This is a guest post by Ellen Sexton, John Jay Librarian.
You have a brilliant idea to test in the lab; but has someone already done it? Or something similar? A quick search of the literature can inform your work. Scientists publish their best research reports as articles in journals. Here are three tools to make finding articles on your area of interest a bit easier:
1. A Better Google Scholar
If you like using Google Scholar at home, but are getting frustrated with pay-walls obstructing your access to articles, try using the link from the Library home page which goes through our proxy server and looks like this: http://ez.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/login?url=http://scholar.google.com Then your results will include links to whatever the library subscribes to:
SCOPUS is a really good finding tool for those times when you need to do a thorough literature search. SCOPUS searches over 20,000 peer-reviewed journals in biomedical, life, chemical, physical and some social sciences. It’s probably the best existing database for finding forensic science articles.
3. Web of Science
Web of Science searches articles published in over 8,000 highly regarded science journals, from all disciplines. It was the first database developed to show which articles have been cited most often; but other databases can do that now too. Use Web of Science to search for articles on a topic. Or search to see who has cited an article you already know about – this can be a great way of finding interesting and unexpected articles.
For more about finding science information, please visit John Jay College Library’s guides to Science http://guides.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/science and Forensic Science http://guides.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/forensicscience.