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Physics Subject Guide


Databases & Indices for Finding Physics Articles

Compendex via Engineering Village 2

Index with citations/abstracts only 1970 - present:
Citations with abstracts (no full-text) from international engineering journals, conference proceedings, technical reports and trade publications.

Dissertations and Theses

Index 1861-present with full text for dissertations 1997 to present:
Includes bibliographic citations and full-text of doctoral dissertations and some masters' theses from over 1,000 graduate schools and universities dating back to 1861. A good source of comprehensive literature reviews.

Meteorological & Geoastrophysical Abstracts (MGA)

Index with citations/abstracts only 1974-present:
Contains records drawn from the World's literature on meteorology, climatology, atmospheric chemistry and physics, astrophysics, hydrology, glaciology, physical oceanography and environmental sciences. Summaries from over 600 journal titles, as well as conference proceedings, books, technical reports and other monographs are included.

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Index with citations/abstracts, some full text:
Access to most of the astronomical/planetary sciences/solar physics literature and a large part of the Physics and Instrumentation literature. For most astronomy journals, coverage of the reference information extends back to volume 1. For the Instrumentation and Physics journals, coverage of the reference information is typically back to 1975.

SciFinder Scholar Database

Index with citations/abstracts only 1907-present:
Provides access to Chemical Abstracts from 1907 to the present covering all areas of chemistry and chemical engineering; good source of patent information. Special software is required if accessing from outside of the library.

Web of Science

Index with citations/abstracts only 1980-present:
Multidisciplinary citation searching index covering the journal literature of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Covers approximately 7,500 journals selected by ISI using citation counts.


A selected list of journals currently held by Hamilton Library in print and/or electronic format

Physics Journals in Alphabetical Order by Title (compiled by Joe Murphy, 2006)

Physics Journals by Subject (compiled by Joe Murphy, 2006)

Call numbers and ISI Journal Impact Factors are included for each journal listed.

The Journal Impact Factor is a calculated "measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year, " helpful in evaluating the relative importance of a journal in its field. The impact factor "is calculated by dividing the number of current citations to articles published in the two previous years by the total number of articles published in the two previous years." (JCR CD).

Journal Impact Factors presented here are from the 2004 edition of the Journal Citation Reports®. Current Impact Factors, along with other "journal performance metrics," including immediacy index, and cited half-life are available at the Journal Citation Reports® on the Web (JCR)

HighWire Press free online

Largest repository of free, full-text, peer-reviewed articles.

Institute of Physics (IOP) Electronic Journals service

With full text from 1993 to current, the IOP Electronic Journals service provides links to all IOP journal homepages, including free access to full text of all articles published in IOP journals within the last 30 days. Also includes events calendar.

Springer Publishing Forum for Science

Allows you to search for journal articles in chemical sciences, computer science, economics, engineering, environmental sciences, geosciences, life sciences, mathematics, medicine and physics. Full text articles are available as PDFs.

Wiley InterScience

Index (with partial f ull text) Full text of over 300 leading scientific, technical, medical, and professional journals.


This link leads to a list of useful physics reference books at Hamilton Library.

Physics Reference Shelf
Organized by subfields of physics, these books consist of handbooks, encyclopedias, and tables, etc.

Physics Call Numbers: QC1 - QC999
Most Physics materials can be found within this range of Library of Congress call numbers

QC120-168.85 Descriptive and experimental mechanics
QC170-197 Atomic, molecular, relativity, quantum theory, solid-state physics.
QC221-246 Acoustics.
QC310.15-319 Thermodynamics
QC350-467 Optics
QC501-766 Electricity and magnetism
QC770-798 Nuclear and particle physics
QC801-809 Geophysics. Cosmic physics
QC811-849 Geomagnetism
QC851 - 999 Meteorology, Climatology (QC883-883.2 Cosmic relations)

Astronomy related:
QB460-466 Astrophysics (General)
QB980-991 Cosmogony, Cosmology

Map of Call Number locations within Hamilton Library

Preprint Servers and Gray Literature

Gray, or Grey literature, frequently referenced by researchers, consists of technical reports or other documents not published commercially in journals or books, is available through such web resources as CERN and e-print archive

A full automated electronic archive for research papers in physics, math, non-linear science, computer science and quantitative biology.

Set up an e-mail alert to have links to preprints sent to your e-mail mailbox, see to set up an auto-alert.


National Technical Information Service. Search for reports on government funded research. Index goes back to 1990 and provides links to downloading papers.

High-Energy Physics Literature Database

Search more than 500,000 high-energy physics related articles, including journal papers, preprints, e-prints, technical reports, conference papers and theses, comprehensively indexed by the SLAC and DESY libraries since 1974.

GrayLit Network

GrayLit Network makes the gray literature of the U.S. Federal Government accessible through a search engine that taps into distributed gray literature archives.


Patent Server

Index (with citations/abstracts only): Patent Server provides access to more than 26 years (first entries date from January 5, 1971) of U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) patent descriptions as well as the last ten years of images.

US Patent and Trademark Office

Index (with citations/abstracts only): 1790- US Patent and Trademark Office search engine with full-text back to 1976 and page images back to 1790.

SciFinder Scholar Database

Provides access to Chemical Abstracts from 1907 to the present; indexes patents from all over the world giving the ability to trace patents to English language sources. Special software is required if accessing outside of the library.

Finding Grant Sources

Community of Science (COS) Funding Opportunities Database

Index (with citations/abstracts only): Information on funding opportunities announced by federal agencies, state/provincial organizations, commercial entities, non-profit foundations, professional associations, etc. with an international scope. The largest and most comprehensive research-funding database on the Web. Updated daily, includes more than 23,000 records, representing over 400,000 funding opportunities and grants worth over $33 billion.

FC Search: The Foundation Center's Database

Index (with citations/abstracts only) CD-ROM: Ask at the Business-Humanities-Social Sciences Reference Desk.
FC Search provides access to information about all known active foundations in the US, numerous corporate giving programs and recent grants of $10,000 or more.

Foundation Grants Index

Index (with citations/abstracts only) CD-ROM: Ask at Business-Humanities-Social Sciences Reference Desk.
This database has descriptions of 100,000 grants of $10,000 or more awarded by the nation's largest independent, corporate and community foundations.


University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Physics and Astronomy

Resources in Physics (Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division of the Special Libraries Association)

Internet physics resources selected by physics librarians. Includes links to directories, conferences, biographies, associations, institutions, references on history, education, and tables, publications, and pre/e-print servers and sources, as well as news and other links.

NIST Scientific and Technical Databases: Physics

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lists of NIST sources of physical reference data.

See also NIST Physical Reference Data for links to NIST online databases of physical data

Information Literacy and Instruction Tools

Report of the Joint APS-AAPT Task Force on Graduate Education in Physics

An examination of the current status of graduate education in physics by a joint committee of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers with recommendations for improvement in the curricula.

Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology

Created by a joint task force of the American Library Association, the Association of College & Research Libraries Division and the Science & Technology Section of the ACRL on Information Literacy for Science and Technology

Information Literacy in Physics

Part of the ALA/ACRL Information Literacy in the Disciplines this website gathers physics specific Standards or Guidelines from Accrediting Agencies & Professional Associations, as well as examples and papers of successful instruction methods.

ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

The competencies as identified by academic librarians to achieve information literacy in higher education. Information is defined as the ability to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

(LILO) Learning Information Literacy Online at UH!

UH librarian created online information literacy tutorial that guides students through the process of researching and writing a college level research paper.


Created by Joe Murphy, UH Library & Information Science Program MLIS candidate
August 2006 | Updated continuously by UHM Librarians


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