Information Services

Physics & astronomy

Useful resources for finding academic literature for Physics and Astronomy.


ACM Digital Library

Access information: Access on and off campus
Description: Full text of every journal article and conference proceedings ever published by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and bibliographic citations from major publishers in computing. is a key resource E-Print Repository

Access information: Access on and off-campus from Cornell University.
Description: Searchable, full-text repository of author-submitted research papers for physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science and quantitative biology. Originally hosted by Los Alamos National Laboratory, this is a moderated repository which has an author endorsement system in operation. Papers in are often pre-prints but the published version of articles may also be available. Email alerts or RSS feeds available. Limited citation searching is possible via CiteBase (but for a published paper use the Science Citation Index).
Coverage: 1991-present.

CERN Document Server (CDS)

Access information: Free access on and off-campus from CERN.
Description: Approximately 950,000 bibliographic records for particle physics material and related areas, includes 360,000 full text documents and covers preprints, articles, books, journals, photographs and standards. Email alerts or RSS feeds are available.



National Chemical Database Service (CDS)

Access information:

Free at the point of access for students and academics of UK academic institutions.

Personal registration may be required for some services. VPN may be required to register from off-campus.


A suite of chemistry databases and tools hosted by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and funded by the EPSRC.

Coverage: Cambridge Structural Database (CSD), DETHERM, ACD/ILab, Accelrys' Available Chemicals Directory (ACD), RSC's ChemSpider and FIZ Karlsruhe's Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD).
Additional information:

About the National Chemical Database Service

(Science & Technology Facilities Services hosted CDS site for reduced database access but where CrystalWorks developments continue)



Computer Index of Nuclear Reaction Data (CINDA)

Access information: Freely available.

Bibliographic references to measurements, calculations, reviews, and evaluations of neutron cross-sections and other microscopic neutron data. Includes index references to numerical neutron data from four regional neutron data centers.

Photonuclear and charged particle reaction data included since 2005.

Coverage: Two automatic updates from EXFOR and NSR each year.



CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics online

Access information: Access on and off campus

Physical property data and mathematical formulae. Tables are interactive. Structure and property searching is available.

Also includes current international recommendations on nomenclature, symbols, and units. Plus biographies of renowned chemists and physicists

Coverage: Updated 96th edition, 2015-2016.



IEEE/IEE Electronic Library

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: A digital library providing full text access to the world's highest quality technical literature in electrical engineering, computer science, and electronics. Contains full text documents from IEEE journals, transactions, magazines, letters, conference proceedings, standards, and IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) publications.



Inspec is a key resource


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Records with abstracts of articles published, in more than 6,500 physics, computer science, electronics, electrical engineering, control engineering journals and conference proceedings. Published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Indexes arXiv content.
Coverage: 1896-present



INSPIRE High-Energy Physics Literature Database (formerly SPIRES)

Access information: Freely available.
Description: Searchable, full-text repository containing more than 500,000 high-energy physics related articles, including journal papers, preprints, e-prints, technical reports and conference papers. Additional databases include HEP related institutions, researchers, conferences and experiment summaries. Email alerts or RSS feeds available.
Coverage: From 1930s onwards.
Additional information:

Limited cited reference searching is possible but for a published paper also use Web of Science:



NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Access information: Freely available from University of Nottingham.
Description: More than 7.8 million astronomy and astrophysics, instrumentation, physics and geophysics bibliographic records from journals, conference proceedings, several Observatory reports and newsletters, many NASA reports, and PhD theses. Also, includes scans of more than 200,000 articles from astrophysical publications. Email alerts and RSS feeds available



SCOAP3 Repository

Access information: Free access on and off-campus from SCOAP3 consortium.
Description: Full-text, open access articles from 10 (as of July 2014) High Energy Physics journals.



Access information: Scopus will undergo maintenance 21st Sept. 4pm-6pm .  Access on and off campus.
Description: Abstract and citation database containing both peer-reviewed research literature and quality web sources. Covers over 20,000 journals from health, life, physical and social sciences and the humanities.
Coverage: For some subject areas, from the 1820s onwards.
Note: The University of Edinburgh's Affiliation ID is 60027272 (used for configuring Papers 3 for Mac to work with Scopus).
Note: If you receive broken link errors to Scopus content in DiscoverED while off campus, use the VPN for off campus access instead



softwareMATH (swMATH)

Access information: Freely available.
Description: Database of information on mathematical software. Includes systematic linking of software packages with relevant mathematical publications (from ZentralblattMATH).
  Articles describe the background and technical details of a program or publications in which a piece of software is applied or used for research.


Web of Science Core Collection is a key resource

Web of Science Core Collection

Access information: Access on and off campus.

Citations and abstracts to millions of journal articles and conference proceedings from all subjects. Impact factors, h-indexes and email alerts available.

Detailed information about Web of Science


Citation Indexes: Science and Social Sciences (both 1900 onwards), Arts & Humanities (1975 onwards), Conference Proceedings in Science and Social Science & Humanities (both 1990 onwards), Books in Science and Social Sciences & Humanities (both 2005 onwards). KCI-Korean Journal Database (1980 onwards), SciELO Citation Index (1997 onwards).

Chemical Indexes: Current Chemical Reactions (1986 onwards), Institut National de la Propriete Industrielle structure data (1840 onwards), Index Chemicus (1993 onwards).


Finding articles which have in their reference lists a work you found useful ('cited reference searching'): 

Cited Reference Searching (pdf)


Journal Citation Reports: 

Impact Factors (pdf)




Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Provides access to the British Library’s Electronic Table of Contents of approximately 29,000 current journals and more than 52 million article citations and conference papers. The database covers all subjects and is updated daily. Table of Contents alerts are available.
Coverage: 1993 to date. Updated daily.
Additional information:

Information on how to access ZETOC using a Z39.50 client such as EndNote:

NHS Staff and other authorised users: The Knowledge Network