Catalogs and Indexing Databases

by Adam Siegel – April 2, 2020

The basic principle underlying the organization of any library is to describe the documents it contains so that they may be located.  All libraries create sets of records which describe the documents in their collections.  Catalogs are sets of records to documents that share a location.  Indexes are sets of records to documents that share some other attribute (generally subject matter).  Below are the most comprehensive and significant broad disciplinary article indexing databases for international (but English-language-centric) scholarship.

Adam Siegel

Research Support Services
Researcher Services Librarian

apsiegel@ucdavis.edu

530-754-6828

In this Guide:

Most people use the library for the following:

1. To find a book they already know they want;

2. To learn more about a topic they’re interested in;

3. To research a question they’ve already formulated.

 

To find a book you already know you want, use the library catalog.

To learn more about a topic you’re interested in, use the appropriate subject guide, or contact your subject librarian.

To research a question you’ve already formulated, use the appropriate catalog or index. [hint: in the sciences, start with the appropriate subject index; in the humanities, start with the library catalog.]

 

Published by the National Agricultural Library, the Agricola database describes publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture

Provides citations and abstracts to the international agricultural literature, including veterinary medicine, human and animal nutrition, forestry, rural development, as well as other related topics such as tourism and human ecology. Covers over 11,000 journals & conference proceedings and selected books in agriculture. Produced by CAB (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux) International (CABI) with more than 10 million records.

HISTORICAL SCOPE: Archive abstracts added in August 2005 go back to 1910 with 1,860,000 additional records. CAB DATABASE PDFs: As of January 2009, hard-to-find literature may be available as CAB Database PDFs (so noted *below* the UC-eLinks button).  These CABI Full Text items give users automatic access to over 350,000 journal articles, conference papers and reports – 80% of which are not available electronically anywhere else. NOTE: the default UCD Search Type is set to Advanced Ovid Search.

Coverage: 1910-present
Tags: Agriculture, Animals, Ecology, Plants, Science
Related links: Database Guide[OvidSP]
SciFinder is the online version of Chemical Abstracts. One-time registration is required to use SciFinder.
Coverage: 1907-present (with selected pre-1907 material)
Tags: Chem Abs, Chemical Abstracts, Chemistry

A comprehensive, indexed bibliography with selected abstracts of the world’s economic literature compiled from the American Economic Association’s Journal of economic literature and the Index of economic articles in journals and collective volumes. Topics include economic theory and history, monetary theory and financial institutions; labor economics; international, regional, urban economics; and other related subjects.

Coverage: 1969-present
Tags: Business, Economics
The ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and provides extensive access to educational-related literature.
Coverage: 1966-present
Tags: Education

The Government Printing Office provides free online access to official U.S. Federal government documents and information. GPO is the recognized authoritative source for government information and has authenticated the documents on govinfo. Search for official versions of government documents and publications, browse by title, collection, congressional committee, date, and download publications.

FSTA (Food Science and Technology Abstracts) is a database of food science, food technology, and nutrition information. PLEASE NOTE:  As of 2019, unlimited simultaneous user access is now available.
Coverage: 1969-present
Tags: Food, Technology
Related links: Food Science Technology Abstracts Database Guide

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Inspec provides engineering research information on physics, electrical engineering and electronics, computers and control, mechanical, production engineering, information technology and more.
Indexes worldwide publications on literature, language, linguistics, folklore, film, television, and theater from 1923 to the present.
Coverage: 1926-present
Tags: Language, Literature
NTRL (National Technical Reports Library) is from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) within the Department of Commerce. NTRL provides access to government-sponsored research, development and technical reports with full-text access to reports that have been digitized. Searches over 3 million reports with links to over 800,000 full-text reports.
Coverage: 1964-

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PsycINFO is published by the American Psychological Associations and provides comprehensive indexing and abstracts of the international psychological literature from the 1800s to the present. Documents indexed include journals, articles, books, dissertations and more. 90% of the 3,000+ titles indexed in PsycINFO are peer-reviewed.
Coverage: 1840-present
Tags: Medicine, Nursing, Psychiatry, Psychology

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PubMed comprises more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.
Coverage: 1902-present
Tags: Animals, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine
Related links: PubMed Help
Provides abstracts to sociology articles and the literature of related disciplines in the social, behavioral, and cultural studies. Covers over 1,800 journals, and book reviews. Mainly in English, but Includes materials in 30 languages.
Coverage: 1952-present
Tags: Sociology

TRID includes over 900,000 records covering transportation research from ITRD and TRIS. It includes TRB publications going back to 1923, including Highway Research Board, SHRP, and Marine Board publications. Also indexed are Environmental Impact Statements, theses, reports, and research in progress. TRID is the world’s largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation research information, covering all modes and disciplines of transportation.

