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Astronomy and Astrophysics

by Sheena Campbell – January 6, 2021

Welcome to the library subject guide for Astronomy and Astrophysics! UC Davis Library provides a wealth of  subscription and licensed resources that can help students, faculty, and researchers identify articles, proceedings, reports, data and books in a print or electronic format. The following guide will point you to a selection of specialized and related resources in astronomy and related fields.

Sheena Campbell

Student Services Department
Student Services Librarian


In this Guide:

There are numerous databases to help support your research in astronomy related areas of study. Depending upon your topic and purpose you might want to focus on multidisciplinary databases (e.g. Web of Science) or a more specialized database (e.g. NASA ADS ). If you do not know where to start, look at a multidisciplinary database such as Web of Science or Ask a librarian for recommendations.

Use Web of Science to find scholarly papers in all disciplines, including astronomy and astrophysics. This database can also be used to identify articles that cite an author or article that you specify.

Search citations for research literature in the fields of electronics, computer science, physics, and electrical, control, production, and mechanical engineering.

Astrophysics Data System: a core database for finding astronomical articles and data.

Preprints for physics, mathematics, nonlinear sciences, computer science and quantitative biology.

Searches American Institute of Physics (AIP) publications along with some other publishers such as American Physical Society

IOPscience is an online service providing journal content published by IOP Publishing.

A database of particle physics literature maintained and run by the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Many citations are to preprints or e-prints hosted at SLAC.

Indexes journals, conference proceedings, trade publications, and book series in the sciences and more.

SCOAP3 has converted key journals in the field of High-Energy Physics to Open Access at no cost for authors.

Database of NRAO papers

If you are looking for  popular or scholarly science journals use the following:

Academic Search Complete (ASC) provides coverage of multidisciplinary, full-text academic journals to support scholarly research in all areas of the arts, humanities and the social, life and physical sciences.

JSTOR provides Full-Text access to back files of hundreds important scholarly journals in nearly 50 disciplines spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences and the sciences.


A searchable index to Optical Society of America (OSA) articles and conference proceedings with links to full text.

Online conference proceedings from the American Institute of Physics (AIP). The proceedings library also offers the ability to search AIP-published journals.

The SPIE Digital Library is a comprehensive, online tool for locating papers on optics, photonics, optoelectronics, and imaging. Subject coverage is broad across optical technology, including astronomy, aerospace, remote sensing, biomedical optics, communications & fiber optics, electronic & medical imaging, lasers, microelectronics & micromachining, nanotechnology, optical physics, chemistry & biology, and signal & image processing.


Library Catalog  (formerly Harvest Catalog)

The Library Catalog tells you what the UC Davis library owns, what the call number is, where it is located, and whether or not it is checked out.  If there is an electronic version that we subscribe to, the link will be in the catalog.
Use the catalog to locate books, journals, government documents, dissertations, maps, music scores & recordings, movies, and any other materials the library owns.

MELVYL UC  Library Catalog                  Melvyl Help

The MELVYL catalog tells you what all UC campus libraries own, and also searches other institutions.  As with the UCD Library Catalog, MELVYL gives records for books, journals, government documents, dissertations, maps, music scores & recordings, movies, and other materials.
MELVYL does index some articles but is not a good option for searching for articles in the sciences.

The REQUEST button:   allows you to request items from other institutions (UC and non-UC).

GOOGLE Books                                Google Books Help

Library catalogs only search catalog entries (author, title, subject indexing, etc) not the full text of the book
Google Books searches full-text of books (only titles that Google has scanned), but you cannot access most of them (because they are still under copyright)

But you can use Google Books to identify titles you might be interested in.
–Use Google Books to search for phrases or topics you are intereted in (works well for technical terms).
–Then search for the title of the book(s) in the UCD Library Catalog or Melvyl

WorldCat Catalog

OCLC catalog: millions of records for books, journal titles and materials in other formats from approximately 12,000 libraries worldwide.  Coverage: 1000 A.D. to the present.

Reference books: Encyclopedias, Handbooks, and Dictionaries

These are great sources for introductions to a topic, background on a topic, definitions, histories, chronologies, and data.

Available online or in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, call no. QD65.C4.

  • Treatise on Geochemistry, 2014: v.1 Meteorites and cosmochemical processes – v. 2 Planets, asteroids, comets and the solar system

Available online

From the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Categories include Physical Constants, Units, and Conversion Factors, Atomic Spectroscopic Data, Molecular Spectroscopic Data, Nuclear physics, Condensed Matter physics, and X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Data.

Available online or in print at PSE Library, call no. QB136 .Z65 1990

Available in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, call no. QB14 .E525 2001

Available in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, call no.  QB14 A873 1992

Available in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, call no. QB14 A88 1987

 Available online and earlier editions in print at PSE Reference QB501 .E53 2007

Available online

Available online and earlier editions in print at PSE Reference

Available in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, QB14 .D52 2003

Available in print at PSE Library, call no. QB14 .M55 2001

Available in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, call no. QB14 .K497 2002

Available online and in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, call no.  QB14 .D53 2001

Available in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, call no. QB14 R66 1988

Available online and in most recent editions in print at PSE Library, Reference Collection, Call no. QB8 U6 A77

Available at PSE Library, Reference Collection, call no. QB63 A1 S5

Available online, and earlier editions in print at PSE Library, Reference Collections, call no. QB9 A5

Selection of Online Astronomical Data Sources:

VizieR provides access to the most complete library of published astronomical catalogues and data tables available on line organized in a self-documented database.

NED is a database of ~750,000 extragalactic objects with bibliographic references and basic data.


Over 500,000 aerospace-related citations, over 200,000 full-text online documents, and over 500,000 images and videos are available in the three collections that are integrated in NTRS. Types of documents in NTRS include: conference papers, journal articles, meeting papers, patents, and research reports.
Coverage: Various Dates

NTRL (National Technical Reports Library) is from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). NTRL indexes government-sponsored research, development and technical reports and provides full-text access to reports that have been digitized.

Provides access to and transfer of scientific and technical information for DoD personnel, DoD contractors and potential contractors, and other U.S. government agency personnel and their contractors.

SciTech Connect consolidates the contents of OSTI’s Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database. Provides free public access to over 230,000 full-text documents and bibliographic citations of Department of Energy (DOE) research report literature.  Documents are primarily from 1991-present and were produced by DOE, the DOE contractor community, and/or DOE grantees.

Individual UCD  dissertations and masters theses are cataloged in the Library of Catalog — search for “Dissertations Academic University of California Davis physics”

This page describes how to locate and access UCD titles.

The Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI) database is the authoritative source for finding doctoral dissertations and master’s theses. It also provides access to the full-text of all dissertations from University of California campuses since the late 1990s- See Current Research @ University of California, Davis 
Searches all University of California, Davis dissertations published in the Dissertation Abstracts database.

Dissertations & theses from 31 USA colleges & universities, including Ohio State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and North Carolina State University. This is a small subset of published dissertations & theses, but does include some that are not indexed elsewhere. Use in conjunction with other databases such as Dissertations & Theses and PQDT Open.

OATD.org aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world.

PQDT Open provides the full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge.

You can Ask a librarian for help if you experience any problems accessing a dissertation or thesis in print or online.

Tools for Managing Citations

Learn how to use and cite information in your papers and projects.

The campus has a licensed subscription to Endnote, which is a bibliographic manager program that is available as software and as a web-based version. Many people use Endnote because of its compatibility with Microsoft Word. The libraries offer help and classes on Endnote.

There are also a wide range of other citation management programs, including web-based platforms. Two popular and useful ones are:

BiBTeX and LaTex Resources: