Cover image for World of biology
World of biology
McGrath, Kimberley A.
Publication Information:
Detroit : Gale Group, [1999]

Physical Description:
vii, 942 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH302.5 .W67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
QH302.5 .W67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QH302.5 .W67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
QH302.5 .W67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



In a single alphabetical arrangement, this reference offers 1000 essays, definitions and biographies, along with 350 illustrations and other information, covering all aspects of the field of biology.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Designed to support the high-school curriculum, this new resource is a mix of biological topics and scientific biographies. There are 1,034 alphabetically arranged entries, approximately 400 of which are biographical. These cover scientists ranging from ancient Greeks (Aristotle, Hippocrates), to AIDS researcher David Ho and biology professor Thomas Dyer Seeley, both born in 1952. Other entries cover "biology and its allied disciplines," including anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, ecology, endocrinology, genetics, and medicine. Entries range in length from two or three paragraphs to slightly more than three pages. In general, biographical entries are among the longest. There are numerous cross-references, indicated in bold. However, some obvious cross-references are missing. The entry on Rosalind Franklin talks about her contribution to the discovery of DNA, but although the article on DNA does mention Franklin it does not refer the reader to the entry on Franklin. Mary Leakey and Louis Leakey each have biographical entries. Both members of this famous husband-and-wife team are mentioned in the article on human evolution. However, Louis Leakey has a cross-reference from human evolution, yet Mary does not. Following the A^-Z entries are a bibliography of sources that were consulted, a chronology, and a general index. The approximately 300 black-and-white illustrations are spread rather thin, with some omissions. For example, there are no illustrations of the circulatory system or of the greenhouse effect. No bibliographies are provided at the end of entries, which may hamper readers who want to investigate a topic further. The strength of this volume is the timeliness of many of the entries, and its weakness is that its coverage is not unique. Much of the information can be found elsewhere; for example, the scientific topics are covered in more depth in McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology [RBB S 15 97]. There is no dearth of sources on scientific biography, and information on most of these scientists can be found in titles such as Marshall Cavendish's Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists [RBB My 15 98], not to mention Gale's own Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists [RBB F 1 95]. However, this volume offers convenience by combining scientific topics with biographies. It is well suited for the upper-level high-school or freshman or sophomore college student or the general adult reader trying to grapple with difficult concepts in the rapidly changing fields that are represented. Public, high-school, and undergraduate libraries may want to add it to their collection.

Library Journal Review

Designed primarily to support the high school curriculum, this encyclopedia contains 1,034 alphabetically arranged entries and covering some of the most important topics and discoveries in the biological sciences. The volume also includes biographies of Nobel Prize winners and others who have made important discoveries in the field. The articles are fairly brief and written for lay readers. There are nearly 300 good-quality black-and-white images, but some standard illustrations are missing, such as the mechanism of DNA replication and the stages of cell division. A list of the most useful sources consulted by the editors is appended; however, suggested resources at the end of the individual articles would have been helpful. There is also a chronology of important events in the biological sciences from 50,000 B.C.E. to 1998. The cross references and the index are adequate. The Gale Encyclopedia of Science (LJ 9/15/96) has a broader scope and more in-depth articles than World of Biology, but it lacks biographies. Even general encyclopedias like World Book Encyclopedia have longer articles for some of the more basic topics, but World of Biology is a convenient one-volume ready-reference source, especially for biographical information. Recommended for high school and public libraries.√ĄTeresa Berry, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The 1,034 entries (publisher's count) in this subject encyclopedia concerned with biology and allied disciplines are arranged alphabetically and range from "abiotic environment" through "polyphylogeny," "systematics," and "zygote." Entries include biographical sketches of Nobel Prize winners and other scientists who significantly influenced biology and related disciplines; most sketches include photographs. Entries vary in length, but biographical entries are longer. See and see also references point to other entries. There are two useful supplements, Historical Chronology (a time line, c. 50,000 BCE-1999) and Sources Consulted. This publication could better serve users if it had a Nobel Prize winner's section and the scholarly treatment of entries found in Peter Gray's Encyclopedia of Biological Sciences (CH, Sep'70). High school and junior college libraries without a subject encyclopedia in biology may want this resource. O. C. Riley; Louisiana State University