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The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Plant Sciences


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 section on the e-resources page  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 [eg Google Scholar or iDiscover], which searches on multiple databases.

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.

Help in printed form

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

  • Undergrads - On your Moodle site
  • Postgrads - On the PS intranet - support for Graduates - downloads

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: