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PHY445 - Astrobiology: Articles

Designed for Astrobiology this guide will included resources not usually included in our biology class guides.

Find Articles in the Sciences

Researching in the Sciences can be a bit different than research you've done in other classes. Most scientific research you use should be recent (within 5 years).  Here are a few tips to help you find worthwhile things:

  • Use the Internet-- You may be able to find recent research and new discoveries on the World Wide Web. Instead of just using Google, go to first. 

  • Always read carefully -- As you read reports, blogs, articles, etc... Look for words that will point you in the right direction for other research (i.e. "An article in Science states..." -- Go and find that article!

  • Bibliographic Mining -- Look at the bibliographies of the materials you already have.  This is a  great place to find additional resources that will be helpful to your paper.  Looking at the citation information of the bibliography, you can usually determine from where that source originates.

  • Use the Full Text Finder -- The Full Text Finder will allow you to search for journal and magazine titles available through the OWHL's databases and Print collection.  It can tell you if the particular year and /or volume of a journal is available.

Search FAQ

Why can't I find anything in the databases?
The Science Databases (especially ScienceDirect) contain millions of articles! You should be searching carefully using the advanced search feature to limit your searches to specific subject areas and full text availability. Instead of just using keywords, you may need to be very specific in your searches.

Can I access databases off campus?
Indeed. When you are off campus, you will be asked to enter your last name and your PA ID number. If you have any problems, don't hesitate to contact the library at (978)749-4230.

What is Full Text?
Full text means that you will be able to read/view the entire text of the article - not just an index entry or abstract.

What is the Journal Finder?
The journal finder will search the OWHL collections (online and print) for the titles of specific journals. To use, enter the title of the journal you want to find.

Finding Research Journal Articles

When book information is too broad and general, articles in electronic databases can provide more narrow, subject-specific information.

The following are excellent first-stop databases for nearly any research topic.

Getting Started

To see a chart of all the databases the OWHL subscribes to, visit the E-Resources A-Z page. Once there, make sure to choose "Natural Sciences" as a Subject filter to only see those databases relevant to the sciences. 

Finding Research Articles in Astrobiology

There is one very specific database for scientific studies in astrobiology, astronomy, and physics. That database is the Astrophysics Data System (ADS). The ADS is really a library portal to all things astronomy or physics and is run by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA (SAO/NASA). It is housed at the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA. The ADS contains over 13.3 million links to most of the research in astronomy. 

The ADS library portal uses a unique searching form. If you haven't searched this database before, please make sure and take a look at this video.

Instructional Librarian

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Michael Blake
(978) 749-4234