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Find articles, books, and learning opportunities in physics and astronomy

Physics databases

  • - arXiv is an openly accessible, moderated repository for scholarly articles in physics, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear sciences, quantitative biology and statistics.
  • Inspec - Covers the fields of physics, electronics, computer science, electrical, control, production and mechanical engineering. Look for "Cited by in Scopus" to find citing articles.
  • INSPIRE - High-energy physics literature.
  • SCOAP3 - Open access high-energy physics articles sponsored by the international SCOAP3 initiative.
  • ADS (Astrophysics Data System) - Publications in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, and arXiv e-prints.
  • SIMBAD Astronomical Database - Basic data, cross-identifications, bibliography and measurements for astronomical objects outside the solar system.
  • Einstein Papers Project - Collected papers of Albert Einstein.

Science & technology databases

Multidisciplinary citation indexes

Discovery tools

Databases A-Z

There are hundreds of databases available through McGill Library. Check out the Databases A-Z list by alphabet or by subject.

Search strategy

  1. Formulate a research question.
  2. Identify the main concepts.
  3. Brainstorm synonyms for the main concepts.
  4. Use Boolean operators, truncation, and phrase searching to build a search (see search tips below).
  5. Try your search out in different article databases (their coverage of the literature varies).
  6. Create a login in the database to save your searches and set up email alerts.

Search tips

OR results include any or all keywords (used to broaden a search)

AND results include all keywords (used to narrow a search)

* asterisk is used to search variations on a word stem (truncation)

“” quotation marks are used to search for an exact phrase


(nanolithography OR “nano lithography”) AND application*

The () parentheses are used to control the order in which Boolean operators are resolved. Operations within parentheses are resolved first followed by those outside the parentheses.

Download the search plan to help with building your search.


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Concept mapping

Concept mapping can help you articulate, clarify, and organize your knowledge of a research project. Maps can grow with you, and be used to communicate your progress.

Visit our concept mapping guide to learn more!

Concept map example

Resource key

  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library use
  • Catalogue record

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