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Biological Sciences: A Guide to Web Resources: Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias


The goal for this project is to provide an accout about every amphibian species in the world; the accounts include species descriptions, photos, life history information, conservation status information, & literature references.

Biomedical Abbreviation Server

Created by scanning Medline, this dictionary contains over 2,000,000 biomedical abbreviations and acronyms. It can be searched by abbreviation, acronym, or keyword.

BioTech Life Science Dictionary

Illustrated dictionary containing terms associated with biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, cellular biology, and genetics.

Dictionary of (Ecological) Epidemiology

A dictionary edited by Jonathan Swinton, but based on other dictionaries.

Encyclopedia of BioethicsAccessible to University at Albany users only

The third edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics is a complete revision. It contains 448 articles covering a broad range of bioethics issues, from cloning to nanotechnology. Many articles begin with a history of the topic.

Encyclopedia of DesertsAccessible to University at Albany users only

This encyclopeida covers deserts and semideserts of the world. There are early 700 entries on topics from desert survival to the way deserts are formed.

Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive BehaviorAccessible to University at Albany users only

The second edition of this encyclopedia "addresses the new frontiers that have opened in the area of addictive studies, including the biological basis for addiction and recent enhancements in diagnosis and treatment."

Encyclopedia of Life SciencesAccessible to University at Albany users only

A biological encyclopedia covering biochemistry, cell biology, developmental biology, evolution, genetics & molecular biology, immunology, microbiology & virology, neuroscience, plant science, structural biology, and other related areas; currently under development with completion date of Fall 2001.

Encyclopedia of Public HealthAccessible to University at Albany users only

The Encyclopedia of Public Heath covers a range of topics such as "environmental health, drug abuse, epidemiology, nutrition, demographics, and diseases. Includes overviews, definitions, and biographical entries."

The Encyclopedia of Earth

The Encyclopedia of Earth is a "new electronic resource about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. It is a free, fully searchable collection of articles written by scholars, professionals, educators, and experts who collaborate and review each other's work. The articles are written in non-technical language." Althougt the Encyclopedia is a wiki, all content is reviewed and approved by editors prior to being published.

Environmental EncyclopediaAccessible to University at Albany users only

The third edition (2003) of the Environmental Encyclopedia "provides in-depth, worldwide coverage of environmental issues. The articles are written in a nontechnical style and furnish current status, analysis, and suggested solutions whenever possible."

Eurodic Autom

It translates between 12 European languages: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative MedicineAccessible to University at Albany users only

This encyclopedia "presents current, unbiased information on alternative and complementary medical practices, including reflexology, acupressure, acupuncture, chelation therapy, kinesiology, yoga, chiropractic, Feldenkrais, polarity therapy, detoxification, naturopathy, Chinese medicine, biofeedback, Ayurveda, and osteopathy."

GeneticsAccessible to University at Albany users only

Edited by Richard Robinson, this 4-volume encyclopedia contains a comprehensive collection of articles on all aspects of genetics.

Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Offers concise definitions of both common & more obscure terms.

Grzimek's Animal Life EncyclopediaAccessible to University at Albany users only

Access the full text of the second edition (2004) of Grzimek's. This encyclopedia contains revised information as well as recent developments in the animal world.

Judging the Quality of Macromolecular Models: A Glossary of Terms from Crystallography, NMR, and Homology Modeling

Based on Crystallography Made Crystal Clear by Gale Rhodes, the purpose of this glossary is to help students and researchers judge the quality of molecular models.

Kimball's Biology Pages

Hypertext dictionary specializing in cell and molecular biology; each entry may contain a definition, links to other definitions, or mini-essays about the topic.

Macmillan Encyclopedia of EnergyAccessible to University at Albany users only

The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy contains over 250 illustrated articles, covering all topics in the field of energy. It also includes biographies.

Medicinal Plants of the World: Chemical Constituents, Traditional, and Modern Medicinal UsesAccessible to University at Albany users only

This encyclopedic work covers the medicinal uses for plants from around the world. It includes illustrations and descriptions of each plant, all of which are cross-referenced. It also contains the plant's chemical constituents and usage.


Developed in association with the medicals schools at Harvard, Stanford, and Michigan, and UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, Medpedia is a wiki-based encyclopedia covering up-to-date, unbiased medical and health information. The articles in Medpedia are written and edited by health experts for the general public. It can be browsed or searched.

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary

Merriam-Webster contains definitions of more than 59,000 medical terms. The dictionary may be searched or browsed, and links to additional information on other health and medical Web sites are also provided.

National Library for the Environment

A project of the Committee for the National Institute for the Environment (CNIE), the library addresses the need for objective, scientifically sound information on environmental issues. It currently includes Congressional Research Service Reports and will eventually include An Encyclopedia of the Environment and In Depth Issues in the Environment.

Oxford Reference Online: Biological ScienceAccessible to University at Albany users only

Oxford Reference Online provides access to several resources in its Biological Sciences section. They may be searched together at the link above or separately at the links below:

Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms

This glossary offers phonetic spelling, a brief definition, a detailed explanation from a scientist in RealAudio format, related terms, & illustrations.

Terms of Environment

Dictionary of environmental terms, abbreviations, & acronyms.

Subject Guide