Search for scientific information

The first tip is the main one: in order not to drown in the information sea, you need to be able to independently search for information.

First of all, you need to know that there are several types of publications. Their classification is based on different criteria and is regulated by GOST 7.60-2003. “Editions. The main 29 types. Terms and definitions” ( 7.60-2003). Based on the intended purpose, publications are scientific, popular science, industrial and practical, educational, reference, etc.

According to the nature of information, scientific publications are divided into:

monographs – books or brochures containing a complete and comprehensive study of one problem and written by one or more authors;

collections of scientific papers – collections of articles containing materials on a particular topic (published by scientific institutions, educational institutions or societies);

abstracts of conference reports – collections of preliminary materials published before the conference (abstracts, abstracts of reports);

materials of conferences – collections with the results of the conference (full texts of reports, recommendations, decisions);

abstracts of dissertations – abstracts of papers submitted for the degree;

preprints – preliminary materials published before the publication of the main edition, in which they will subsequently be placed.

According to the frequency of publication, publications are divided into non- periodic (they are published once and do not have a continuation) and serial (they are published during a period of time whose duration is not set in advance, usually in numbered issues or volumes that have the same title and design).

For a modern researcher, the main type of scientific publication is an article in a journal . Why an article? Because it promptly (unlike a monograph), but thoroughly (unlike a theses) covers a certain topic, with a detailed analysis of the material, reasoned generalizations and conclusions. Why in a magazine? Because the journal is the most accessible to the reader compared to all other publications (a well-established subscription mechanism that guarantees admission to libraries). It is also important that an article in a good journal undergoes rigorous peer review and careful editing, which serves as a certain guarantee of compliance with high standards of scientific information presentation. The more prestigious the journal, the tougher the selection of articles. In other words, an article in a journal is a certain compromise between efficiency, “thoroughness” and accessibility.

Domestic information resources

The main center of the current bibliography in Russia is the Russian Book Chamber ( ). All publications published in Russia are received and registered in it.

The largest information center on problems of the natural sciences is the All-Russian Institute of Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI) ( ).

Since 1953, VINITI has been publishing the Abstract Journal (RJ), containing abstracts (bibliographic description and summary) of articles from journals, collections, conference proceedings, monographs, reference books, patents, abstracts of dissertations, deposited manuscripts in all branches of the natural sciences. Approximately 1 million documents are registered in the RJ every year. RJ consists of 28 consolidated volumes and 40 separate issues (published monthly), which have author’s and subject indexes. Now RZh are published not only in paper, but also in electronic form.

In addition to abstract journals, VINITI publishes:

• Bulletin of signal information (SI) – thematic series under the general title “Content of Russian scientific journals” (table of contents for 800 scientific journals in Russia and CIS countries);

• express information – extended abstracts of the most interesting works;

• review information – collections containing one or more reviews.

The largest information portal with the current domestic bibliography is the Scientific Electronic Library e-LIBRARY.RU ( ). Contains tables of contents of 6500 Russian journals (abstracts are given for most articles), for 2050 of them there are full-text copies (and more than 1000 journals in the public domain!). The depth of retrospection is from 1995-1997, but for many journals only for the last few years. The portal also hosts electronic versions of foreign journals (for the period 1995–2004), originally acquired by the RFBR for all organizations that received grants from the foundation; Most of the releases are still open. It is possible to search by thematic rubricator, author’s and subject indexes.

Registration is required to access e-LIBRARY.RU resources.

State Public Scientific and Technical Library of Russia (GPNTB of Russia) ( ). On the site, in addition to the Electronic Catalog of Funds and the Catalog of Dissertation Abstracts, the following database is presented: “Russian Consolidated Catalog of Scientific and Technical Literature” (domestic and foreign books and periodicals on the natural sciences, technology, agriculture, medicine, received by the participating libraries project to create a Russian union catalogue); “Ecology: Internet resources”; “Ecology: science and technology” (includes not only books, but also articles from magazines); “Catalogue of electronic resources”; “Nanotechnologies: Internet Resources”; “Nanotechnologies: Russian Publications”.

The Russian State Library (RSL) ( ) is the country’s main library (the famous “Leninka”): the site contains electronic catalogs, including free access. Having a unique fund of dissertations, in 2003 the RSL created the “Electronic Library of Dissertations of the RSL”, in which in the Virtual Reading Room you can work with the full texts of dissertations and abstracts (a part of the project – “Open Electronic Library of Dissertations” is freely available).

The National Library of Russia (RNL) ( ) was founded in 1795. On the website of the library there is an electronic catalog of books in Russian (since 1980), a scanned array of cards from the General Alphabet Catalog (bibliographic records of books, abstracts of dissertations, periodicals and continuing editions 1725–1998). of their collections, from the BEN website you can go to the electronic catalogs of the largest libraries in Russia and the world, as well as to many free Internet resources on the natural sciences.

Foreign information resources

It should be recognized that the foreign current bibliography in the field of natural sciences, both in terms of breadth of coverage and convenience for users, is better developed than the domestic one. It is represented mainly by bibliographic and abstract databases – both universal and in individual areas. Previously, foreign current bibliographic indexes were published exclusively in printed form (for example, Current Contents, Biological Abstracts ). Now most databases are accessible via the Internet or they can be distributed on CDs.

In total, more than 170 different bibliographic databases in the field of natural sciences are currently supported in the world (the full list is given, for example, here:

Access to the same database can be organized from different platforms (both commercial and public). The most famous natural science databases are listed below.

Web of Knowledge is an integrated platform that includes data on articles from the most prestigious scientific journals, as well as information on the proceedings of the most important annual conferences, patents, chemical structures and scientific sites. The world leader in the field of scientific information retrieval, the unspoken standard for other similar systems. Most researchers in the world use this platform. Until recently, the platform was owned by the Institute for Scientific Information ( ISI ), Philadelphia, USA, which was founded in 1960 by Eugene Garfield, one of the fathers of scientometrics. ISI published the famous Science Citation Index (SCI), which took into account citations from reference lists of references from the world’s most important journals (in 1961 there were 600 of them, now there are about 10 thousand). The platform hosts several interrelated information products:

• Web of Science – contains information about articles (mostly with abstracts) and citations from 10,000 of the most prestigious (highly impactful) scientific journals (of which 123 are Russian) in natural and social sciences (depth of retrospection – since 1980). Based on five databases: Science Citation Index Expanded (natural sciences), Social Science Citation Index (social sciences), Arts and Humanities Citation Index (arts and humanities), Current Chemical Reactions (information from journals and patents on methods for the synthesis of chemical compounds) , Index Chemicus (DB on the structure of organic compounds and methods of their synthesis);

• Current Contents Connect is an electronic analogue of the printed edition of the same name, it includes tables of contents and abstracts of the world’s leading scientific journals. Includes: Agriculture, Biology and Environmental Sciences; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Chemical Medicine; life sciences; Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences; Engineering, Computing and Technology; Arts and Humanities;

• ISI Proceedings – specialized indexes (information about the most prestigious conferences, since 1990), Derwent Innovations Index (23 million patents from more than 40 international patent organizations, since 1963), INSPEC (information from 3400 journals, 2000 conference proceedings in the field physics, computer engineering, information technology; since 1969);

• BIOSIS – the largest database for all areas of biology; Approximately 250,000 new journal entry entries are added annually from over 100 countries; To date, more than 10 million abstracts have been accumulated. The oldest abstract journals Biological Abstracts (since 1926, 36 issues per year), Biological Abstracts/RRM ( Reports, Reviews and Meetings ), Zoological Record (since 1864) are associated with the DB;

• CAB ABSTRACTS – the largest database in the field of agriculture, generated since 1910, includes bibliographic descriptions of articles from journals, monographs, dissertations, technical reports;

• Journal Citation Reports and Essential Science Indicators – powerful tools for scientometric analysis (in the context of individual countries, scientific areas and journals). It is here that contains information about the degree of prestige of specific journals – their impact factors (number of times, how many times, on average, one article from a given journal was cited in two or five years after its publication, for more details see: /wiki/Impact_factor ).

· SCOPUS is the world’s largest bibliographic database, the main competitor of Web of Knowledge . Associated with Elsevier publishing house (Netherlands). The SciVerse platform has now been implemented (at the beta level so far), providing a single search through SCOPUS , ScienceDirect and a number of other database resources. Currently, the SCOPUS database contains 41 million records (70% of which include abstracts); includes material from 18,000 sources from 5,000 publishers worldwide; provides access to the MEDLINE database. It indexes not only journals, but also conference materials (there are about 3 million of them now). Unlike its main competitor, it “automatically links” patents and web pages to search results. In addition, most entries are provided with a direct link to the full text on the publishers’ websites, which eliminates additional efforts, firstly, to search for the site, and secondly, to search on the site itself. The disadvantage is the same as that of WoS – paid access.

The following search engines are used to search for information on the Internet: Google (, Yahoo! (, Bing (, Yandex (, AltaVista (, Rambler (, Dogpile (

In addition to universal search engines, there are those that are specially “sharpened” for the search for scientific information. Google services are leading among them – Google-Scholar (Academy) ( and Google-Books ( Other useful search engines specifically designed for researchers are Scirus (, Science Research Portal (, Ebook PDF Search Engine (, PDF for ME (www.

To store information, you can use folders on your computer, or you can use directories edited by volunteers: Open Directory Project (, MavicaNET (, Social Bookmarks for Memory ( .

The best way to store bibliographic information is to use specialized (free) programs: Mendeley ( and Zotero (

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