Databases for Science Research

This list highlights some of the science databases available to researchers from the Smithsonian Libraries. A complete listing of databases is located on the Libraries' A-Z List of e-Journals and Databases
These databases require on-site use unless Free Access is noted.

AGRICOLA (Free Access) -- The library catalog of the National Agriculture Library, including direct links to the National Agricultural Library Digital Collections (NALDC/AgSpace)

Algaebase (Free Access) -- A database of information on algae that includes terrestrial, marine and freshwater organisms.

AnimalBase: Early Zoological Literature Online (Free Access) – The database provides copyright-free open access to zoological works, as well as manually verified lists of names of zoological genera and species.

Anthropology Plus -- Anthropology Plus offers worldwide indexing of all core periodical and lesser-known journals from the early 19th century to today, providing pervasive indexing of thousands of sources, including journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works and obituaries.

AnthroSource -- A service of the American Anthropological Association that offers members and subscribing libraries full-text anthropological resources from the breadth and depth of the discipline.

Biodiversity Heritage Library (Free Access) -- A consortium of natural history and botanical libraries (with Smithsonian libraries as the lead) that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access.

Biological Abstracts (hosted by Web of Science) -- Includes abstracts from peer-reviewed academic journal articles in the fields of biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, pre-clinical and experimental medicine, pharmacology, zoology, agriculture, and veterinary medicine published since 1926. Over 4,200 journals from 100 countries, with access to over 11.3 million records. Specialized indexing, including taxonomic data and terms, enhanced MeSH disease terms, CAS registry numbers, Sequence Databank Numbers, and Major Concepts controlled vocabulary back to 1969.

BioOne -- BioOne is an aggregation of current content in the biological, organismal, environmental, natural, and general sciences. Includes 171 titles from 129 publishers: 60 titles are exclusively available online through BioOne. Ability to search figure and table captions is a nice feature.

Birds of North America Online -- Online version of the invaluable and comprehensive resource from the Cornell Lab Of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists' Union.

Catalogue of Life (Species 2000 - ITIS) (Free Access) -- A database of the world's known species of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms. C of L is a global partnership with content contributed by an array of some 100 expert taxonomic databases world-wide, involving over 3,000 taxonomic specialists.

Ellis and Messina Catalogues --The international authority on taxonomy in Foraminifera (since 1942), Ostracoda (since 1954) and Diatoms (since 1982). The Catalogues now approach 82,000 original illustrated type descriptions, with some 1,000 added annually. [NOTE: SI’s subscription does not include the Diatoms database]

Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) (Free Access) -- A free online resource bringing together information about all life on Earth in text, images, video, sounds, maps, classifications and more.

FishBase (Free Access) -- A global species database of fish species. Provides comprehensive species data, including information on taxonomy, geographical distribution, biometrics and morphology, behavior and habitats, ecology and population dynamics as well as reproductive, metabolic and genetic data. Includes access to tools such as trophic pyramids, identification keys, biogeographical modeling and fishery statistics and there are direct species level links to information in other databases such as LarvalBase, GenBank, the IUCN Red List and the Catalog of Fishes.

GeoRef (OvidSP) – A comprehensive bibliographic database in the geosciences containing over 3.4 million references to geoscience journal articles, books, maps, conference papers, reports and theses.

GreenFILE -- Covers connections between the environment and a variety of disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, health and technology. Topics covered include global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling and more.

Index of Botanical Publications (Harvard University Herbaria) (Free Access) -- An index of botanical and cryptogamic publications, created for the purpose of verifying publication names in HU Herbaria’s Specimen Database and the Gray Index. There is also HUH’s Index of Botanical Specimens.

Index of Botanists (Harvard University Herbaria) (Free Access) -- Authors of plant names, botanical and mycological collectors, and authors of publications of importance to systematic botany and mycology.

The International Plant Names Index -- IPNI is a joint project with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Australian National Herbaria to provide an online database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of all vascular plants.

IOPI Database of Plant Databases (Free Access) -- A global list of plant databases, to tell you who is putting together what data and where. The DPD contains virtually no plant data as such, but serves to put you in contact with the projects that do. Most, but not all, entries concern databases about higher plants.

ITIS: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (Free Access) -- Taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world. ITIS is maintained by a partnership of Federal and international agencies and organizations.

JSTOR -- Provides access to many science and anthropology titles purchased by the Smithsonian Libraries.

JSTOR Global Plants -- Provides access to content such as plant type specimens, taxonomic structures, scientific literature, and related materials. Aimed at those researching, teaching or studying botany, biology, ecology, environmental and conservation studies. Materials contributed through the Global Plants Initiative.

Kew Bibliographic Databases (Free Access) -- Covers accepted plant and fungal names, lists of synonyms and medicinal plant name information

Latindex (Free Access) -- Regional Cooperative Online Information System for Scholarly Journals from Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. For more details, visit

Medline (PubMed) (Free Access) -- Hosted by the NIH National Library of Medicine, PubMed comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.

National Museum of Natural History Research and Collections Information System (EMu) - Searchable lists of specimens, illustrations, anthropological collections, and summary information from the National Museum of Natural History.

Plant Information Online (Free Access) -- A free service of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Includes current plant and seed sources for 97248 plants (largest listing of cultivated plants in North America!) from 1023 North American firms that will ship plants, and contact information and links (where available) for 2703 North American retail and wholesale seed and nursery firms. It also contains bibliographic details for 329396 images of 167618 wild and cultivated plants from around the world in botanical and horticultural books and magazines from 1982 to the present. A new section contains links to expert-selected sites on growing plants in your region of Canada or the US (including images when available).

PLoS -- PLoS (Public Library of Science) is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization founded to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.

Smithsonian Archives (Free Access) -- Archive of the Smithsonian Institution including a large amount of digitized historical scientific records and research.

Smithsonian Research Online (Free Access) -- Institutional repository from the Smithsonian Libraries providing a bibliography and full text versions of research from Smithsonian scholars.

SORA: Searchable Ornithological Research Archive (Free Access) -- A product of collaborations between the American Ornithologists Union, the Cooper Ornithological Society, the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Wilson Ornithological Society and the University of New Mexico Libraries, SORA provides access to an extensive library of ornithological literature of international scope, and detailed material documenting the history of ornithology in North America over the last 120 years.

uBio Project (Free Access) -- The uBio Taxonomic Name Server acts as a name thesaurus for common and scientific names for all named living things.

Web of Science -- Covers over 12,000 of the highest impact journals worldwide, including Open Access journals and over 150,000 conference proceedings. Current and retrospective coverage in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, with coverage from 1900 to present.

Worldcat (Free Access) -- Searchable union catalog of thousands of libraries around the world, including books, music, videos, and digital content records.

Zoological Record -- The world's oldest continuing database of animal biology. The broad scope of coverage ranges from biodiversity and the environment to taxonomy and veterinary sciences. It is considered the world's leading taxonomic reference: with coverage back to 1864, it has long acted as the world's unofficial register of animal names.