Biological Abstracts

Biological Abstracts
Producer Thomson Reuters (United States)
History 1926 to present
Disciplines Science
Record depth Index & abstract
Print edition
ISSN 0006-3169

Biological Abstracts is a database produced by Thomson Reuters through its subsidiary BIOSIS. It includes abstracts from peer-reviewed academic journal articles in the fields of biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, pre-clinical and experimental medicine, pharmacology, zoology, agriculture, and veterinary medicine published since 1926.[1][2]

It can be accessed through number of services, including Ebsco,[3] Ovid [4] and the Web of Knowledge.[1] Biological Abstracts/RRM is similar, except that it covers meetings and conferences, literature reviews, U.S. patents, books, software and other media instead of journal articles.[5] The combination of the two is marketed as BIOSIS Previews .[6]


The service began as a print publication in 1926, when it was formed by the union of Abstracts of Bacteriology (1917–25), and Botanical Abstracts (1919–26), both published in Baltimore by Williams and Wilkins.[7] It was published in paperback subject sections, with abstracts usually written by scientist in the US, as a great many of articles in that period were in other languages. At the time of founding it was in competition with the classified indexing service of the Concilium Bibliographicum in Zurich.[8]

The first online version was published on magnetic tape; it contained only the bibliographic information, not the text of the abstracts, and was intended as a rapid alerting service.


  1. 1 2 "Biological Abstracts" (Online). Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  2. About "Biological Abstracts" (Online). Ovid Technologies, Inc. Retrieved 2011-07-26.
  3. "Biological Abstracts/RRM". Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  4. "BIOSIS Previews" (online). Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  5. Sheehy, Guide to Reference Books, 10th ed.
  6. Burke, Colin B. (2014). Information and Intrigue: From Index Cards to Dewey Decimals to Alger Hiss. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. pp. 166–168 & 235–237. ISBN 978-0-262-02702-1.

External links

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