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Orienting Yourself: What New-to-Yale Researchers in Physics, Earth & Planetary Sciences, and Physics Need to Get Started: Resource Tips

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.

Open Access at Yale

Yale University Library supports many open access initiatives through membership fees. These include preprint servers like the arXiv and medRxiv, Knowledge Unlatched, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, Reveal Digital, the Technical Report Archive & Image Library, and the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics. Read more about our open access initiative support here.

Are you about to publish? Yale Library has agreements with some publishers that provide discounts when you publish with them. For PLOS and Cambridge University Press, the article processing charges to publish open access are completely waived. To learn more about your options and the details of our agreements, visit the library's guide to open access publishing support.

Guidelines on what the library supports and our strategy for choosing initiatives are available here.

Some of our databases have filters that allow you to see what is being published open access, including the Web of Science and Scopus. If you want to see what Yale authors have published under open access licenses, for example, do a search on Yale University using the Institution/Affiliation filter, then narrow down to open access in the results.

Helpful Tips

In Quicksearch, you can search for general topics and narrow down to specific subjects using the facets to the left of your search results. This can limit resources to specific date ranges, languages, locations, online/offline, dissertations, and so on. Searching for "The Vegetation of Antarctica through Geological time" (note: capitalization isn't meaningful) with quotation marks because it's a specific book title on will push you to a generic landing page where you can pathfind your way to what you want. I've circled the things in the screenshot below that will take you through to the catalog. As in the screenshot below, there is sometimes some generosity if you don't completely mimic the book title.

You can go to Books+ to see more about what we have in print. This is not necessary right now, though, because we've looked for a book title. Note that there are book reviews coming up in the journal results, though.

On a record, you can also click on the subject terms assigned to a book relevant to your research. This will help you with digital serendipity by calling up books from across YUL that have those same subject tags. 

Catalog record for Vegetation of Antarctica through geological time. The subject terms are highlighted.

Clicking on the subject terms will show you the subject terms in the hierarchy as shown. If we want to see what is about these subjects in general, regardless of where something like "Devonian" may appear, we can search for the subject term Devonian as a subject term using the subject search in either the main search box (using the drop-down menu) or in the advanced search.

Subject search for Devonian.

In the old search interface, Orbis, you have a really interesting option that might be helpful to you. Library of Congress call numbers, which appear in either the catalog record or on the print spine (e.g., QK980 C35X 2012), can be searched. These call numbers are based on book topics, and you can locate other materials related to the book of interest to you with this search feature. 

An image showing that the old Orbis catalog can search by Library of Congress call number.Here, I'm searching for QK980, which will show me — in alphabetical order — everything with that subject.

A search for QK980 in Orbis.

While a lot of papers appear in Google Scholar, the Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) is the best place to go if you want to:

  • Analyze articles' citation performance by author.
  • View the research performance of a department (usually best done by searching on addresses + institutions).
  • Discover which papers are associated with a particular grant.
  • View a two-way citation tree — or, papers cited by a paper plus papers citing a paper.

If you want metrics about social impact, Scopus is actually better — if an article has been shared frequently on social media, Scopus will have a page devoted to that. It also disambiguates authors via its author search (but for common names, it can get difficult and inaccurate).

The Journal Citation Reports (by Clarivate Analytics) will help you determine the performance of your journal articles — and find places where you can submit new papers. Disciplines are often one of the categories. (If this tells you we don't have access, just refresh the page.)

What is ORCID?

ORCID provides you with a unique identifier — an Open Researcher and Contributor ID — and a mechanism for linking your research outputs and activities to your ORCID. Yale is an ORCID member.

How is it useful to me?

ORCID is integrated into many systems used by publishers, funders, institutions, and other research-related services. Some publishers now require an ORCID for the primary (or all) co-authors when submitting a paper.


  • Distinguishes you and ensures your research outputs/activities are correctly attributed to you.
  • Reliably and easily connects you with your contributions and affiliations, including employment, funding, scholarly works, and education.
  • Reduces form-filling — again, many publishers, funders, and research-related services now have ORCID sign-ins and integrations.
  • Improves recognition and discoverability for you and your research outputs.
  • Is sometimes required by journal manuscript submission systems and grant application forms.
  • Is persistent — you can use it throughout your research career.

In addition, if you have a common name or plan to change your name in the future, ORCID can help others find your older papers.

Watch Why ORCID? to learn more:

How do I register?

Go to Click Institutional Account and type in Yale University. From here, you can log in with your Yale credentials. If you don’t already have an account, ORCID will guide you through the three-minute account creation process.

Where can I learn more?

Learn more about ORCID at or in the Yale Library ORCID guide at