How to Use this Guide
So you're looking for information about physics? You've come to the right place. This guide will help you navigate the frequently confusing yet highly rewarding world of research. It is separated into five categories:
- Books: Use this tab to learn how to find books and start searching for books in our catalogs.
- Articles and Databases: Go here to see which databases are best for physics, search for a specific journal or for a specific article.
- Websites: This page contains websites selected by the library experts.
- Handbooks, Dictionaries, etc: Check here for reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias that are specific to your subject.
- Search Tips: Find all sorts of search tips that will help you find exactly what you need.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to meet with a librarian about your specific topic, email email@example.com.
Create Your Library Accounts
Create Your Library Account
IIT belongs to the I-Share consortium: a group of more than 70 academic libraries in Illinois with access to more than 32 million items. Creating a library account allows you to have books delivered right to Galvin library (or another branch if that's more convenient for you). It usually takes 2-3 business days to have a book delivered.
You can also use your account to tag favorite items in the catalog so that you can easily find them again later.
Search for items in IIT's catalog.
Search for items in the I-Share catalog.
Create Your MyILL (interlibrary loan) Account
IIT subscribes to more than 60,000 online journals, but there may be others that you need access to. You can get copies of those articles delivered to you electronically. You can also request any books not available in the I-share catalog from more than 8,000 libraries around the world. It usually takes 2-3 business days to have a journal article e-mailed to you. Books take longer (more than a week) because they have to be mailed and shipped from outside of Illinois.
Search for items in the WorldCat catalog.
Read These Tips Before You Start
Librarians often find themselves repeating the same research tips when they meet with students and faculty. Taking a few minutes to read this list of helpful hints could save you tons of time when you are searching.
1. Always start from the library website or this guide when you want to access a database. Most databases need to know that you are authorized to access their materials. When you go to a database's web site it will not be able to identify that you are an approved user. When you go through an IIT library page you will be able to authenticate correctly and use the database right away.
2. Spend a few minutes test driving a database you've never used before. Check out the help guides, try a few searches, and see how this database may be different from ones you've used before.
3. Most databases don't search the way Google searches. Entering a long phrase such as "how computer automation is used in federal government" in one search box doesn't usually work in a database. Check the database's help section to learn how to best search that particular database.
3. There is no one perfect search. Try many searches in many places to find what you are looking for.
4. Take advantage of any "folders" or "lists" available in the database or library catalog. Use these to keep track of articles or books you will want to read later. The URL at the top of the page is often a session-specific URL, meaning it will only work that one time.
5. Does the library not have immediate access to the article or book you want? We can get you nearly every book or article you want to read using our I-Share catalog for books or MyILL for articles. These are fast and free services. Use the box above to create your accounts so you can begin requesting items.
6. Please let us know when you are having any troubles from choosing the best databases to fixing a dead link. We can't help or fix it if we don't know there's a problem. See our Ask a Librarian page to contact us by IM, email, phone or in person.
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