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Important Databases for Scientists
The American Chemical Society produces the most complete and complex database of chemical literature, but there are others that can be part of your toolkit. Here are some options. It's worth your while to spend some time exploring Sci Finder because, while there's a learning curve, it's incredibly powerful and if you go on to further study in chemistry, you'll be glad you did. Below you'll also find specialized databases for biology, earth sciences, and geology, as well as general science databases.
SciFinder Get Started with SciFinder - Create Your Account
Before you access SciFinder from the web for the first time, you must create your own SciFinder username and password. To begin the user registration process, go to the User Registration Page
. For more information, see the SciFinder User Registration Guide
(PDF file). After you have gone through the user registration process, use your SciFinder username and password to log in from on campus or remotely.
SciFinder is an incredibly informative database. You can search by chemical structure (and import your structures from ChemDraw), keep track of your references, find information about substances and compounds, regulatory information, and more. There is a learning curve, but it's possibly the most powerful database ever compiled for scientific research. To find full text of articles or to request them from other libraries, click on "link to other sources." You may need to enable popups on your browser for this window to open.
Contains citations to nearly 2 million records about geology and earth sciences. It is international in scope, and citations date from 1785 to the present.
Covers research in all areas of biological science, including animal behavior, biomedicine, zoology, ecology, and others. Coverage is from 1982 to the present. Includes abstracts and citations, as well as access to thousands of full text titles.
This search engine points toward scholarly research rather than all Web-based sources. It is stronger in the sciences than in the humanities, with social sciences somewhere in between. One interesting feature of Google Scholar is that in includes a link to sources that cite a particular item. Not all of the articles in Google Scholar are free; the library can obtain many of them for you through Interlibrary loan.
PubMed (citations from MEDLINE and other sources) (New PubMed)
PubMed contains more than 30 million citations and abstracts of biomedical literature. Click the "Find it at Gustavus" button to link to the full text or to make an interlibrary loan request. PubMed was developed and is maintained by the National Institutes of Health.
Web of Science (Web of Knowledge)
Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Besides indexing a wide range of journals in the sciences, social sciences, and history, this resource allows you to search for articles that cite a specific author or published work. Coverage from 1997 to the present. Click on the "Web of Science" tab to limit your search to one or more specific citation databases.
People are like plants...
"People are like plants: they grow toward the light. I chose science because science gave me what I needed--a home as defined in the most literal sense: a safe place to be."
--Hope Jahren (Jahren Laboratory, Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry at the University of Oslo), Lab Girl, 2016
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License