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Biology Research Guide

Learn about conducting research on biology using PCC Library resources.

Welcome, BIOL 11 students!

By the end of today's session, you should be able to:

  • Use databases to find credible sources of information about your chosen species,
  • Cite sources in APA Style, and
  • Know where to get help from a librarian (on campus or virtually) with research.

Here are slides shown during the Library Research Session:

Suggested Library Databases

Looking for more databases to choose from?
Check out PCC Library's full list of databases on the A-Z Database List page.

Suggested Websites

Encyclopedia of Life
A free, online encyclopedia intended to document all of the 1.9 million living species known to science. Includes text, images, video, sound, and more.

iNaturalist- Lower Arroyo Park Observations

A social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. Includes text, images, data, maps, and more.

Google Scholar
A broad search for scholarly literature, including articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions. Not all articles are available in full text. Before using Google Scholar, see this brief video to learn how to set it up to connect you to articles available via PCC.

Citing Sources

APA Citation Style

Overview of APA Style

Additional APA resources:

Citing iNaturalist

If you are citing an individual observer/observation, use the following format:

[Observer name]. [year of posting to iNaturalist]. iNaturalist observation: [url for observation]. Accessed [date].

If you are citing a species' page, use the following format:

iNaturalist. [date]. [Name of page/species]. [url for webpage]. Accessed [date].

If you are citing iNaturalist more generally, use the following format:

iNaturalist. Available from Accessed [date].

Learn more about citing iNaturalist.

Citing Encyclopedia of Life

Citing information found on the articles tab will utilize both the contributor/author of the section being cited, as well as attribute the publisher of the content Encyclopedia of Life.

Example for reference page:


Arnold, D. (2002). Red tailed hawk: Behavior. Encyclopedia of Life.  


Example of In-text citation:

(Arnold, 2002)


Use both author's last name and the year of publication. For multiple authors, see these examples.

Learn more about citing Encyclopedia of Life.

Citing Images

For in-text citations, use the following format: (author/creator, year)

Note that a creator can be a person or an organization.


(Denali National Park and Preserve, 2013)

(Stone, 2020)

For a References page, use the following format: Creator last name, First initial. (year). Name of image [Photograph]. Site name. URL

If there is no title of the image, create a brief description and wrap it in brackets [  ]

Denali National Park and Preserve. (2013). Lava [Photograph]. Flickr.

Stone, M. (2020). [Picture of fireflies at night in Congaree National Park] [Photograph]. National Geographic.

Learn more about citing images on the APA Style website and EasyBib.