Key Reference Books, Scholarly Journals, and Web Sites: Bioethics Research Guide

Key Reference Books

Encyclopedias and dictionaries are excellent starting places for research into subjects in bioethics. At the minimum you will find concise, topical articles on a variety of topics in bioethics and philosophy that will help you understand the underpinnings of current issues. Some of the books listed here also provide reading lists so you can get a start on further research. Included in the list below are reference books that focus on the general field of philosophy, so that you can find general articles on theories in addition to more specific articles that you will find in the scientific encyclopedias.

  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy D. H. Hill Ref. B51 .R68 1998 10 vols. Also available via netLibrary.
  • Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd ed. D. H. Hill Ref. BJ63 .E45 2001 3 vols.
  • Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare D. H. Hill Ref. HV4708 .E53 1998 Also available at Vet Med Reference.
  • Beacham's Guide to Environmental Issues & Sources D. H. Hill Ref. GE115 .B43 1993 5 vols.
  • Encyclopedia of Ethics in Science and Technology D. H. Hill Ref. Q175.35 .B37 2002
  • Social Issues in Science and Technology: An Encyclopedia D. H. Hill Ref. Q175.5 .N49 1999
  • Encyclopedia of Bioethics Also available in D. H. Hill Ref. QH332 .E52 2004 5 vols.

Key Scholarly Journals

Journals can be an excellent source of current and specific information on an issue in life science and bioethics. Some journals cover very broad issues while others are relatively narrow in scope. If you are trying to select a topic for research, or if you'd just like to browse current literature, the print and online journals listed below are a good starting point. They are listed in call number order to facilitate finding them in the D. H. Hill and Veterinary Medical (Vet Med) Libraries. 
Note: to check for electronic access to these or other journals, go to the Journal List and search for the title of the journal that you want.

  • Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics D. H. Hill BJ52.5 .J68 and Online
  • Science, Technology, & Human Values  D. H. Hill BJ57 .N49 and online (1999-present via Ingenta; 1978-2002 via JSTOR
  • Ethics and the Environment D. H. Hill GE42 .E843 and online (2001-present via Project Muse. Some earlier coverage also available; see Journal List for details.)
  • Environmental Ethics D. H. Hill GF80 .E57
  • Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly Vet Med HV4701 .I56
  • Social Studies of Science D. H. Hill Q1 .S812 and online (1999-present via Ingenta; 1975-2002 via JSTOR)
  • Perspectives on Science D. H. Hill Q124.6 .P47 and Online
  • Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society D. H. Hill Q175.4 .B84 and Online
  • Science in Context D. H. Hill Q175.4 .S343 and Online
  • Bioethics D. H. Hill QH332 .B56 and Online
  • Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal D. H. Hill QH332 .K46 and Online
  • Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science Vet Med SF405.5 .J68
  • The Latham Letter Vet Med SF411.5 .L37

In addition, the Libraries has access to several relevant journals only through the Internet. Several of these journals are only published in electronic format, while others are accessible to you because of the Libraries' partnerships with UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. 

Key Web Sites

There are a large number of Web sites available, if you are interested in exploring these issues online. However, many of them are biased one way or the other with regard to issues in bioethics, so make sure that you evaluate each site that you visit for the basic criteria of accuracy, authority, currency, and objectivity. Below are listed some resources for Web sites, but you can find even more by doing a simple Web search for "bioethics" or another term relevant to your topic. 

Bioethics Library & Information Services Gateway (Kennedy Institute of Ethics--Georgetown University). URL:
Includes links to the following:

Applied Ethics Resources on WWW - The resources on this site, hosted by, are arranged by discipline. Areas of interest include health care ethics, environmental ethics, animal welfare & the ethics of animal use, science & technology ethics, and research ethics. URL:

Open Directory Project: Bioethics - These links, hand-selected and annotated by a researcher, cover animal rights, cloning, euthanasia, eugenics, genetic engineering, and research ethics. Also noted are other categories in the directory, such as Ethics in Science and Technology, which are of related interest. URL:

The Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive - This site, created by NCSU students based on the Tom Regan Collection in the NCSU Libraries, organizes, preserves, and provides access to the Collection. The site does not (currently) link out to online materials, but rather provides access to the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections holdings. URL:

The Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science (Case Western University) - This site offers resources in a variety of disciplines of applied ethics, including biological and environmental ethics (under the "natural science" tab). URL:

STS Links (NCSU Program on Science, Technology, & Society - Included on this page are links to scholarly societies, government publications, online journals and newsletters, activist groups, and links for particular subjects including women in science, environmental science and ecology, and genetics and biotechnology. URL: