University of Bergen Library
Subject resources


Library services and literature resources for the biological sciences

Main content

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. If any of the new titles displayed below catches you insterest, click on the cover to check availability. See below for direct links to article databases and reference works.

Did you knowthat we also hve a good collection of books on gardening, pets and recreational fishing?

Visste du at vi òg har eit stort utval av populærvitskaplege bøker og hagebøker?


Library services

The library is open to the public between 08:30 and 15:00 and the desk is manned between 10:00 and 15:00, but staff is generally present at those hours.

Students and employees  can use their UiB cards to acess the library between 08:00 and 22:00

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 librarian with a biology degree or one of our other experts, 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.

Log on to Oria to check the availability of printed books, and to see where to find them. Prnted books 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 or All Sources 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).

The collected works of Charles Darwin are also openly accessible!

On the shelves: Dewey

Links below lead to items in our collection marked with this code (Oria).



333 & 363        Economics of Land and Energy, Social Problems and Services

570 - 579        General biology, including ecology, evolution and prokaryotes

580 - 589        Plants (Botany)

590 - 599        Animals (Zoology)

630 - 639        Agriculture, including aquaculture, hunting, fishing, and conservation


Specific relevant codes


333.95            Biological resources, conservation, biodiversity

363.73            Pollution

508                 Natural History

571                 Physiology

571.9              Diseases, immunity, toxicology - Incl. general works on fish disease

572.8              Biochemical genetics 

573                 Anatomy, Organ systems, Histology - Incl. diseases of specific systems

576.5              Genetics, Heredity

576.8              Evolution

577                 Ecology - Incl. human ecology(577.27),
                       specific habitats (forest 577.3; aquatic 577.6; marine 577.7)

578.012           Systematics and taxonomy (see also 578.014 for taxonomic nomenclature)

579.2               Viruses

579.3               Prokaryotes/Bacteria

579.5               Fungi (see also 579.6 for Mushrooms)

579.7               Lichens

579.8               Algae

592-595           Invertebrates

597-599           Vertebrates

639.1               Hunting

639.2               Commercial fishing, whaling, sealing
                       (see 639.5 for crustacean fishing)

639.3               Fish farming (see 639.8 for aquaculture generally,
                       639.4 for mollusc culture,
                       639.6 crustacean culture)

639.9               Conservation of biological resources

Scientific publications

Scientific papers appear alongside books, reports etc. in Oria. By default, Oria lists only documents you have online or physical access to. To include references outside our immediate access, change the setting of the drop down menu from Bergen University Library to Search all sources. 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 a wider range of search options than Oria and Google Scholar. While some are free, the links below ensure access and services reserved for 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 offer suggestions for further reading, and are generally a good starting point for assignments/term papers.

Note that not all reference works can be displayed in the carousel above. Look in the collections below for more. 

The library holds electronic reference works as well as a physical reference collection (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

Reading list material can most easily be accessed using the Digital reading lists in My UiB for your specific courses. Whenever we can, we offer access to electronic versions of books, book chapters and journal articles. Make sure to connect via UiBs network! However, access in not available for all material. You will find printed books from the reading list in a separate Curriculum section, in the southern end of the library. These copies are not available for loan, but for most titles, we have more copies available. You will find these shelved according to the same code, in our main collection. Please get in touch should you discover that we lack items from your reading list! 

Agreements with publishers

Agreements were made with major publishers in last year's negotiations. Find information about UiBs open-access publishing deals here.

Other Resources

- Søk og Skriv - a guide to literature search and writing for students
- bioCEED have resources for help with writing, statistics, and research or work experience

- Unsure about a journal's quality? See databases of quality OA journals here and tips on think-check-submit
- PhD on Track - a guide to literature search, publishing, and open science
- Biologididaktikk teaching blog & toolbox (UiB)

Molecular Biology resources at the University Library

The Mathematics and Natural Sciences Library on Facebook