Finding Biology Books

Tips for Searching for Books

Search within Title to look up a title.

When you search within Author, put the author's last name first. Like Goodall, Jane

A Subject search matches with a list of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Here are some examples of LCSH terms in physics:

  • Stem cells
  • Molecular biology
  • Genetic engineering
  • Neurobiology
  • Plant ecology

An Expert Keyword search allows you to combine search terms for a more specific search. Use AND to narrow a search, OR to broaden a search, and NOT to exclude a term. Also, use quotation marks around phrases of more than one word:

  • drug addiction AND neurobiology would find books that include both of these terms
  • cell biology OR molecular biology would find books that include either of these concepts
  • "Alzheimer's disease" NOT dementia would find books that include the phrase "Alzheimer's disease" but do not have the word dementia

When you find an item you'd like to use, be sure to note the location and call number. This information will help you locate the item in the library.

E-books will have no call number and will include the description [electronic resource] in brackets after the title. Click the title of the book and find the internet access link to view an e-book.

For help locating library materials, please ask your librarian.

Using Library Quick Search

The easiest way to find a specific book is to search for it by title in Library Quick Search. This will search both our print book and ebook holdings. To do this, copy the entire book title and paste it directly into the Library Quick Search box on our homepage.

  1. Highlight the title of the eBook you want to find
  2. Right-click and select Copy OR hit Control + C on your keyboard
  3. Go to or directly to Library Quick Search (link below)
  4. Paste the title in the Library Quick Search box by right-clicking in the box and selecting Paste OR by hitting Control + V on your keyboard
  5. Click the title of your book on the results list to access the full text (if an ebook), or take note of the call number

Using the Print Catalogue

The important thing to remember when searching the print catalog is that it only searches print books.

Understanding Library of Congress Call Numbers

We use the Library of Congress classification system in the UTSA Libraries.

Call number labels are located on the lower part of the spine of the book. A call number as a book's address on the shelf. The first line in a Library of Congress call number classifies the item by its subject according to the LC Classification System. Books on Biology almost always start with QH. You might also find books under R for Medicine. You should write down the entire call number in order to locate the book.

  • LC call numbers are arranged alphanumerically, beginning with the letter or letters at the beginning of the call number, which correspond to the subject of the item. For example: Call numbers beginning with Q (General Science) are followed by QA (Math), QB (Astronomy), QC (Physics), etc.
  • Books are arranged within their general subject area by the number(s) that follow the letter9s). Notice that these numbers are regarded as whole numbers. For example: QA 56 comes before QA 234 and QA 234.57 comes before QA 234.8
  • The next sections are alphabetic, then numeric as a decimal. The numerical part of this section is a decimal number, not a whole number. Use alphabetical order first, then the decimal extension to put the call numbers in correct sequence. For example, A3113 would come before A4, because 0.3113 is smaller than 0.4.
  • Editions are often arranged by date or by the date and letters. For example: QB43.3 .C68 2014 (7th ed.) after QB43.3 .C68 2010 (6th ed.) after QB43.3 .C68 2004 (3rd ed.) etc.

Getting Books from Other Libraries

The UTSA library may not have the books, DVDs, or other materials you need for your research.

Use WorldCat like you would the library's catalog. Instead of finding just material in the UTSA library, however, you will find materials from over ten thousand libraries across the world.

Request items you find at other libraries through our interlibrary loan service, Get It For Me. If the other library will let us borrow it, we can have it delivered to us.

You can also recommend that we buy a book or film.

Many academic and public libraries in Texas belong to the Texshare program.