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Malacology is the branch of invertebrate zoology that deals with the study of the Mollusca (mollusks or molluscs), the second-largest phylum of animals in terms of described species after the arthropods. Mollusks include snails and slugs, clams, octopus and squid, and numerous other kinds, many (but by no means all) of which have shells. One division of malacology, conchology, is devoted to the study of mollusk shells. Malacology derives from Greek μαλακός, malakos, "soft"; and -λογία, -logia.
Fields within malacological research include taxonomy, ecology and evolution. Applied malacology studies medical, veterinary, and agricultural applications, for example mollusks as vectors of disease, as in schistosomiasis.
In 1681, Filippo Bonanni wrote the first book ever published that was solely about seashells, the shells of marine mollusks. The book was entitled: Ricreatione dell' occhio e dela mente nell oservation' delle Chiociolle, proposta a' curiosi delle opere della natura, &c.. In 1868, the German Malacological Society was founded.
Obvious zoological methods are used also in malacological research. Various malacological field methods and laboratory methods (such as collecting, documenting and archiving, and molecular techniques) were summarized by Sturm et al. (2006).
- American Malacological Society
- Association of Polish Malacologists (Stowarzyszenie Malakologów Polskich)
- Belgian Malacological Society (Société Belge de Malacologie) - French speaking
- Belgian Society for Conchology (Belgische Vereniging voor Conchyliologie) - Dutch speaking
- Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
- Conchologists of America
- Dutch Malacological Society (Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging)
- Estonian Malacological Society (Eesti Malakoloogia Ühing)
- European Quaternary Malacologists
- Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society
- German Malacological Society (Deutsche Malakozoologische Gesellschaft)
- Hungarian Malacological Society Magyar Malakológiai Társaság
- Italian Malacological Society (Società Italiana di Malacologia)
- Malacological Society of Australasia
- Malacological Society of London
- Malacological Society of the Philippines, Inc.
- Mexican Malacological Society (Sociedad Mexicana de Malacología y Conquiliología)
- Spanish Malacological Society (Sociedad Española de Malacología)
- Western Society of Malacologists
- Brazilian Malacological Society (Sociedade Brasileira de Malacologia) 
Journals within the field of malacology include:
- American Journal of Conchology (1865-1872) Details - American journal of conchology. - Biodiversity Heritage Library
- American Malacological Bulletin American Malacological Society
- Archiv für Molluskenkunde: International Journal of Malacology homepage, access since 2005
- Basteria Basteria
- Bulletin of Russian Far East Malacological Society The Bulletin of the Russian Far East Malacological Society
- Fish & Shellfish Immunology Fish and Shellfish Immunology - Elsevier
- (French) Folia conchyliologica Cernuelle - Bulletin
- Folia Malacologica Folia Malacologica Folia Malacologica
- Heldia 
- Journal de Conchyliologie - volumes 1850-1922 at Biodiversity Heritage Library; volumes 1850-1938 at Bibliothèque nationale de France
- Journal of Conchology Conchological Society – Journal of Conchology
- Journal of Medical and Applied Malacology Journal of Medical and Applied Malacology
- Journal of Molluscan Studies
- (English) (Czech) Malacologica Bohemoslovaca Malacologica Bohemoslovaca - Journal about molluscs in Europe
- Malacological Review - volume 1 (1968) - today. Instructions, contents of volume 27 (1996) - volume 40 (2009)
- Zeitschrift für Malakozoologie (1844-1853)  → Malakozoologische Blätter (1854-1878) 
- Miscellanea Malacologica
- Mollusca Mollusca Journal - 2007 to 2009 - The Last Issue - Senckenberg Naturhistorische Sammlungen Dresden
- Molluscan Research Molluscan Research - online contents - impact factor: 0.606 (2007)
- Nachrichtsblatt der Deutschen malakozoologischen Gesellschaft
- Occasional Papers on Mollusks (1945-1989), 5 volumes
- (Russian) (English) Ruthenica 
- Strombus Strombus online
- Tentacle - The Newsletter of the Mollusc Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. TENTACLE
- The Festivus - a peer-reviewed journal which started as a club newsletter in 1970, published by the San Diego Shell Club.Official site of The Festivus
- The Nautilus - since 1886 published by Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. First two volumes were published under name The Conchologists’ Exchange. Impact factor: 0.500 (2009)
- The Veliger The Veliger - impact factor: 0.606 (2003)
- (Japanese) 貝類学雑誌 Venus (Japanese Journal of Malacology) 
- Vita Marina Vita Marina (discontinued in May 2001)
Museums that have either exceptional malacological research collections (behind the scenes) and/or exceptional public exhibits of mollusks:
- Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
- American Museum of Natural History
- Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
- Cau del Cargol Shell Museum
- Maria Mitchell Association
- Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard
- Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels: with a collection of more than 9 million shells (mainly from the collection of Philippe Dautzenberg)
- Smithsonian Institution
- Invertebrate paleontology
- History of invertebrate paleozoology
- Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology
- From French malacologie, contraction of malacozoologie, from New Latin Malacozoa "zoological group including soft-bodied animals" from Greek μαλακός - malakos "soft" + ζῷον "animal.
- Home - Division of Malacology - FLMNH
- Buonanni's Chiocciole (1681). Retrieved 8 August 2009.
- (Italian) Bonanni F. 1681. Ricreatione dell' occhio e dela mente nell oservation' delle Chiociolle, proposta a' curiosi delle opere della natura, &c. 1681. Varese, Rome, xiv, 384 pp., 109 plates. figure 101.
- Charles F. Sturm; Timothy A. Pearce; Ángel Valdés (July 2006). The mollusks. Universal-Publishers. ISBN 978-1-58112-930-4.
- Sociedad Mexicana de Malacología y Conquiliología
- General Information. accessed 6 December 2010].
- "THE NAUTILUS. A Quarterly Devoted to Malacology". Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- Journal Impact Factor 2003. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- Cox L. R. & Peake J. F. (eds.). Proceedings of the First European Malacological Congress. September 17–21, 1962. Text in English with black-and-white photographic reproductions, also maps and diagrams. Published by the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the Malacological Society of London in 1965 with no ISBN.
- Heppel D. (1995). "The long dawn of Malacology: a brief history of malacology from prehistory to the year 1800." Archives of Natural History 22(3): 301-319.