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Electronic Books for Life Sciences   Tags: biology, electronic_books, electronic_resources, life_sciences  

This guide presents electronic books in life sciences areas that are available through the University Library.
Last Updated: Feb 25, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Off-campus access

Many of our electronic resources, such as e-books, are available to UIUC students, faculty, and staff when using a computer with a non-campus IP address and require netid / login to access.  Just link to them from the Biology  Library or University Library Web sites and you will be prompted for your netid / login.


Ask a Librarian



There are a growing number of electronic books (e-books) available to UIUC Library patrons. Many of these electronic books are part of packages or individual subscriptions that the University Library subscribes to, and require netid login/password when using them on a non-UIUC Campus computer. Some electronic books are freely available. Management of electronic books is still a work in progress and locating titles may require a search in more than one place. This guide will show you how to locate electronic books that are available through the University Library, as well as list some of the more commonly used ones in the biological sciences.

In the days when collections were entirely physical, the library catalog was the central location to locate what titles the University Library owned or subscribed to. Theoretically, this is the case with electronic titles. Every attempt is made to provide a record for electronic book titles or a link to the electronic version from its print title counterpart record in the Online Library Catalog (OLC). But with electronic resources for literature indexes, journals, books numbering in the tens of thousands from many different publishers and vendors, a new database was created to organize these resources. The Easy Search function provides access to most information resources (including e-journals, e-books, electronic indexes and abstracts) the Library has available.

Electronic book access caveats:

  • When searching the library catalog, an entry with electronic content (such as full online text, a table of contents, or further information) will be denoted by a red, lower-cased "e".
  • Note that not ALL e-books are in the library catalog, as it takes time to get the records updated properly. Please understand that we are working hard to get everything loaded into the catalog soon! With the burgeoning growth of electronic titles, the complexities create challenges that are being worked on in this regard.
  • The University Library subscribes to several packages that contain book titles, and there are a number of books that can be accessed through these packages but not individually – yet.
  • There are many excellent electronic books titles available freely over the Web. Some of these we have links from Easy Search, and some are linked to from Library guides (See Electronic Books for Life Sciences)
  • Librarians are more than happy to assist with any quests or questions, you have – don’t hesitate to Ask A Librarian!

Subject Guide

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Biology Library
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Biosciences Librarian: Kelli Trei,
Biomedical Librarian: Peg Burnette,
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