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FIG - Nano-Newton

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This page should help you with your library research assignment. Feel free to contact me with questions. You may also want to try the UO Libraries LibX Toolbar for your browser!

Answer the wrap-up question here.


Librarian forGeological Sciences, and Physics

ph: 346-3076

Find an article here:


The above search box is searching the following specific databases, that you might want to try individually:

Academic Search Premier

  • Good for its mix of popular, news and scholarly articles. You have to exercise your critical evaluation skills to help determine what's what. (Do NOT rely solely on their limit to peer-reviewed feature--it is not reliable.)
IEEE Xplore
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) provides full text access to world technical literature in computer science, electronics, optics, nanotechnology, and more.

Web of Science

  • Interdisciplinary science database, a heavily-used source for science literature. Highly recommended.
See also:

Google Scholar

  • Google for academics.

This worksheet will help you develop keyword searches that get results.


Find a book

in UOWorldCat (UO Libraries and beyond)
A few book search tips:
  • Use less specific terms than when searching for articles. E.g., if you want books that will tell you about gold nanowires, look for books on metal/metallic nanowires or even just nanowires.
  • UO WorldCat searches for articles, and many other formats besides books. To limit to books, click on book under format on the left side.
  • You may get better results if you do a Subject Heading search for a broad term. To do a search by Subject, go to Advanced Search. You also can click on the subject heading links at the bottom of the full record display for a book that you like, to get more like it.

Breaking nanotechnology news


Breaking physics news


Short Video: How to read a scientific journal article

Short Video: Evaluating Websites




Reference Sources

(Located in the Science Library)

Dictionary of Energy SCI REF TJ163.16 .D53 2006

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. (24 vols, bound in 12 vols.) SCI REF QC5 .E543 2004

  • Information on nanophase materials, photovoltaic devices, and much more.

Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics (4 vols) SCI REF QB14 .E534 2001

Encyclopedia of Physics (2 vols.) SCI REF QC5 .E545 2005

Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy (4 vols.) SCI REF TJ163.28 .M33 2001

  • Includes information on photovoltaics.

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology (20 vols) SCI REF Q121 .M3 2007

Springer Handbook of Nanotechnology, 2nd, rev. ed. (3 vols.) SCI REF T174.7 .S67 2006

What is What in the Nanoworld: A Handbook of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2nd ed. SCI REF T174.7 .B67 2008

(You must be on campus, or an authorized UO user if off campus, to access)

Encyclopedia of Mathematical Physics

  • More than you probably want to know on black holes, Hawking Radiation, and much more.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

  • This online collection includes a few scientific encyclopedias. Although nothing specific to physics there is some information relating to nanotechnology, alternative energy, etc. You can search the whole collection.

Oxford Reference - Physical Sciences & Mathematics

  • Mostly dictionaries, in physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics & statistics.

Compare the above reference sources with:

  • Do the articles have identified authors? Are the authors' credentials and affiliations available? Do the articles have references or bibliographies? If so, are there differences in the kinds of references given?
  • Wikipedia is a very handy, free Internet source, but it is not necessarily reliable. For a humorous demonstration of this phenomenon, watch this excerpt of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central. (Some improvements have been made to Wikipedia security since this was aired.)


Evaluating Sources

Articles for your in-class exercise:

Article #1
Article #2
Article #3
Article #4

This web page contains a wealth of information on evaluating information sources both in print and on the Web: Critical Evaluation of Information Sources

To determine whether a particular periodical (magazine, journal) is scholarly (peer-reviewed, refereed) or popular, see these pages:

What is "peer-review"?

Here are a couple of pdfs that provide good explanations of what it is (and is not), and why it's particularly important in the sciences:

(NB: both of the above are produced in the UK, so there are a few Britishisms that may not make sense)

Created by lnessel on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Jul 10, 2012
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