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Database Guides: Biological Science Collection (from Proquest)

Information about using the various databases in the A-Z Online Resources,


Full name

Proquest Biological Science Collection

What is it?

Index primarily for finding journal articles.  Covers biological science including: animal behaviour, aquatic life & fisheries, biochemistry, ecology, plant science, toxicology, virology, microbiology, immunology, genetics, health & safety science, entomology and neuroscience. Includes the renowned database MEDLINE (covers life sciences with a focus on biomedicine – includes veterinary medicine and animal health topics). Includes some full-text. 

Date coverage from 1946 onwards.


Types of publications covered: scholarly journals, trade journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, monographs and selected books and patents.


The Biological Science Collection is part of the Proquest Natural Science Collection.


The Biological Science Collection is created from a series of databases:

Algology Mycology and Protozoology Abstracts (Microbiology C)‎ (1982 - current); Animal Behavior Abstracts‎ (1982 - current); Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) 1: Biological Sciences & Living Resources‎ (1971 - current); Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) Aquaculture Abstracts‎ (1984 - current); Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) Marine Biotechnology Abstracts‎ (1989 - current); Bacteriology Abstracts (Microbiology B)‎ (1982 - current); Biochemistry Abstracts 1‎ (1981 - 1993); Biochemistry Abstracts 3‎ (1982 - 1993); Biotechnology Research Abstracts‎; Calcium & Calcified Tissue Abstracts‎ (1982 - current); Chemoreception Abstracts‎ (1982 - current); COS Conference Papers Index‎ (1982 - current); Ecology Abstracts‎ (1982 – current); Endocrinology Abstracts‎ (1985 - 1986); Entomology Abstracts‎ (1981 - current); Genetics Abstracts‎ (1982 - current); Health & Safety Science Abstracts‎ (1981 - current); Human Genome Abstracts‎ (1982 - 1995); Immunology Abstracts‎ (1982 - current); Industrial and Applied Microbiology Abstracts (Microbiology A)‎ (1982 - current); MEDLINE‎ (1946 - current); Neurosciences Abstracts‎ (1982 - current); Nucleic Acids Abstracts‎ (1982 - current); Oncogenes and Growth Factors Abstracts‎ (1989 - current); Plant Science‎ (1994 - current); ProQuest Biological Science Journals‎; Toxicology Abstracts‎ (1981 – current); TOXLINE‎ (1999 - current); Virology and AIDS Abstracts‎ (1982 - current)



What is it for?

Use primarily to find journal articles in the following subject areas:


animal behavior, aquatic life and fisheries, chemoreception, biochemistry, ecology, plant science, toxicology, virology, microbiology, immunology genetics, health and safety science, oncogenes, entomology, endocrinology and neuroscience


How to access it

Login to the Portal and then choose Biological Science Collection (from Proquest) from the A-Z List of Online Resources.



How to search

See Successful Search Techniques.

There is an Easy Search Option but we recommend selecting the Advanced Search.

From the Advanced Search screen select the type of search you wish to conduct from the drop-down box
e.g. Choose Anywhere, to search all fields including Document titles, summaries, keywords added by the database and also full-text of articles (where available). If you are finding too many irrelevant articles - it may be better to select the Anywhere except full text option.

Truncation: use * at the end of a word, e.g., feed* will find feeds , feeding, feedstuff, etc.

Spelling variants: The search is automatically set up to recognise spelling variants of American and British versions of words, for example, a search for behaviour will automatically find behaviour or behavior 

Use Field searching to be precise:

e.g., type in aquaculture and select Document Title - TI from the drop-down box to find items where aquaculture appears in the title of the article;


Thesaurus Search: Because the Biological Science Collection is created from a number of databases if you use the Thesaurus option to search you will exclude any records from databases that don't use that thesaurus.  It is probably best only to use the Thesaurus option when you are searching at a more specific level on an individual database.

Narrow results by option: On each results' page there is an option to narrow your results by various filters.  However, using the filters can exclude relevant records. This is because the Biological Science Collection is created from a series of databases each with its own set of filter options. Therefore, you will exclude records from databases that don't use the same filter options. 

To narrow your results, it is better to create another search and combine this with your previous searches.

Combining searches: searches can be combined by selecting the Folder icon in the top right hand corner, then select the Recent searches. Then type the set numbers to combine searches, for example: 2 and 3


To narrow your search to a specific database:

  • Select the All databases link from the top menu (left hand side).

  • Then select the Databases link on the top menu (right hand side).

  • Untick the Select all box at the top (otherwise you’ll be searching every database for all subjects).

  • Scroll down to the databaseyou wish to search and tick the box next to your choice (you may need to first select the plus sign on the left of sub-collections to expand the menu of choices)

  • Click the Use Selected Databases button at the foot of the page.



Full text?

Click on the Find@Stir button Find@Stir button, which provides links to the full text of the journal if available, or to the library catalogue, to check if we have the item in paper format.




Records can be downloaded into RefWorks (a software product for managing references and formatting bibliographies).



Further help
Click on the ? mark icon (top righthand side).

Link to Biological Science Collection (from Proquest)