Good background information may be found in reference sources. Access Science is an excellent starting point.
Reference sources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, manuals, guides) provide the following types of information on virtually any topic:
Using the Biological Literature : a Practical Guide will also be of help.
Image: Ctenophore, Bathocyroe fosteri. NOAA. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.
Print biology encyclopedias that are available for use in the LVC Bishop Library:
Print and full-text dictionaries: