General Science

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Facts and Background Information
Selected print and electronic encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, etc.
Locate items in the library catalog and other libraries.
Use indexes to search for articles in journals, proceedings, etc.
Recommended academic, professional, and learned societies sites, and more.
Contact a Librarian

Below are a few major, frequently used sources for the study of science. See also the research guide(s): Geology, Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy.

For additional information on sources please consult a librarian. Internet resources require a Tufts I.D. number for off-campus access (authorized user statement).

Facts and Background Information     [back to top]

Reference Resources

Career Development

Science's Next Wave
A weekly online publication that covers scientific training, career development, and the science job market. Published by Science magazine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Chambers Dictionary of Science and Technology
[PRINT. Tisch Reference Q123 .D53 1999]
Over 49,000 entries and 500 schematic diagrams. Appendices contain commonly consulted information including computing and internet-related acronyms, SI units, the plant and animal kingdoms, and a chronology of inventions and discoveries.

CREDO Reference.
Online reference resources from numerous publishers. This reference resource can be searched by individual title, broad subject headings, cross-references, audio and images. Use its "research mapper" to search for terms and topics that are interconnected and displayed in (a) visual form. Examples of titles are: Bloomsbury Guide to Art, Bridgeman Art Library Archive, Columbia Encyclopedia, Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, Harvard Dictionary of Music, and the Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science. The complete list of titles is available on the CREDO Reference site.

Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press, 2003.
Sixteen dictionaries representing various scientific disciplines.


American Men & Women of Science
Biographical sketch of over 123,000 active scientists.

Community of Science (COS) 2003.
An internet site for the global research and development community. Within the site are COS Expertise, which gives personal profiles of professionals in the research community, and COS Funding Opportunities, a prime source for grant information.

Education and Teaching

National Science Digital Library
A science and technology resource for education and teaching. Founded by the National Science Foundation.


Access Science. McGraw-Hill, 2000.
Online version of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology. Access to over 7,100 full-text articles, 115,000 dictionary terms, biographies and Research Updates in science and technology. Updated daily.

Encyclopedia of Energy
All forms of energy are covered from energy use and the environment, to the effect of energy on history and society. Also included are a glossary of energy terms and a chronology of energy-related events.

Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.
A dynamic reference work integrating current theory and practice of all basic and applied aspects of the life sciences, with an emphasis on cell and molecular biology.

Government Resources U. S. Government.
Gateway search engine to science information provided by the U. S Government.


CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics. CRC Press, 1977-
[PRINT. Tisch reference desk QD65 .H3]
Reliable source for chemical, physical, and engineering data, including math tables and physical constants. Latest two volumes kept at reference desk.


Science Image Online. CSIRO.
An image library specializing in science and nature from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Australia.

Journal Data

ISI Essential Science Indicators
Science trend data derived from ISI indexed journal articles.

ISI Journal Citation Reports
Resource for citation data on scholarly journals as indexed by ISI. Shows relationship between citing and cited journals.


A Dictionary of Units of Measurement

International System of Units. NTIS.
The modern metric system of measurement.


Annual Reviews. Annual Reviews, 1997-
A series of topical volumes covering the biomedical and physical sciences. Issued annually.

Societies & Associations

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 1848
Founded in 1848, a professional association supporting scientific exchange and the advancement of science.

National Science Foundation (NSF) 1950
An independent agency of the U.S. Government founded to promote the progress of science.

Style Manuals & Resources for Writing

Acronym Finder

Oxford English Dictionary Online. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press, 2003.
Sixteen dictionaries representing various science disciplines.

Resources for Writers
A selection of web resources on writing, grammar and style guides.

A web-based reference/citation and bibliography manager. Allows users to keep track of and download citations from our internet databases/indexes and then use these references in writing and automatically formatting papers and bibliographies. This software works with EndNote too!

Find Books     [back to top]

A library's catalog covers most aspects of a subject over centuries of publications in many languages. Catalogs can be searched by author, title, subject, and keyword. Tisch Library uses the Library of Congress (LC) classification scheme. LC classification brings similar books together on the shelves, which facilitates browsing. Books on General Science are classified in Q.

The Catalogs

Library Catalog How To Use

Boston Library Consortium Catalogs How To Use

Harvard University Library System Catalog (HOLLIS)

National Research Council of Canada
Includes Canadian Institute for Scientific & Technical Information (CISTI)

WorldCat. OCLC. How To Use
Covers almost all of the catalogs of the major research libraries, as well as public libraries worldwide.

Other Sources for Books

Global Books in Print
Lists books currently in print and available in the market for purchasing.

Document Delivery
Borrow from other libraries--both books and journal articles.

The Online Books Page: Call Numbers Starting With Q
List of online science books that are freely readable from the University of Pennsylvania’s Digital Library.

Find Articles     [back to top]

To locate articles or research papers within periodicals and journals, it is necessary to use specialized databases known as indexes. Database searching tips (also available in PDF) provides valuable information on how to construct a search for best results.


Cambridge Scientific Abstracts Illumina. How To Use
Provides access to selected databases in the Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, and a selection of Sage journal titles in the Social Sciences.

History of Science Technology & Medicine How To Use
The History of Science, Technology, and Medicine indexes journal articles, conference proceedings, books, book reviews, and dissertations in the history of science, technology, and medicine and allied historical fields. It covers 1975 to the present.

ISI Web of Knowledge. ISI. How To Use
A portal to the databases on the ISI platform: ISI Web of Science, Current Contents Connect, ISI proceedings, Derwent Innovations Index (for patents), & BIOSIS Previews. Offered are two searching options: Form Search, which uses search terms separated by search operators, such as AND or OR, and Concept Search, whereby the user enters one or more phrases or sentences. Cross-searching of these databases is also an option.

