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Biology Research: Find Background Info

Guidance and key resources for doing academic research in Biology

Why background research helps

Getting background information and general facts about your topic is a good way to start your research. This not only helps you better understand your topic, but it also helps you formulate the boundaries of your research and key terms for your thesis statement.  It can be a helpful guide to begin to narrow down your topic into a coherent and specific area.

Credo Reference


Credo is a library database containing digital versions of encyclopedias and other reference works. Think of it as an academic Wikipedia, only curated by librarians instead of the general public.

Finding Background Info in Books

College of Charleston libraries use the Library of Congress classification system to organize print materials, which means books on the same subject should be next to or near each other on the shelf. This information can be used to find books in person or via the Library Catalog.

Library of Congress call number ranges:

  • QD415-436  Biochemistry
  • QH  Natural History - Biology
  • QK  Botany
  • QL  Zoology
  • QM  Human Anatomy
  • QP  Physiology
  • QR  Microbiology
  • S  Agriculture (General)
  • SB  Plant Culture
  • SD  Forestry
  • SF  Animal Culture
  • SH  Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling

Explore for yourself at Library of Congress classification system


Other Resources for Background Info