Monday, March 21, 2016


Hurt, C. D. Informational Sources in Science and Technology, 3rd ed. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 1998. pp. 71-72.
Traditional science made a simple distinction between zoology and botany; botany deals with plants, zoology deals with animals. This definition has been stretched somewhat in modern times. Zoology still is concerned with animals, and this is the largest area of zoology. However, zoologists now extend the definition to organisms that are not animals. They now study organisms such as monera, protista, and fungi. 
Zoology and botany have a great deal in common. In effect, they are now branches of the same tree—studying the life forms of the Earth. They are also similar in that each is very old. The ancient Egyptians had a rudimentary understanding of blood circulation, functions of the organs, and disease. Aristotle laid the foundations of what we now call zoology. His contributions in taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, and genetics form an excellent base for the modern zoologist. These four areas are still the pillars of zoology. This does not mean, however, that zoology is a stable discipline in which to work. As an example, great debate rages about the origin, physiology, and demise of the dinosaur. This is one example of many in zoology that suggests a lively intellectual climate. Such climates are excellent breeding grounds for generating large amounts of literature. 
Zoology, like other areas of science, borrows from all of science and technology. The electron microscope is one tool the zoologist might use to determine the cellular structure of a particular animal to differentiate it from another animal. Like botany, however, the borrowing from other disciplines is not as intense as it is in other fields. 
Zoologists tend to publish in a relatively narrow group of journals. Their conference activity is high, but the results of conferences are disseminated relatively quickly and efficiently. For zoologists interested in taxonomy, there are few outlets, and these tend to be highly traditional. Zoologists tend to use monographic literature more than do other scientists. This is partly the result of having a systematized schema that has weathered well. 
Bibliographic control in zoology is better than in most of science. The premier abstracting and indexing service in zoology, Zoological Record, has been published since 1865, and is available as an online database. The crossover areas in zoology are the ones where bibliographic control is difficult. Finding material that is published in a chemical journal about a zoological subject remains hard. 
The future for zoology appears to be a continuation of the present. A consistent and well-developed research program in the traditional four areas of zoology will certainly continue. The melding of zoology and other areas such as physics, chemistry, and environmental sciences will also continue. The result will be a rich literature that can only partly be controlled bibliographically.

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