" than RefWorks.  Visit the EndNote LibGuide for help.