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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!

How do you usually start researching a topic? Answer here.

Answer 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 engineering, computer science, electronics, and more. We have full-text access to many of the journals, but not the conference proceedings.

Web of Science

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


  • National Library of Medicine database for medical sciences

Please note that we do not have access to the journal Advances in Space Research. You can request any article that we do not have access to through Inter-Library Loan and receive it in 3-5 days. 

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., use broad subject terms such as space flight and human factors.
  • 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.
  • Some titles of interest might be:
Back to the Astronomy Cafe: More questions and answers about the Cosmos from "As the Astronomer" SCI QB52 .O35 2003

Bad Astronomy:  misconceptions and misuses revealed, from astrology to the moon landing 'hoax' SCI QB44.3 .P58 2002

Biological and medical research in space: an overview of life sciences research in microgravity SCI QH327 .B535 1996

Biology in space and life on earth : effects of spaceflight on biological systems SCI QH327 .B545 2007

The scientific exploration of Mars SCI QB641 .T285 2010

Space and life: an introduction to space biology and medicine SCI QH327 .P5213 2004

Spacefaring: the human dimension  SCI TL1500 .H37 2001


Breaking space missions news



How to read a scientific journal article

Evaluating Websites




Reference Sources

Print (Located in the Science Library)
Atlas of the Solar System SCI REF QB501 .M687 1983

The Biomedical Engineering Handbook SCI REF R856.15 .B56 1995

Dictionary of Biomedical Sciences SCI REF R121 . G623 2002

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

Encyclopedia of the Solar System SCI REFQB501 .E53 2007
The Solar System (3 vols) SCI REF QB501 .S625 1998
(* = 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 and medical encyclopedias. You can search the whole collection.
Life into Space: space life sciences experiments, Ames Research Center, Kennedy Space Center, 1991-1998
  • An overview of space life sciences missions, payloads and experiments developed and/or managed by NASA Ames Research Center and NASA Kennedy Space Center.
NASA Life Sciences Data Archive: active, searchable archive that provides information and data from 1961 through current flight and flight analog studies involving human, plant and animal subjects.

*Oxford Reference Online

  • Online dictionaries and other reference books in all subjects, including biology, medicine physics and astronomy. There is even a Dictionary of Space Exploration!
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.)

Citing Sources


UO Libraries Guide to Citing Sources in Research Papers

Using Scientific Literature in Biology Courses
  • This was developed specifically for Earlham College biology students by Sara Penhale, but it is a very useful guide. It includes helpful information on primary vs. secondary literature and when to use one or the other, and general advice about when to cite, and avoiding plagiarism..


Evaluating Sources

Articles for your in-class exercise:

Article #1
Article #2 click on the PDF Full Text link to the left
Article #3

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 Aug 20, 2012
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