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Biology: Methods & protocols

A guide to library resources and research in biology and the life sciences.

Finding methods & protocols

Methods and protocols can be surprisingly tricky to locate.  Whether looking for protocols in Scholar OneSearch, or a database like Web of Science, you'll likely have the most luck by searching for your topic and/or organism, plus a term like 'method', 'protocol', or other synonym.

Library resources - methods & protocols

This is just a small sample of the resources available to you through the library.  Try Scholar OneSearch for more!

Nature Protocols

An online resource for authoritative, peer-reviewed protocols and an interactive Protocols Network. The two create a dynamic forum for scientists to upload and comment on protocols.

SAGE Research Methods

SAGE Research Methods is an online collection of information that supports beginning and advanced researchers looking for the best methods to use in their research. 

Methods in Enzymology

A book series on research methods in enzymology.

Methods in Cell Biology

A book series on research methods in cell biology.

Molecular cloning:  a laboratory manual


A mainstay of molecular biology for over twenty years, this manual covers a range of techniques and protocols.  You can find it at call number QH422.2 .M26 on the third floor of Snell Library.

Basic cell culture protocols

Available at call number QH585.2 .B375 on the third floor of the library.

An introduction to methods & models in ecology, evolution, & conservation biology

Available online.

Auditory and vestibular research:  methods and protocols


Available on the third floor of the library at call number QP471. A93.

Plant bioinformatics:  methods and protocols

Available on the third floor of the library at call number TP248.27.P55 P55.

Featured resource: JoVE

JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) is a science video resource that includes a variety of resources for use in the classroom and in the lab. It has two components:

  1. Science Education Video CollectionTeaching-focused videos including concept animations, ‘scientist in action’ videos to see concepts applied, and lab manual videos that cover preparation procedures for common labs
  2. Video JournalA peer-reviewed video methods journal, consisting of video demonstrations and detailed text protocols of new and standard methods in physical and life sciences. Students and researchers can see the details of experiments and concepts, in addition to text-based descriptions.

Below are a few links to components of JoVE relevant for Biology:

Websites with methods & protocols

Company websites can be good resources for basic protocols.  Some examples:

New England Biolabs

Qiagen - Molecular biology methods

Other websites with protocols include:



Protocol Online

Protocols and Plasmids Reference Index