Science Citation Index Expanded. ISI, 1945- How To Use
Part of the ISI Web of Science, this index provides author, subject and citation access to journal articles and book reviews in the sciences, as well as citation values for particular papers, citation tracking and related records. Updated weekly.

Scopus. Elsevier, 1966-
An index to the world's scientific, technical and medical literature (14,000 scholarly titles), including 2,700 titles in Social Science, Psychology and Economics. Updated daily. Non-English titles are covered as long as English abstracts are available. Full-text linking is available wherever the technology and the access arrangements permit and continues to expand as such arrangements allow. Integrated web searching and patent searching by Scirus.

ISI Current Contents Connect. ISI. How To Use
An ISI current awareness database with an interdisciplinary focus; covers science, social science and humanities; includes the latest issue and table of contents from over 8,000 of the world’s research journals and some evaluated scholarly websites. Can create auto alerts for e-mail updates. Has search and journal browse functions. Updated daily.

Electronic journals

Periodicals are listed in the library catalog. Holdings in all formats are unified in one record, and most entries for journals held in electronic format contain a hyperlink to the source; searches in the web-based catalog enable one to follow these links directly. A complete list of electronic journals is on the Tisch homepage under Electronic journals.

Key Weekly Science Journals

Nature. Nature Publishing Group.
Current: v387-, 1997-
Back volumes v. 54-84 (1896-1910) and v.132- (1937-): [PRINT. Tisch Bound Periodicals Q1 .N2]
Back volumes v.112-131 (1923-1933): [MICROFORMS. R93]

Current: v270-, (1995- )
Back volumes v.1-270, (1800-1995)

Collections of Electronic Journals

An archive providing full-text online access to the back issues of scholarly journals in all fields, of particular interest are the categories: General Science and History of Science.

ScienceDirect. Elsevier.
A database of over 1,700 journal titles covering the life, physical, technical and social sciences. Titles start with the initial volume of publication; all titles have tables of contents and abstracts, and most have full text articles. Tufts has access to approximately 800 titles from 1995 to date. The titles formerly published by Academic Press commence with 1993. Green boxes indicate subscribed titles; white boxes are for non-subscribed titles. Please note: ScienceDirect no longer provides access to non-subscribed titles. Articles from non-subscribed titles must be obtained from Tisch Document Delivery or purchased directly from ScienceDirect.

SpringerLink. Springer Verlag.
Provides access to 460+ electronic journals with full-text and some book series. The focus is on science and technology. Browse the Physics & Astronomy Online Library. To gain access to the Springer A-Z journal list, pull down the top right hand bar.

Wiley InterScience
Provides full-text access to 300+ journals published by John Wiley & Sons. Subjects covered are: Business, Finance & Management, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Education, Engineering, Law, Life & Medical Science, Mathematics & Statistics, Physics and Psychology. Online publication date varies by title but most start with 1997.

Other Sources for Research Papers

Many scientific papers are first presented at a conference and published in the proceedings of the meeting.

ISI Proceedings. ISI. How To Use
An index to the published literature of significant conferences, symposia, and seminars.

Dissertation Abstracts. First Search, 1861- How To Use
Indexes dissertations accepted at accredited institutions; covers all disciplines. Updated monthly.

Tufts University Dissertations. ProQuest Information & Learning, 1996- How To Use
Tufts dissertations and theses published in Dissertation Abstracts from 1996 to date. Provides full-text access.

Rand Reports - Abstracts
Rand conducts multidisciplinary research and analysis on policy issues, one such area is science and technology and its human and economic impact; some specific topics of interest are biotechnology, energy, the environment and health.

The Virtual Technical Reports Center- Eprints, Preprints and Technical Reports on the Web
A web resource for online reports maintained by the University of Maryland Libraries.

Patents Indexes

Derwent Innovations Index. ISI. How To Use
A resource for patent literature from 40 patent issuing authorities. Uses the ISI search interface and links forward in time to citing patents and backwards in time to cited patents. Coverage for some patents begins in 1963.

esp@cenet. Searchable Worldwide Patents Database, 1920-
Free worldwide patent information with full-text patents.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Website for the USPTO. Information on patenting an idea, doing a patent search, and locating a patent depository library.

USPTO Patent Classification Home Page
U.S. Manual on Patent Classification searchable website.

Find Web Resources on the Internet

In the 1980s the World Wide Web emerged and spawned publications of its own, independent of the print traditions. Information retrieved from the open web must be reviewed for authority, accuracy and authenticity. Keeping these limitations in mind, there are some excellent information resources available from the open web, especially those associated with government agencies and universities. See how to evaluate web resources.

General Web Search Engines

Google How To Use
A top-ranked web search engine, with good relevancy. Uses tabs at the top of the search box. The tab titled Groups (a usenet news database) will retrieve the category sci. The tab titled Directory is a Page Rank version of the Open Directory and includes a category for Science. There is also a tab for Images and News. How To Use
Good web search engine. Indexes full webpage, PDF files, Microsoft Word files, and text within Flash files. Also includes tabs for databases of news, pictures, videos, audio and FTP files.

Science Web Search Engines

Scirus How To Use
A comprehensive science-specific search engine. Locates peer-reviewed articles.

Websites     [back to top]


Eric Weisstein’s World of Scientific Biography


DMOZ Open Directory Project

Yahoo Directory Science


Museum of Science, Boston

Exploratorium - The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception, San Francisco

Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago

Science Museum, London

Science & Technology - The Smithsonian Institution; Washington, D.C.


Center for Science in the Public Interest


Supplies & Catalogs

SciQuest- The Internet Source for Products

Contact a Librarian     [back to top]

Miriam Allman. Contact for questions about library collections.
Regina Raboin. Contact for reference questions and instruction requests.

Tufts University