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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Animal Sciences Department: Research Tools & Resources

A collection of resources for students and researchers in nutrition in the Animal Sciences department.

About this Page

This page introduces tools and resources relevant to research in animal science, including:

  • Databases
  • Online Encyclopedias
  • RSS Feeds
  • University-specific Resources

Online Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia of Life

Provides information about plants, animals, and micro-organisms.

Merck Veterinary Manual

Comprehensive electronic reference for animal care information. This online version includes over 12,000 indexed topics and over 1200 illustrations. It is searchable by topic, species, specialty, disease, and keyword using an advanced search screen.

Plumb's Veterinary Drugs

Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs is a digital resource for accessing up-to-date veterinary drug information. Plumb's is searchable by drug name, class name, or alias.


Vetlexicon is the world's largest online clinical reference source and provides a series of comprehensive, peer-reviewed digital encyclopaedias, delivering instant and structured point of care information for the treatment of dogs, cats, rabbits, exotics and horses.


Web of Science (Core Collection)

Provides the most current index to over 8000 of the world's leading scholarly research journals in all disciplines; includes abstracts. Available: 1900 - present. Includes a unique "cited reference" feature, to find articles that have cited a given article.


Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database including peer-reviewed titles from international publishers, Open Access journals, conference proceedings, trade publications and quality web sources. Subject coverage includes: Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Engineering; Life and Health Sciences; Social Sciences, Psychology and Economics; Biological, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

CABI: CAB Abstracts and Global Health

A comprehensive bibliographic database of Ag publications worldwide. Areas of interest significant to Ag Engineering, identified in CAB include: Biotechnology, Environment & allied disciplines, and Crop protection.


The bibliographic database of the National Agricultural Library. It is an excellent source for research of agriculture and similar disciplines in the U.S.

ProQuest Congressional Publications

Provides extensive access to U.S. legislative information from Congressional Information Service, Inc.

Current Research Information System (CRIS)

The USDA's Current Research Information System. It documents ongoing and recently completed research in agriculture, food, and nutrition.

ProQuest Statistical Insight (Statistical Universe)

Provides comprehensive access to statistical information from Congressional Information Service, Inc.

Economics, Statistics and Market Information Systems (ESMIS)

Includes over 2500 reports and datasets covering U.S. and international agriculture and related topics. Created as a collaborative project between the Albert R. Mann Library at Cornell University and various agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Website of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Search for data and statistics, publications, surveys and more.

Using RSS Feeds

Accessing an RSS feed reader:

In order to create a personal RSS feed, you must first have a feed reader. This can be done in several ways:

  1. Install a feed reader extension in your web browser (ex. RSS Subscription Extension by Google)
  2. Access through email account (ex. Outlook)
  3. Download a feed reading app onto your device (ex. Feedly, Inoreader, Flipboard) 
  4. Sign up for a feed reader website (ex. Newsblur, Feeder) 

More feed reader options can be found in the Ultimate RSS Toolbox.

Subscribing to an RSS feed:

First, go to the webpage in which you want to start an RSS feed for. This can be a blog page, news website, or database search. Next, look for the RSS feed button, and click on it for the feed URL. Once you have the feed URL, go to your feed reader and add the URL to it. 

Useful Links

About Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias are traditionally books or a set of books providing information on a variety of subjects. In the digital world, online encyclopedias are websites or e-books which can be searched in order to find general information on a given topic. Popular online encyclopedias include Encyclopedia Britannica, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Credo Reference, and Wikipedia. 

Listed to the left are several online encyclopedias relating to the animal sciences. Encyclopedias are a great way to begin your research, as you can gain a basic understanding of your topic before you dive deeper into researching. 


About Databases

Databases are large, regularly updated files of articles from journals, magazines, and trade publications related to a specific subject or field. The databases listed to the left are related to science, agriculture, and related fields.

Some database coverage overlaps (i.e., some databases collect the same articles from the same journals), but you will find different results by searching in different databases. To be comprehensive in your research, it's a good idea to search more than one database.























About RSS Feeds

RSS (Really Simple Syndication or RDF Site Summary) is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines, or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a "feed," "web feed," or "channel" contains either a summary of content from an associated website or the full text. RSS makes it easy to keep up with current topics from your favorite websites.

RSS feeds are also useful in keeping up with new scholarship in your research field. 


Subject Guide

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