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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Library and other info sources for Vet & Animal Science students, staff and faculty.

Search terms

Try specific terms first, then try more general ones.

  • Specific terms (Northern Flicker or Colaptes auratus) give fewer but more precise results
  • General terms (like birds or woodpeckers) give more results, but are less precise

Precision gives fewer items (or none!), and you may miss books that might have a chapter on what you want to learn about.

Use both scientific and common names for organisms, connected with or, as above.

Try using truncation (forest* will find forest, forests and forestry) and variant spellings so you won't miss important titles.

See the box above for other Search Tips.