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Finding information

Finding books

All our books are represented on the electronic catalogue, iDiscover. The catalogue entry will also state whether the item is held in the Plant Sciences Library, or the Herbarium Library. You can filter by using the possibilities listed on the right-hand side of the page of results. Filtering by 'Plant Sciences' will include the Herbarium Library.

Finding journals

You can also use  iDiscover  to check whether this library holds a journal, or if it is available in another library in Cambridge. The Plant Sciences Library and Herbarium Library hold a considerable number of titles as paper copies, some of which may not be available electronically.

The results will also indicate if we have electronic access. Alternatively, you can go straight to the e-journals listing [centre box on the E-resources LibGuide] to check electronic access.

Finding references to papers

Recommended databases for the biosciences include: PubMed, Web of Science, and SciVerse [Scopus + Science Direct] but we have access to many more. You will always get more accurate results if you search on a single database, but if you are not having much luck, try a metasearch, which searches on multiple databases.

iDiscover runs as a metasearch for published papers, as well as looking for books and journals. However, it is not the most efficient way of searching at the moment.

Getting organised

It is advisable to organise the information you find, right from the beginning of any research undertaken. There are a number of resources to help you do that, and the one chosen may well depend on the database you most use to find references, as some link well together, and others don't.

  • EndNote and EndNoteWeb work seamlessly with Web of Knowledge, and well with PubMed and Google Scholar [plus many others]
  • Zotero works easily with PubMed, Google Scholar and many other databases
  • Mendeley works easily with Google Scholar, PubMed and a number of other major databases
  • My handout expands on the possibilities of the three options above  - see below under 'Getting Organised'
  • Wikipedia has a page of information with very useful comparisons of reference management software[much of which is free] at

Help in printed form

Some of the handouts from sessions for new students are available as pdfs below :

Finding references

Accessing journals

Getting organised

For further help, you might also like to try LibGuides, which provide subject-specific guidance - the Plant Scis LibGuide is at:

There are also many other useful Libguides, for example on referencing, plagiarism, reference management - see the list at:

Contact details

Please use e-mail if possible :

Dept. of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing St, Cambridge CB2 3EA
Phone : 01223 333930

Librarian : Christine Alexander
Academic Libn : Prof. David Coomes