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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 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
Oxford Reference Online This link opens in a new window
Includes digitized, continuously updated entries from Oxfords dictionaries, companions, and encyclopedias, spanning 25 different subject areas including archaeology, classical studies, linguistics, philosophy, and more.
ScienceDaily features news about the latest discoveries in science, health, the environment, technology, and more -- from leading universities, scientific journals, and research organizations.
Wikipedia is useful for getting background information on your topic. But remember that anybody can edit Wikipedia articles, so their provenance or authority is hard to evaluate. A strong article includes references to scholarly material, so pay attention to the citations used within the Wikipedia article.
Dictionary of Biology by Fully revised and updated for the sixth edition, this market-leading dictionary is the perfect guide for anyone studying biology, either at school or university. With over 5,200 clear and concise entries, over 300 of them new to this edition, it provides comprehensive coverage of biology,biophysics, and biochemistry. Features include biographical entries on key scientists and highlighted entries on important topics such as bioinformatics, genomics, molecular evolution, and protein structure, with further reading suggestions. Appendices include classification of the animal and plantkingdoms; geological timescale; major mass extinctions of species; model organisms and their genomes; and Nobel prizewinners - the last two new to this edition.
Publication Date: 2008-03-15
Handbook of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology by Edited by renowned protein scientist and bestselling author Roger L. Lundblad, with the assistance of Fiona M. Macdonald of CRC Press, this fifth edition of the Handbook of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology gathers a wealth of information not easily obtained, including information not found on the web. Presented in an organized, concise, and simple-to-use format, this popular reference allows quick access to the most frequently used data. Covering a wide range of topics, from classical biochemistry to proteomics and genomics, it also details the properties of commonly used biochemicals, laboratory solvents, and reagents. An entirely new section on Chemical Biology and Drug Design gathers data on amino acid antagonists, click chemistry, plus glossaries for computational drug design and medicinal chemistry. Each table is exhaustively referenced, giving the user a quick entry point into the primary literature. New tables for this edition: Chromatographic methods and solvents Protein spectroscopy Partial volumes of amino acids Matrix Metalloproteinases Gene Editing Click Chemistry
Publication Date: 2018-06-25
Encyclopedia of Systems Biology by Systems biology refers to the quantitative analysis of the dynamic interactions among several components of a biological system and aims to understand the behavior of the system as a whole. Systems biology involves the development and application of systems theory concepts for the study of complex biological systems through iteration over mathematical modeling, computational simulation and biological experimentation. Systems biology could be viewed as a tool to increase our understanding of biological systems, to develop more directed experiments, and to allow accurate predictions. The Encyclopedia of Systems Biology is conceived as a comprehensive reference work covering all aspects of systems biology, in particular the investigation of living matter involving a tight coupling of biological experimentation, mathematical modeling and computational analysis and simulation. The main goal of the Encyclopedia is to provide a complete reference of established knowledge in systems biology _ a _one-stop shop_ for someone seeking information on key concepts of systems biology. As a result, the Encyclopedia comprises a broad range of topics relevant in the context of systems biology. The audience targeted by the Encyclopedia includes researchers, developers, teachers, students and practitioners who are interested or working in the field of systems biology. Keeping in mind the varying needs of the potential readership, we have structured and presented the content in a way that is accessible to readers from wide range of backgrounds. In contrast to encyclopedic online resources, which often rely on the general public to author their content, a key consideration in the development of the Encyclopedia of Systems Biology was to have subject matter experts define the concepts and subjects of systems biology.
Publication Date: 2014-07-08
Concise Encyclopaedia of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology by Concise Encyclopaedia of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, 2nd Edition is a fully revised and updated version of this acclaimed resource. The book provides definitions and often explanations of over 1000 words, phrases and concepts relating to this fast-moving and exciting field, offering a convenient, one-stop summary of the core knowledge in the area. This second edition is an invaluable resource for students, researchers and academics.
Publication Date: 2013-11-18
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