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Physics: Get Articles

This guide contains information about data (including for particle reference), databases, and book materials of particular interest to students and researchers in physics and astrophysics.

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.

Theses and Dissertations

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) provides a very comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses and is the official digital dissertations archive for the Library of Congress. The database provides full text for most dissertations after 1997, and older materials that have not been digitized are available for purchase as printed copies.

Databases Quick List

Accessing Articles from Off-Campus (not on YaleSecure or Yale Ethernet)

Which database should I use?

This compares the same search in 3 different article databases, in this case a search for François Englert, one of the Nobel Prizewinners in Physics, in order to give you some ideas about the differences between the databases' coverage. Englert works primarily in theoretical particle physics, and he will show more literature results in databases containing more information from that subfield. (For a list of databases to use for searching, see the left-hand column!)

Each of these searches returns different results based on the following:

  1. Content coverage. INSPIRE-HEP focuses on the particle physics literature (theoretical and experimental), so it might not contain papers that an author cowrote outside of that subfield.
  2. arXiv, as a preprint server, includes technical documents, lecture/talk transcripts, and other content that will probably never end up published in a journal.
  3. The Web of Science focuses on a set of core, esteemed journals that have passed its rigorous review process.
  4. Google Scholar (not included in the test), while often thought of as an article database, is actually just a search index similar to what exists in the basic Google Search. It will contain more open access content, pre- and postprints from faculty web sites, and predatory publisher material. The metadata for databases like the Web of Science is curated; for Google Scholar, it isn't, and it's often wrong. However, it's a good way to discover content that other tools might miss. You can learn more about effective Google Scholar searches on the Google Scholar library guide.



INSPIRE has recently had a major interface redesign, with divisions between different types of searches. The main literature search is the default when you visit the citation database. If you click on the author tab (shown), you can type in the name of a physicist to see how many publications are in the database. Englert has 121.

Note that, if you wanted to do a free search for people with his last name and first initial, you could do an author search using the instructions on the main search page.

An author search for F. Englert in INSPIRE.




Steps before the screen shot: I searched the Core Collection (not All Databases) for englert f* — the * being a wild card that will find all matches, regardless of whether he used his first initial or not. I added a field that would search Organization-Enhanced for the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

The search returned 74 results, including Englert's Nobel lecture.

Unfortunately, I cannot share searches from the Web of Science, but you can easily recreate it. One of the reasons why the results are so low is that the Web of Science relies on author information submitted in the papers. It is possible to locate additional papers in the Web of Science for a researcher if you know what you are looking for.

A Web of Science search for englert f*




Steps before the screen shot: I used the advanced search to do an author search for englert, f*. From the search, I clicked on the name of the correct Englert, which elimnated one search result — there is an early-career researcher in Physics who shares Englert's name, but with a middle initial.

The outcome of the search is here: 35 results. 

But why so few, if arXiv is the primary Physics preprint server? arXiv came online in the 1990s, decades after Englert started publishing. Many preprints will not be in the arXiv beacuse the workflow at the time did not include arXiv dissemination.

Science Research Support Librarian

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Database access not working and off-campus? Try using Yale's VPN, available here:

If you require any other assistance, please contact ITS or your librarian. Or, SCHEDULE A RESEARCH CONSULTATION.

Ask Yale Library maintains an archive of questions that is available for consultation as well.