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What is the best way to search for research papers?

  1. Jun 14, 2013 #1
    Hello all,

    Suppose I want to find all publications by X author. What is the best way to do this? I am overwhelmed by all the options out there. Also, how does it all work? What I mean by this is, when you publish something, say in Phys. Rev., does Web of Knowledge and Arxiv get automatically notified of this? If someone could get me started in clearing all this I would reaaally appreciate it. Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2013 #2


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    arXiv has only preprints uploaded to arXiv. In some fields (in particular, particle physics), nearly all papers are uploaded there.
    In general, it can be necessary to search for papers on many websites.
  4. Jun 14, 2013 #3


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  5. Jun 14, 2013 #4
    Web of knowledge automatically indexes all papers from journals like Physical Review, but it can take a month or two to show up.

    As mfb says, arXiv only contains papers that the author decides to upload there. However, in many fields, almost all authors upload almost all their work there.

    There are also field-specific indexes like the INSPIRE High-Energy Physics Literature Database.

    For your specific question, if you go to the website of X author, they will often have a list of all their papers.

    Finally, if you think you might be missing some papers in the above searches, you can try something like Google Scholar.

    Someone else can suggest other sites, but these are the ones I've used.
  6. