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Physics & Astronomy

Session Goals

At the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Select and refine your topic.
  • Develop an effective search strategy.
  • Use article search engines or databases such as Scopus and Google Scholar to find articles on your topic.
  • Locate and order documents not held at the University of Calgary Library.
  • Cite your journal references using the Canadian Journal of Physics' instructions to authors.

Links to this guide -->


Define & refine your search

  • Define Your Topic - What are you trying to find?
  • Identify keywords, synonyms and search terms related to your topic.

 Information search process


  • Browse current Physics and Astronomy journals through the Library's collection of Ejournals for current developments in your area of interest.

Key databases & search engines

The University of Calgary Library provides access to numerous Databases or Article Search Engines.
These are accessible on the Library Home Page --> Select Research

Shortcut to Physics and Astronomy Databases


To access Physics Databases and Journal articles from off-campus you will need to use either your
  IT Username/ PasswordOR 


  • Scopus | Tutorials - Scopus is a comprehensive interdisciplinary database that includes approximately 20,000 peer-reviewed journals from over 5,000 international publishers. Like Web of Science, Scopus enables you to check how many times a specific journal article has been cited and calculates productivity measures for Authors such as the H-Index.
  • Google Scholar - Google Scholar provides a simple way to search the scholarly literature. Scholar searches across many disciplines and sources such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.
  • Web of Science - Covers 8500 research publications from 1900 to present.
  • - Includes over 500,000 pre-prints in Physics & Astronomy.



  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) that specify the logical relationship of your search terms
    • Terms typed into the same search box are ANDed together
  • Use quotes around two or more terms that you want to be searched as a phrase. E.g. "hydrogen spectrum"
  • Use truncation or wildcard symbols ( *, ? and/or $) with your terms to find plurals and variant spellings. E.g. "hydrogen spectr*"

Find books & journals that we don't have

If the Library does not have the journal or book you are looking for you can order it through the Library's Interlibray Loan Service (Select Library Homepage > Services > Interlibrary Loan).
You will not need to order any journals for this assignment but this is a service you may need to use in the future.

Turnaround time varies from several days to several weeks

Citing your sources

Information that you have used in your research must be properly cited. For PHYS 397 use the Canadian Journal of Physics instructions to authors for citing purposes. (See also: Canadian Journal of Physics article example.)

In general:

"In the bibliography, which follows the acknowledgments, references are numbered and listed in the order in which they are first cited in the text. Each reference must be cited in the text and designated therein by its unique key number typed on the line and in square brackets. In a reference to the periodical literature, initials precede the surnames of the authors, followed by the name of the periodical (abbreviated in the form used in CASSI ... ), the volume number, initial page number, and year in parentheses. ... If in doubt, authors should write the full name of the periodical.

References to books, conference proceedings, theses, etc., should include the name(s) and initials of the author(s), the title of the publication, the name(s) and initials of the editor(s), if any, the name of the publisher, the city and year of publication, and the page or chapter cited."  (



  1. D.R. Phillips. Czech. J. Phys. 52, S2, B49 (2002). doi:10.1007/s10582-002-0079-z.
  2. E. Braaten and H.W. Hammer. Phys. Rev. A, 67, 042706 (2003). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.67.042706.
  3. E. Braaten, H.W. Hammer, and M. Kusunoki. Phys. Rev. Lett., 90, 170402 (2003). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.90.170402.
  4. A. Grant. The era of multimessenger astronomy begins [Phys. Today blog], (online 2017 Oct 16). Retrieved 23 Oct 2017 from doi:10.1063/PT.6.1.20171016a.
  5. C. Nugent. Adventures of an asteroid hunter [TED talk], (online 2016 Feb). Retrieved 23 Oct 2017 from
  6. Johns Hopkins University. Did gravitational wave detector find dark matter? Johns Hopkins scientists offer hypothesis to solve longstanding mystery in physics. ScienceDaily [online 15 June 2016]. Retrieved 13 October 2016 from
  7. G.B. Arfken and H.J. Weber. Mathematical methods for physicists, sixth ed. Elsevier Academic Press, New York. (2005).
  8. H.A. Lorentz, A. Einstein, H. Minkowski, and H. Weyl. The principle of relativity: a collection of original memoirs on the special and general theory of relativity. Edited by A. Sommerfeld. Dover Publications, New York. (1952). pp. 111, 3.
  9. J.D. Lykken. 2010. arXiv:1005.1676 [hep-ph]
  10. M. Ortiz, R. Mayo, E. Biémont, P. Quinet, V. Fivet, G. Malcheva, and K. Blagoev. In 14th International School on Quantum Electronics: Laser Physics and Applications. Edited by P.A. Atanasov, T.N. Dreischuh, S.V. Gateva, L.M. Kovachev. Proceedings of SPIE, 6604, 66040N (2007).


Note: #4 and 5 are loosely based on the Can. J. Phys. style, but are not examples pulled from the journal.


Mendeley is a free software package that helps you

  • Organize your research documents

  • Automatically generate bibliographies

  • Import papers from other search engines and research software such as EndNote and Refworks

  • Is compatible with Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Unix

  • Collaborate with others and share documents in closed or public groups

  • Access your papers from anywhere online with your iPhone, iPad or iPod


Download Mendeley Desktop for Windows and other operating systems

How do I create a Mendeley Account?
A Mendeley account enables you to import articles into your account and access your collections from multiple computers

How to Write Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliography

Writing an Annotated Bibliography – University of Toronto - An excellent resource that discusses selection of sources, summarizing the argument of a source, and assessing the relevance and value of sources. Points out the various formats for annotated bibliographies and provides examples and vocabulary suggestions.

Annotated Bibliographies – University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Centre - This resource discusses various approaches or formats to consider when writing annotated bibliographies and provides examples for each.

Annotated Bibliographies Brought to you by The OWL at Purdue – Purdue University Online Writing Lab - A concise handout on annotated bibliographies that provides links for further assistance with specific steps; includes examples.

How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography – Cornell University Library – Prepared by Cornell University Library, this page provides guidance on the preparation of annotated bibliographies and includes a link to further information on “How to Critically Analyze Information Sources”.

How to write and Annotated Bibliography – University of California Santa Cruz - This comprehensive resource includes: definition, composition, purpose, examples and links to further information.

Contact the Physics & Astronomy Librarian

Send any questions, suggestions or comments to Jennifer Lee, Interim Liaison Librarian for Biological Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, Mathematics & Statistics

Phone: 403.220.3726
Send Email

Updated October 20, 2017

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