University of Bergen Library
Subject resources


Library services and literature resources for the biological sciences

The physical library is temporarily closed, but our digital services remain available and have been expanded. Should you have any questions or be in need of guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available digitally and on the telephone. 

hege.folkestad@uib.no       caroline.armitage@uib.no

If you experience trouble accessing literature you need, please contact us. We may be able to provide digital access, or alternative literature. From 22nd April we are offering a pick-up service which can be used for collecting necessary literature that is not available digitally.

All loans are renewed; please ignore messages to return documents untill further notice.

You can also contact UiBHjelp or try our chat. 


The library holds many printed and electronic books, journals, theses, encylopedias and databases relevant for biologists. Use the blue search box above to search our literature (guidance here), and see below for direct links to article databases and reference works.

Did you know that the science library also has popular science and gardening books?

Library services

As well as providing literature, we are available for questions or one-to-one guidance for students/employees - don't hesitate to contact us! One-to-one guidance can be particularly helpful when starting on a new assignment or research project. You can book time with a biology librarian, or you can send us an email. We can help with:

  • Finding literature: How to get an overview of your topic, exhaustive and precise literature search, which platforms and databases are relevant and how to use them
  • Using literature: Keeping your literature organised, using reference management software, how to cite various sources
  • Publishing and impact: Open Access publishing, the OA publication fund, Cristin (the national system for registration of research and documentation), BORA, researcher profile and impact
  • Intellectual property rights: Publication, use of another's intellectual work
  • Bibliometry: Analyzing the literature by bibliometric methods

The university library also offers:
Teaching support: You can book a tailored, short course for your students from us, or we can run help-desks related to specific assignments.
Research support: Courses and workshops tailored for researchers are available, in connection with BOA. e.g. "Open data and research data management", "How to increase your visibility and impact", and "Literature searching for systematic review"

Books and ebooks

Search Oria using the blue search box to find books/ebooks. After searching, check the right-hand margin for options to filter the results. You can also search by our standardised keywords, Realfagstermer (note that some still lack translations).

Print books physically available at the library are marked UBBRB. They are ordered by topic on the shelves using the Dewey Decimal Classification (the numerical code after "UBBRB"). You can find a list over Dewey codes that may be relevant for biologists here. For ebooks, check here how to access and use e-books, or ask at our desk.

For books which are already on loan, choose 'reserve', or browse for alternatives using the Virtual Shelf at the bottom of the page for your chosen book. For browsing our physical shelves, ask staff to help you find the shelves most relevant. 

If you can't find an item at the University of Bergen Library, try searching in all Norwegian Academic Libraries via the dropdown menu in the search bar. Many items can be ordered in Oria, and sent to our library for you (free of charge).

Scientific publications

Scientific papers appear alongside books, reports etc. in Oria. By default, Oria lists only documents you have online or physical access to. Search in all "Norwegian academic libraries" to also include references outside of our immediate access. You can order copies of articles we do not have access to from other libraries via Oria (this service is free of charge).

The subject specific databases listed below offer advanced search functionality lacking from Oria and Google Scholar. While some are free, the links below ensure access or extra services to UiB users. Publisher databases (e.g. BioOne) can also be used to search for articles, but only show results within one or a few publishers.

Abstract databases (search across publishers)

Web of Science
ASFA - Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts
Biosis Previews
PubMed (Medline)
Zoological Record

Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and species information

--- You can find our list of species and taxonomy databases here ---

Dictionaries and encyclopedias (reference works) can be used to find definitions, explore new topics or get an easy overview in short articles, written by experts. Many have suggestions for further reading, and are generally a good starting point for assignments/term papers.

We have both electronic reference works, and a physical reference collection in the library (see the contents of the physical collection here: General biology, plants and animals; Agriculture and aquaculture; Palaeontology). Additional e-reference works can be found by further searching in Oria with keywords.

Listed below are some recommended general reference works you can read online. Some are open access, while others have a subscription paid for by the library.

  • eLS Essential for Life Science – from Wiley. Note: Only the abstract is shown in a search result - follow the link "Full Article on Wiley Online Library" for full article
  • The Oxford Reference Collection contains many relevant encyclopedias and dictionaries in fields such as general biology, genetics, ecology, plant sciences, underwater life, insects, and global change and conservation.
  • Springer Link - Life Sciences have many relevant reference works (e.g. wetlands, entomology, marine natural products). Other subject categories also hold relevant works (e.g. Earth sciences - geobiology, coral Reefs, palaeoclimatology; Environmental Science - aquatic ecotoxicology, environmental change). When searching, find reference works by filtering "Content type" by Reference works or Reference work entry.
  • Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia covers Amphibians, Birds, and Fishes
  • The Prokaryotes
  • The Encyclopedia of ecology (Jorgensen et al., 2008) from Elsevier

Curriculum material

We aim to have all curriculum books for courses at the Institute for Biology at the library. Physical books can be found in the curriculum collection (shelf marked "Pensum") and can be used within the library; in some cases there may also be extra copies or older editions in the main collection for loan. For some courses, literature is available electronically. The links below lead to the library's search engine, Oria. You can access the text by clicking on the link after "Full text available at".

NB. Library resources for molecular biology can be found here

BIO100 - level

BIO200 - level

BIO300 - level

At the library we have a large collection of popular science books (UBBRB popvit), plus books about gardening and pets (codes 635-636 on the shelves). The collected works of Charles Darwin are also openly accessible!