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General Science including Biology, Environmental & Geological Sciences: Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet

Environmental Sciences Tip Sheet



By Robert Klapthor, UTEP Science Reference Librarian



1) Full list of UTEP Environmental Science databases:

   Science and Engineering


NOTE: Search first in the Academic Search Complete database. That way you will find out where your research topic is being published and thus be able to search the appropriate subject database. Another good starting point would be the ScienceDirect or Web of Science databases.


Other useful related UTEP database collections:


2) Full list of UTEP Geology databases:



3) Full list of UTEP Biology databases:


4) Full list of UTEP Chemistry databases:



4) For spectral data use the SDBS: Spectral Database for Organic Compounds:



5) Key tip when installing the SciFinderScholar software for searching the Chemical Abstracts database.

A) Follow the directions on the library website. Be very sure you create the folder for the software.

B) You will download two zipped files from the library. The large one is the SciFinderScholar search software & the very small file (the site preference/.prf file) contains the login information.

C) Unzip the files and follow the installation routine.

D) After installation SciFinder will try to make a connection to Chemical Abstracts. If you are unable to make a connection to CA the usual problem is that the site .prf file did not install to your scholar folder. In this case just locate your unzipped site .prf file & drag it into your scholar folder. This will solve the connection problem.

E) To use SciFinder from home you will have to set up a VPN (virtual private network) connection which is an option available to you after you login to you’re space.


6) For projects involving chemical reactions & syntheses remember to search the CrossFire Beilstein (organic chemistry) and CrossFire Gmelin (inorganic & organomettalic chemistry) databases. To use these databases you will first have to download & install the CrossFire searching software. This software will allow you a wide range of structure searching options in these databases.


7) NIST Chemistry WebBook: 



8) Chemical safety data:



9) Why doesn’t UTEP have access to all the journals available from ScienceDirect? This is because of Elsevier’s pricing method of requiring additional subscriptions for their newer journal acquisitions. The journals subscribed to by UTEP will have a green icon before the volume number. In a similar fashion Elsevier requires special (large: $200,000 to $500,000+) one time purchases for each of their 26 archival sections for their pre-1995 backfiles. The UT System has purchased about half of these archival sections.


10) Citation tracing: Use the Web of Science database. The ScienceDirect database also allows you to trace citations within the ScienceDirect journal collection.


11) Journal impact factors & statistical rankings: Use the Journal Citation Reports database. Note: Only about 9,000 journals are listed in JCR.

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