Finding Journal Articles: Zoology Research Guide

If a topic is too current or too specific to be covered by a handbook, encyclopedia, or book, it may be discussed in journal articles, research reports, or conference papers. Access to this literature has traditionally been through indexing and abstracting services. There is no universal index that covers all the published information in zoology, so at times you may have to consult several sources.

Electronic Databases

Agriculture and Life Sciences Databases

To search one of these databases, go to the NCSU Libraries Database Finder ( Then select a subject-- Example: Zoology. You'll see a long list of databases from which to choose.

  • CAB Abstracts
    Worldwide index to agriculture, forestry, and allied disciplines, including animal and human nutrition. From the Centre for Agriculture & Biosciences International. Coverage: 1972- present. Updated quarterly.
  • Animal Behavior Abstracts covers significant papers relevant to animal behavior, with subjects ranging from neurophysiology to behavioral ecology, from genetics to applied ethology. Coverage: 1982- present. Updated: monthly.
  • Ecology Abstracts covers current ecology research on subjects ranging from habitats to food chains, from erosion to land reclamation. The focus is on "how organisms of all kinds--microbes, plants, and animals--interact with their environments and with other organisms." Coverage: 1982-present. Updated: monthly.
  • Other relevant databases might include Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts, Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management, Oceanic Abstracts.
  • Fish and Fisheries Worldwide
    Indexing and abstracts to worldwide fish and fish-related literature. Includes journal articles, books, pamphlets, conference proceedings, government reports, theses, and dissertations. Includes the database equivalent of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's print Fisheries Review plus other fisheries databases. Coverage: 1971- present. Updated: quarterly.
  • Treesearch
    An online system for locating and delivering publications by Research and Development scientists in the USDA Forest Service. Publications in the collection include research monographs published by the agency as well as papers written by Forest Service scientists but published by other organizations in their journals, conference proceedings, or books.
  • Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide. Also known as Wildlife Worldwide.
    Comprehensive index to the world literature on mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Covers studies of individual species to specific habitat types, hunting, economics, wildlife behavior, management techniques, etc. Includes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Review databases and other wildlife databases. Coverage: 1971- present (full); 1935-1970 (selective). Updated: quarterly.
  • Zoological Record
    Indexes the worldwide zoological literature, including journals, books, and conference proceedings. Coverage: 1978- present. Updated quarterly.

Other Databases

  • Conference Papers Index

    Conference Papers Index "provides citations to papers and poster sessions presented at major scientific meetings around the world. Subject emphasis since 1995 has been in the life sciences, environmental sciences and the aquatic sciences, while older material also covers physics, engineering and materials science." Coverage: 1982- present. Updated bimonthly.

  • Dissertation Abstracts

    Indexing and abstracting for doctoral dissertations from participating colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and selected international institutions. Dissertation Abstracts also contains citations, with abstracts (since 1988), to masters' theses. Coverage: 1861- present. Updated quarterly.

  • Ingenta (previously known as UnCover) and Reveal research alert service

    A multidisciplinary table of contents database, updated nightly, indexing articles in over 17,000 journals. Coverage: Fall 1988- present.

    Reveal is an automated alerting service that delivers the table of contents of periodicals of interest directly to your e-mail box. The Reveal service also allows users to create search strategies for their favorite topics. Weekly alerts on the latest articles published on the specified topics are delivered to the user's e-mail address.


    "Provides image and full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals in history, economics, political science, demography, mathematics and other fields" of the humanities, social sciences, and biological sciences. Coverage varies for each title.

    Select (from the bottom of the search page) one or more disciplines to search--for example, Ecology, Botany, Population Studies. Then type in your search terms at the top.

  • NTIS (National Technical Information Service)

    Indexes the technical report literature.

    The NTIS database "is the preeminent resource for accessing the latest U.S. government-sponsored research and worldwide scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information...Additionally, information is available from international government departments and other international organizations, including those from Canada, Japan, the former Soviet Union, Western and Eastern European countries." Coverage: 1964- present. Updated biweekly.

  • Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded)

    A multidisciplinary database that covers 3,330 major journals across 100 scientific disciplines. Indexes cited references of the articles in the database so you can search by cited author, cited patent or cited paper. This allows you to trace a particular research topic in the scientific literature. Coverage: 1945- present. Updated weekly.