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Searching for Science Generalities Fred O’Bryant Applied Sciences Librarian Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library University of Virginia 2006 What We’ll Cover… Some basic definitions Major resources (mostly online) for researching general science and engineering topics

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searching for science

Searching for Science

Generalities

Fred O’Bryant

Applied Sciences Librarian

Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library

University of Virginia

2006

what we ll cover
What We’ll Cover…
  • Some basic definitions
  • Major resources (mostly online) for researching general science and engineering topics
  • History of science resources
  • An experiment or two
  • Hands-on work
what is science
What Is Science?

A way of learning about the physical universe by applying the principles of the scientific method, which include making empirical observations, proposing hypotheses to explain those observations, and testing those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways.

Science also refers to the organized body of knowledge that results from scientific study.

Adapted slightly from NOAA’s Coral Reef Information System webpage

let s do some science
Let’s Do Some Science…

…with Falling Bodies

the essence of science
The Essence of Science
  • Observe
  • Propose
  • Test
  • Record
  • Modify
  • Repeat as often as necessary…
categories of science
Categories of Science
  • Physical Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Applied Sciences
  • Mathematics
natural science
Natural Science

The study of the physical world…

…rather than of divine processes.

mathematics
Mathematics

Not a science, strictly speaking.

physical science
Physical Science
  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Weather
life science
Life Science
  • Biology & Botany
  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology & Environment
  • Genetics
  • Medicine
  • Psychology
applied science
Applied Science
  • Aerospace
  • Biomedical
  • Civil
  • Chemical
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Materials Science
  • Systems
lc science classifications
LC Science Classifications
  • BF Psychology
  • HA Mathematical Statistics
  • Q Natural Science
  • R Medicine
  • S Agriculture
  • T Applied Sciences and Technology
generalities
Generalities

Broad topics

All fields

Typical undergrad or educated layperson

Databases with non-technical coverage

Databases with highly technical coverage but a broad subject base

life blood of the sciences
Life Blood of the Sciences
  • InfoTrac OneFile
  • Lexis-Nexis
  • CQ Researcher
  • Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
  • Ei Compendex
  • Web of Science
  • Factiva
history of science
History of Science

Scientific Biographies

history of science47
History of Science
  • America: History & LifeCovers the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to present. Covers material published since 1964.
  • Historical Abstracts Covers the history of all the world except North America back to 1450 CE. Covers material published since 1954.
  • Periodicals Archive Online (PAO)Valuable for its coverage further back in time than America History & Life and Historical Abstracts, and for its links to full text.
  • L'Année philologique sur InternetThe standard index for ancient Greece and Rome.
  • International Medieval BibliographyThe standard index for the European Middle Ages.
history of science48
History of Science
  • ATLA Religion Database

Provides international coverage on all aspects of religious studies including the religious and ethical aspects of technology and medicine.

  • Philosopher’s Index

Provides indexing and abstracting from books and over 300 journals of philosophy and related disciplines.

  • Iter—Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Includes over 700,000 citations pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700).

  • Proquest Digital Dissertations

Information on over 2 million dissertations and theses published since 1861

biography
Biography
  • Scientific and Engineering Biographies

BSEL subject guide page

  • Dictionary of Scientific Biography

BSEL reference collection; covers classical to modern times but no living persons

  • Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science

BSEL reference collection; from ancient times

to the mid-20th century

  • Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century

BSEL reference collection; includes portraits

still more you can do with
Still More You Can Do with

Calculate:

What is the square root of 4823650? How many cubic feet are in

a cubic mile? 50 meters is how many yards? How much does a

gallon of liquid weigh?

Dictionary:

Use the define: function to get definitions of terms.

Search by Number:

Parcel tracking IDs, UPCs, patents and other specialized numbers

and there s more than just google
Search Engines

Athenus

EEVL

Globalspec

Science.gov

Scirus

Metasearch Engines

Ixquick

Mooter

And There’s More Than Just Google!
  • Directories
  • BUBL
  • DefenseLINK
  • INFOMINE
want to do some more science
Want to Do Some More Science?
  • Heavy, Heavy Hangs over Your Head: How Much Does a Thunderstorm Weigh?
  • It’s a Long Way to Tipperary – and a Whole Lot Farther to the Nearest Star
now it s your turn

Now It’s Your Turn!

Time for a Hands-on Exercise…

thank you
Thank You!

Fred O’Bryant

Applied Sciences Librarian

Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library

E-Mail: jfo@virginia.edu

March 2006