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As you do your research, if you need to look up the meaning of scientific terms or need some encyclopedic or other coverage of a scientific concept or term, check the "Online reference" tab to the right. Make sure to evaluate any sources you find on the open web by using the resources on the "Webpages" tab.
Background information resources
Reference resources can provide encyclopedia or other general background about concepts or methods, as well as definitions of concepts. Some are listed below.
Formerly Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, this resource from Wiley contains over 5000 peer-reviewed articles. Monthly-updating.
Merck Manuals website
Includes information about diseases as well as a drug look up feature.
Not to be confused with Medline, Medline Plus is designed to give background information about medically related topics, usually at a layperson level. Includes a dictionary. Also, a section about "Drugs, Herbs and Supplements".
Online encyclopedia and dictionary for the sciences. Includes biographies, images and animations, and videos.
Oxford Reference Online
Oxford Reference includes dictionaries, including authoritative dictionaries for many languages, encyclopedias, and companions, featuring more in-depth but still brief entries, e.g. Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization.
You can use resources available on the open web as sources of background information. Make sure, however, that you evaluate any resource!
Use the Google Advanced Search, to do a precise search. Then, evaluate one of the webpages that come up. The resource below provides ideas about how to evaluate websites.
Use these criteria to evaluate websites you find.
Wikipedia can be very valuable, but it use it as a stepping stone. Independently verify the information you find in a Wikipedia article. Look at the resources linked at the bottom of a Wikipedia article.
See this Wikipedia article: The Reliability of Wikipedia.