Welcome to the research guide for your course in biology!

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This course may include a research project that requires you to describe in detail a biological mechanism or process. It may also require you to engage an ethical question within a philosophical or religious context, such as cloning, genetic resequencing, etc.

In selecting a topic, it must be relevant to academic discourse. It should be thorough, well researched, clear, and concise. Your sources may be from books, peer reviewed journals, or authoritative websites. When evaluating any source for scholarship/authority, the author should be a recognized expert in the field and the publisher a recognized academic publishing entity. Opinion pieces or blogs will not considered adequate sources. 

To aid you in identifying scholarly sources, it is recommended that you work with one of the college librarians.

Choosing a topic

Your professor will both suggest and approve topics for this project. 



  • JSTOR contains complete back issues of 241 scholarly journals in a wide range of disciplines. Issues from the most recent five years for each title are not included in the collection.
  • ProQuest and Academic Search Premier contain thousands of academic articles covering a wide range of disciplines. For most of your research requirements, you will want to use the "advanced search" option and limit your searches to scholarly and/or peer reviewed publications.

On-Campus Collection

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science & Technology - Ref Q121 .M29 2005
Van Nostrand’s Concise Encyclopedia of Science, De Pree and Axelrod, editors - Ref Q121 .V25 2003

Internet Resources

Selected Journals

You can search journal articles by title, keyword, or author, or browse the following journals through the library's Periodical Listing.

  • American Journal of Science (Online, 2001-present)
  • Isis (Online, 1913 to 2004)
  • Journal of Biology (Online, 2002-present)
  • Science (Online, 1988-2005)
  • Scientific American (Online, 1846-1869, and in print, June 2001-present)

Research Tips

  • Citation help needed? Try OWL (Online Writing Lab) for Chicago/TurabianMLA, and APA styling formats. 
  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you can click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects. Once you have located a helpful source, additional potential sources may be found in the item's bibliography.
  • Can't find what you need in the PHC collection? If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly in the library catalog.
  • Research assistance is available in the library or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu

Created: Gladden, 2008. Revised: Pensgard, 2016. Last updated: Thornhill, 2023.

Patrick Henry College Library

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