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Physics--Core Indexing and Abstracting Publications

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The list of databases below is not intended to be exhaustive. Instead, Strategian aims to list the core publications--those indexes and abstracts covering Physics that are the best places to start or continue on to in order to identify the articles, books, or other publications that contain the information that you need.

Please keep in mind that the publications listed below are often available in various paper and electronic formats. If not available to you over the Internet, you will need to check if and how they may be available at the library or libraries you may use. How to do that? See Step 3: Locate of the Information Strategy for details.

If you choose to follow any links to outside Web sites listed below, you will be leaving the Strategian Web site. If you wish to return to this page from the Web page you are sent to, please use the Back option of your browser.

The databases below are listed in a suggested sequence of use--from (1) databases in which you can identify publications containing easier to understand, less technical information to (6) databases covering the topic in greater depth and indexing more research-oriented/scholarly publications:

  1. General Science Index/Abstracts (H.W. Wilson)

    Indexes 260+ popular science magazines and scholarly journals from the United States and Great Britain. As the name implies, this publication covers the sciences broadly without an indepth focus on any particular area.

    It is a good place to begin for virtually any subject area within the sciences--a good source for identifying articles that are easier to understand/less technical though some research-oriented journal articles can also be identified.

    Widely-known magazines and journals indexed here include such titles as American Journal of Physics, New Scientist, Physics Today, Reviews of Modern Physics, Science, Science News, and Scientific American. Available in paper back to 1978; available electronically from 1984-present with abstracts from 1993-present and some full-text coverage from 1994-present (depending upon the version of this publication made available). Updated weekly or monthly depending on the format.

  2. OAIster (University of Michigan [USA] Digital Library Production Services)

    Searches and retrieves a wide variety of Open Access (free full text online) publications--journal articles, books, audio files, images, movies, dictionaries, directories, etc.--available from 240+ institutions/organizations around the world. The institutions/organizations searched include, BioMed Central, Institute of Physics, National Academies Press, PubMed Central, and SciELO.

  3. Applied Science & Technology Index/Abstracts (H.W. Wilson)

    Indexes 720+ publications covering science and technology in the broad areas of Chemistry, Computers, Energy, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics.

    The publications indexed are of many types--trade and industrial magazines and journals, professional and technical society journals, scholarly academic journals, conference proceedings, some popular magazines, etc.

    Available in paper back to 1913 (under the title Industrial Arts Index through 1957) and available electronically from 1983-present with abstracts from 1994-present; updated monthly.

  4. SPIN--Searchable Physics Information Notices (American Institute of Physics)

    Indexes and abstracts approximately 80 major research-oriented/scholarly American and Russian Physics and Astronomy journals.

    Available online from 1975-present; contains links to the full text of many articles; updated continually.

  5. INSPEC (Institution of Electrical Engineers)

    Indexes and abstracts 3,400+ scholarly and technical journals and approximately 2,000 conference proceedings as well as books, reports, and dissertations published worldwide in the areas of Communications, Computers and Computing, Information Technology, Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Electronics.

    INSPEC is the most indepth database to search for research-oriented/scholarly publications in Physics.

    This database is available in paper under the title Science Abstracts (covers 1898-1902), Science Abstracts. Section A, Physics (covers 1903-1940), Science Abstracts. Section A. Physics Abstracts (covers 1941-1971), and Physics Abstracts. Science Abstracts. Series A (covers 1972-present); available electronically from 1969-present; updated weekly.

  6. Science Citation Index (Institute for Scientific Information)

    A unique database that allows you to discover who has cited (referred to) a particular article or book since it was originally published. The citing publications are only journal and magazine articles--not books. The Science Citation Index can be particularly useful when conventional searching methods in sources like those above fail to identify other publications related to one or two that you are already familiar with. Covering the sciences broadly and in depth, this database indexes more than 6,000 journals published worldwide.

    Depending on specific needs, teachers/faculty sometimes turn to this database first while students and others may turn to this source, if needed, only after consulting the other relevant indexes/abstracts in a subject area.

    Available in paper and electronically back to 1945; abstracts available from 1991-present; updated weekly.

    • WorldCat (OCLC)

      A huge database comprised of the tens of millions of items covering virtually every subject cataloged by 17,000+ libraries worldwide. The database includes items in basically all formats (books, Web sites, videos, sound recordings, maps, etc.) save individual journal, newspaper, and magazine articles.

      Available electronically; updated daily. Materials in the database include items published anywhere from thousands of years ago to the present.

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Updated 6:00 p.m. CT December 13, 2004
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