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Orienting Yourself: What New-to-Yale Researchers in Physics, Earth & Planetary Sciences, and Physics Need to Get Started: What Does A Subject Librarian Do?

Welcome to Yale! This cross-disciplinary subject guide is designed to get you familiar with the research resources we have available for you at the university, including our collections, our people, and our institutional partners.

Research Consultations

Many people don't know what library liaisons do, and it's okay to be uncertain! This list is by no means comprehensive, but here's some of what you can talk to me about:

  • Advise you on constructing literature/article queries — many people come into graduate school just knowing a few
  • Discuss how to extract and use research impact metrics (e.g., the h-index, locating publication and citation statistics for fields and subfields, finding Yale-affiliated papers in databases in a specific research area, discussing bibliometric network visualization and data cleaning—bibliometrics is in many ways a subfield of Library & Information Science!)
  • Work with students, faculty, and staff on using Mendeley, BibTeX (and natbib), or Zotero for managing their references and citations.
  • Show you how to use Yale University Library services and resources
  • Help you locate subject-specific data and statistics
  • Consult on data discovery and related information topics
  • Orient you to new products and services

I'm available to meet one-on-one, within lab groups, at my drop-in hours, or via phone/email. Use the scheduler below to book an appointment. As of Fall 2021, some in-person appointment options are available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Virtual appointments are available Monday-Friday unless I am on vacation. The Schedule Appointment button shows my full availability.

Collection Services

We collect so many resources! I manage the subject funds for physics, earth and planetary sciences, and linguistics. In astronomy, the department manages their current research collection, but I do collaborate with the department on some purchases (generally electronic things).

You can use purchase requests (go to the Marx Library homepage; in the menu, go to Library Services > Purchase Request) to ask for new materials or use this link.

A big part of what we do is troubleshooting (because Internet). Email me if something isn’t working. I will escalate your question to e-resources if it cannot be resolved quickly. 

Outreach Services

Outreach includes coming to department events, participating in orientations, giving tours, and similar activities. Here's some more of what I do:

  • Send emails to you about resource updates and point-of-need information, such as where the book drops are in the winter months
  • Communicate about events at Marx Library open to students, such as the Game Night
  • Informal conversations


The Library offers many workshops to the Yale community. You can find a full listing of workshops here (and it's typically complete by the second week of the semester). Beyond workshops about information resources, we have a statistical lab, data management librarian, and GIS librarian — they offer many workshops of interest to physical and earth scientists.

Some workshops I offer (either alone or in collaboration with other librarians):

  • Scholarly communication, impact, and citation databases' h-index and metrics capabilities
  • ORCID, researcher profiles, and other ways to promote your work
  • Library database (ADS/Astrophysics Data System; Web of Science; Scopus; &c.) and Google Scholar literature searching
  • Citing in LaTeX/Overleaf, BibTeX, biblatex, using Zotero with LaTeX

In-course instruction: For specific classes at any level. Many undergraduate students have introductions to Humanities resources, but not to Science ones. Learning digital library systems can be difficult because they’re so different from search engines. This is important for you to know if you TA or interact with undergraduates in your lab.

Within lab groups/departments: By group request, special topics possible.

Beyond Your Subject Librarian: Other Resources at Marx Science and Social Science Library