Coverage: 1920's-present
Tags: Transportation

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

Copac exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of c.90 major UK and Irish libraries (and growing). In a single search you can discover the holdings of the UK’s national libraries (including the British Library), many University libraries, and specialist research libraries. Researchers and educators use Copac to save time in their research, to quickly and easily discover and locate resources, to check document details, review materials in their field, and assess the rarity of materials etc. Information professionals trust Copac to give them access to a unique pool of high-quality bibliographic information.

Der KVK ist eine Meta-Suchmaschine zum Nachweis von mehreren hundert Millionen Büchern, Zeitschriften und anderen Medien in Bibliotheks- und Buchhandelskatalogen weltweit.

The Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog is a meta-search engine for locating hundreds of millions of books, periodicals, and other media in library and book trade catalogues throughout the world.

Scholarly journals, books, and proceedings in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Navigate the full citation network.
Locate the most highly-cited journals in broad disciplines in the sciences and social sciences and view detailed information on each journal.
Coverage: 1997-2018 release; 1996-2017 data
Tags: Multidisciplinary, Science
Related links: Using JCR Wisely

The standard source for information on virtually every active and ceased periodical, annual, irregular publication, and monographic series published throughout the world (plus thousands of newspapers). Indicates whether a publication is a refereed (peer-reviewed) title.

NOTE: search by journal title, NOT article title. Ulrich’s provides information on the entire publication (journal, magazine, newspaper, annual review) NOT on the articles within.

Indexes citations and provides linked page images of works represented in the microfilm series Early English Books I and II, based on The Short-Title Catalogue (Pollard and Redgrave, 1475-1640); the Short-Title Catalog II (Wing, 1641-1700), The Thomson Tracts (1640-1661), and The Early English Books Tracts Supplements.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) provides full-text searchable access to the digital images of 150,000 books and other materials published during the 18th Century. Based on the English Short Title Catalog bibliography, it includes English-language and foreign-language titles printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas.

Coverage: 1701-1800
Tags: Europe, History, Language, Literature, North America

“The Making of the Modern World provides digital facsimile images of unique primary sources that track the development of the modern, western world through the lens of trade and wealth from 1450-1914.”

“Based on Joseph Sabin’s landmark bibliography, this collection contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900’s. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more. With over 6 million pages from 29,000 works, this collection is a cornerstone in the study of the western hemisphere.”

Companion resource to Periodicals Index Online (PIO), PAO is a fulltext archive of hundreds of historical digitized journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences; about 35-40 of the titles covered are philosophy journals.

Coverage: 1802-1995
Tags: Art, Humanities, Social Science

Searchable database of citations and digitized images of the pages of more than 1100 American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century.

Coverage: 1741-1940s
Tags: Art, Humanities, Multidisciplinary, Science, Social Science

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. Current issues are now included for selected titles. Holdings vary by journal. JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization established with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a collection of books digitized by major US research libraries. Although there is significant overlap with Google books, this site has a much more effective and sophisticated search interface. Like Google books, some of the scanned titles are not actually viewable. The titles in this collection (both the full view and restricted ones) are cataloged in Melvyl.

The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. It includes large online collections of moving images, music and audio recordings.

Direct access to several million digital objects: film, photos, paintings, sound recordings, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers, and archival papers. Selected from previously digitized resources available in Europe’s museums, libraries, archives, and audio-visual collections.  French and German cultural institutions are particularly well represented.

One of the world’s most advanced digital library collections, providing online access to millions of books, periodicals, images, videos, maps, sound files, manuscripts, and scores. Searchable in basic or advanced modes, and browsable by publication type. Originally an attempt to provide coverage of the Bibliotheque Nationale’s vast holdings in French literature from the Middle Ages to the present, it now has digital access partnerships with a number of other major library collections substantially increasing its offerings. Includes links to other relevant sites.

The OAC brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions, including museums, historical societies, and archives. It includes searchable finding aids for collections held in these institutions as well as a large selection of scanned images and documents from these collections.

“The vision of a national digital library has been circulating among librarians, scholars, educators, and private industry representatives since the early 1990s. Efforts led by a range of organizations, including the Library of Congress, HathiTrust, and the Internet Archive, have successfully built resources that provide books, images, historic records, and audiovisual materials to anyone with Internet access. Many universities, public libraries, and other public-spirited organizations have digitized materials, but these digital collections often exist in silos. The DPLA  brings these different viewpoints, experiences, and collections together in a single platform and portal, providing open and coherent access to our society’s digitized cultural heritage.”

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Searchable database of digital images.

UC Davis Library Catalog

Browse “Library Search”

UC Davis Mabie Law Library Catalog

Melvyl (UC System) Library Catalog

Worldcat [via FirstSearch]  Icon

Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog (European Libraries)

“Library Search”

Subject Guides