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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

BIOS 297/397 Epigenetics, Health, and the Environment, Spring 2019: Background Information

Backtround Information

If in your research you encounter scientific terms and need to look up their meaning, or need some encyclopedic or other coverage of a scientific concept or term, check the reference resources to the right. Webpages on the internet can be useful for this as well, though make sure to evaluate them. Books are another good source of background information.

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. 


To do a "precision" search in Google, search on google advanced search. This brings up the Google Advanced Search.


Publicly accessible websites vary greatly in reliability. This guide from South Mountain Community College provides a good explanation about how to evaluate websites.


Wikipedia can be a valuable source of background information and a stepping stone to discovering academic resources. *Often wikipedia has useful links listed at the bottom of an article.*

You will of course have to confirm independently information you find in Wikipedia.

Here is a detailed guide about Wikipedia. For information about the reliability of Wikipedia, see this Wikipedia article.

Books can  be a great source of background information. 

You can look up books, whether print or electronic, in ASA, Lehigh's online catalog. See the search box. Ebooks will have links out of the records that come up when you do a search.

Not finding a book at Lehigh? Try searching one of the two flavors of WorldCat available here.

Need to request a copy of a book that's not available at Lehigh? Use Palci in Interlibrary Loan to have books sent here. You will get an email when your book is ready for pickup. (Use