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Selected Online Electronic Journal Indexes for Agriculture and Biology

Note:  Except as noted, access to these databases is restricted to Purdue students, faculty, and staff.

Academic Search

Multidisciplinary database providing full-text access to over 1500 periodicals (1990-present), and citation access to nearly 4000 periodicals (1984-present).  Includes brief summaries. Updated daily.  Full-text titles of interest to Biologists / Agriculturalists have been added to the E-Journals for the Life Sciences at Purdue list.  [EBSCOHost search interface]


Worldwide coverage of agricultural research, produced by the National Agricultural Library (Beltsville, MD). Print equivalent is Bibliography of Agriculture.  Indexes over 1000 journals, plus other agricultural resources (books, experiment station reports, etc.); many records contain abstracts.  Updated monthly.  Available: 1942-1970 in print; 1970-1978 on CD; 1979 - present online [OVID search interface].
Note: worldwide, free access to the Agricola database is available via the National Agricultural Library (Beltsville, MD); however, the OVID interface offers several advanced features for searching and retrieving citations that are not available to NAL's Agricola users.

Applied Science & Technology Index

Indexes and abstracts articles in engineering, chemistry, computers, the environment, and waste management.  Indexes over 400 journals.  Updated monthly.  Available: 1983 - present. [WilsonWeb search interface]

Aquatic Sciences & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA)

Includes the following databases, which may be searched individually, or together as one database:

  • ASFA 1: Biological Sciences and Living Resources (1978-)
  • ASFA 3: Aquatic Pollution & Environmental Quality (1990-)
  • ASFA Aquaculture Abstracts (1984-).

When searched collectively, ASFA indexes about 4000 journals.  Updated monthly. [Cambridge Scientific Abstracts search interface]


Indexes articles from over 15000 journals in all disciplines including science, technology, medicine, social sciences, business, the humanities and popular culture.  No abstracts or subject headings. Updated daily.  Available: 1992 - present. [FirstSearch search interface]

Biological & Agricultural Index

Indexes articles in biology and agriculture; no abstracts but does have subject headings; indexes about 225 journals.  Updated monthly.  Available: 1988 - present. [WilsonWeb search interface]

Biological Abstracts and Biological Abstracts RRM

  • Biological Abstracts provides abstracts of current research in biological literature, including biochemistry, biology, botany, ecology, zoology, microbiology, medicine, etc.  In print since 1926, online coverage goes back to 1985.  Updated quarterly.
  • The BA/RRM portion of BA indexes reviews, reports and meetings.BA/RRM's print equivalent (Bioresearch Index) is available back to 1967; online coverage is from 1993 to the present.
  • Together, BA and BA/RRM index about 6000 research journals.  [WebSPIRS search interface]

CAB Abstracts

Comprehensive, worldwide coverage of agricultural, forestry, veterinary medicine, & biological information. Indexes and abstracts over 10,000 journals, selectively.  Updated quarterly.  Available online:  1973 - present.  CAB Abstracts is the electronic version of nearly 50 printed indexes, some of which are available in the library back as far as 1913.  [WebSPIRS search interface]


Worldwide index to technical literature in the areas of engineering, environmental technology and biotechnology; indexes over 4500 journals; includes abstracts.  The print version is Engineering Index, which is available back to 1896.   Updated monthly.  Online coverage is 1989 - present.  [OVID search interface]

Current Contents

Provides the most current index to over 7000 of the world's leading scholarly research journals in the sciences, social sciences, and arts & humanities.   Most records contain abstracts.  Updated weekly.  Available:  most recent 1 - 1½ years.  [OVID search interface]

Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management

Abstracts the literature covering air, land, water, and noise pollution, as well as bacteriology, ecology, toxicology, risk assessment, environmental engineering, environmental biotechnology, waste management, and water resources.

Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management is comprised of the following databases, which may be searched individually, or together as one database:

  • Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology Abstracts (1993 - ) [updated bimonthly]
  • ASFA 3: Aquatic Pollution and Environmental Quality (1990 - ) [updated monthly]
  • Ecology Abstracts (1982 - ) [updated monthly]
  • EIS: Digests of Environmental Impact Statements (1985 - )
  • Environmental Engineering Abstracts (1990 -)  [updated monthly]
  • Health and Safety Science Abstracts (1981 -)  [updated monthly]
  • Industrial and Applied Microbiology Abstracts (Microbiology A) (1982 - ) [updated monthly]
  • Bacteriology Abstracts (Microbiology B) (1982 - )  [updated monthly]
  • Pollution Abstracts (1981 - )  [updated monthly]
  • Risk Abstracts (1990 -)  [updated quarterly]
  • Toxicology Abstracts (1981 -)  [updated monthly]
  • Water Resources Abstracts (1967 - )  [updated monthly]

When searched collectively, Environmental Sciences selectively indexes over 4000 journals.  Check the Catalog for the availability of the earlier, print versions of the various sub-indexes.  [CSA search interface]

FSTA (Food Sci & Technol Abst)

Abstracts the current research literature in all areas of food science, including nutrition, biotechnology, toxicology, packaging, etc.  Indexes about 1800 journals;  also indexes food science patents.  Updated quarterly.  Available online:  1969 - present. [WebSPIRS search interface]


A major index to articles in biomedical journals published world-wide; topics include clinical and experimental medicine, basic sciences as related to biochemistry, medicine, psychiatry, public health and veterinary medicine; indexes over 3,700 journals; includes abstracts; updated monthly.  Available online: 1966 - present. [OVID search interface]
Note:  worldwide, free access to the Medline database is available via PubMed; however, the OVID interface offers several advanced features for searching and retrieving citations that are not available to PubMed users.  PubMed is updated daily.

ProQuest Research Library

Proquest Research Library is a general database of articles from about 2000 magazines, journals, and newspapers in a wide variety of subject areas including: Arts, Business, Children, Education, General Interest, Health, Humanities, International, Law, Multicultural, Psychology, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Women's Interests.  Using the advanced search mode, the user may limit searches to only peer-reviewed titles or only newspapers. Many articles are available in full-text, full image format.  Updated weekly.  Indexing for most journals goes back to 1986; full-text access to selected journals begins in 1992.  Full-text titles of interest to Biologists / Agriculturalists have been added to the E-Journals for the Life Sciences at Purdue list.


  • SciFinder and Beilstein/Gmelin are chemical databases.
  • SciFinder  is an interface for searching Chemical Abstracts (1966-present).  Scifinder is updated daily.
  • Beilstein & Gmelin are chemical structure/reaction databases for organic and inorganic chemicals, respectively. 
  • For full-featured access to these chemical databases, install the Cytrix client on your workstation.  Without the Cytrix client, printing and saving will be limited.

Web of Science

  • Provides the most current index to over 8000 of the world's leading scholarly research journals in the sciences, social sciences, and arts & humanities; includes abstracts.
  • Available: 1977 - present.  Updated weekly.
  • Includes a unique "cited reference" feature, to find articles that have cited a given article.
  • Is the online version of Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, & Arts & Humanities Citation Index

Web of Science Proceedings

An index to the published literature of the most significant conferences, symposia, and seminars of all disciplines.  The source publications may be books, journals, reports, or series produced by publishers or societies.  Proceedings abstracts are included.  In some cases, links from Web of Science Proceedings to Web of Science will be provided, for further searching.  Coverage: 1990 - current.


Worldwide index to library cataloguing records for 40 million books, journal titles, computer programs, etc.; 1200 AD - present. [FirstSearch search interface]


Other Databases:
Other online databases available via THOR include journal indexes for Education (includes science education), Business, Computing, Geology, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, as well as Books in Print, the Association Directory, etc.   To see the complete list of online resources, go to the Indexes page of THOR.

Other electronic resources:
Several other electronic resources are also available, which are not "indexes" to journal articles.  Rather, they are the electronic version of valuable reference resources.  Links to these may be found by clicking on "Indexes", in THOR.  For example:


More Help:

A Quick Reference Guide to Online Bio-Ag Electronic Resources is available.  This page provides a summary of the search features available for each of the search interfaces listed above (OVIDWeb, WebSpirs, FirstSearch, etc.)  It also provides a quick guide for determining which indexes to use for locating agricultural, biological, engineering, medical, most current current, etc., articles.

An E-Journals for the Life Sciences at Purdue list is available.  It provides a selected list of the journals for which Purdue has obtained electronic, full-text access that are of interest to those in biology, biochemistry, agriculture - the life sciences.

Last update: April 14, 2009

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