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SYNTHESIS is an electronic library consisting of Lectures (a 50- to 100-page electronic book) that synthesize an important research or development topic, authored by a prominent contributor to the field.
All the books are fully searchable and fully navigable. Browse titles and subject areas to get to relevant chapters or perform keyword searches across multiple titles simultaneously.
Publishers included: O'Reilly, Addison-Wesley, Cisco Press, Nw Riders, Peachpit, Prentice Hall, Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, Que, and Sams
Multivolume set that provides detailed overviews of the applications, instruments, methodologies, and principles of modern biotechnology
Books are a great source of background information on a topic. They are more specific than encyclopedias, but they're still general enough to be understandable early in the research process. One thing to be aware of with this type of literature, however, is that the information contained is not terribly up-to-date, as the publication process for a book is lengthy.