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Iowa State University

Science Research Guide   Tags: biographies, images, in-depth, popular_science, science, science_education, sciences, videos  

Guide to popular science and general interdisciplinary science resources.
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

General Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias are a good place to look for introductory information on almost any science topic.


Off-Campus Access

Most of our indexes, ejournals, and full-text articles can be accessed off-campus using your ISU Borrower ID and password.  See Set your Library password for more information. 

Distance Learning students: Can't find your ISUCard number? Login to AccessPlus.  Choose ISU IDs in the left sidebar to find your ISUCard number.  Your Borrower ID is the last 11 digits of your ISUCard number. (Problems? Contact  See also our DL Guide

Information Literacy Guides



If you need additional help with your search for information, feel free to contact the librarian who appears on the right side of this guide or Ask Us!  The Ask Us service provides help via instant messaging, email or in-person at the Help & Information Desk in the Parks Library.

Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles

The first 2 links below are basic indexes that would be a good starting place for a beginning-level paper related to any area of science.  Most of the articles in these 2 databases are available full-text.  The ISU Library also has MANY additional indexes to journal articles in a wide variety of scientific disciplines.  Click on the Find Articles tab to locate additional recommended indexes.

  • Academic Search Premier
    A good general-purpose database with journals and popular magazines. Many of the articles are full-text. Useful to anyone seeking information on topics in the areas of current events.
  • Access World News
    Full text access to over 1500 national and international newspapers. Exellent resource for locating information on current world events such as recent crop damage around the globe.

Finding Hot Topics

Need help picking a topic for your paper?  Here are some ways to locate hot topics in science:

  • Hot Topics (from NewsBank)
    Topics are arranged by broad disciplines. Scroll down to find science areas.
  • New York Times Topics
    Each topic page collects all the news, reference and archival information, photos, graphics, audio and video files.
  • Science Library Hot Topics
    From the Birmingham Science Library (in Great Britain). Each link contains a good introduction to the topic and then links out to related resources they provide in their library. We should have many of these same resources available at ISU.
  • Science News
    This is a magazine that publishes popular news stories on almost all areas of science. Scanning through tables of contents can generate ideas for current hot topics.
  • Special Reports on Key Topics in Science & Technology
    From New Scientist magazine. Some of these topics are fairly broad, so you may need to narrow them down for a research paper.

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