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A Guide to Physics: Articles


The best way to access articles is through one of the Library's databases. We have a lot of databases to choose from. Browse the list below for recommendations for the ones that cover physics and related areas. You can also try Google Scholar, although it's usually easier to find the full text of articles when you search our databases.

The Tracking Down Materials tab has a lot of information about how to find the full text of any item, as does the Finding the Actual Articles box on this page. This can be one of the trickier parts of research, so please feel free to email me (librarian Julie Gilbert) or connect with any librarian through Reference Services if you're having any issues.

Journals List: Do We Have this Journal?

When you have a source with a bibliography, you can see if a particular article from the bibliography is available by looking the journal's name up at the link below. Then you can use the volume and date information to navigate to the article. If we don't have access to that journal, we usually can get it from another library.

News from Physics Today

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Recommended Article Databases


The easiest way to access news articles is through these databases. This will get you around any paywalls you might encounter if you were just searching Google for newspaper articles.

Finding the Actual Articles

Once you've identified an interesting article, look to see if the full text is there. If not, follow these steps:

  • Click the yellow "find it!" button, which will search to see if it is full text in another database. It will also check to see if we have it full text in print.
  • If it is full text in another database, click the links to get to the article itself. Note: the systems don't always talk to each other perfectly. Sometimes the links go to the wrong places. If this is the case, contact a librarian. We can easily help you track it down.
  • If the article is full text in print, take a field trip to the bottom floor of the library. Print journals are shelved alphabetically by title of the journal. Find the section containing your journal and then track down the article using the date or volume information. You may check most magazines and journals out for a week.

If an article is not available in full text or in print, request it through interlibrary loan, using your Gustavus account login to identify yourself. This generally means it will be scanned in for you at another library. An e-mail message will be sent to you with a URL and pin number to retrieve it. Though these scanned articles are sometimes are available within 24 hours, they can take longer. Plan ahead.

Sometimes you come across a footnote with an article that looks interesting. You don't need to turn to a database to find it. Check the title of the magazine or journal (not the article title) from the journal locator. If it is not available to us at Gustavus, log in to your library account and fill out an interlibrary loan request.

As you can see, tracking down the hard copies of materials can be tricky! Use the Tracking Down Materials tab for more information. Or contact a librarian directly.

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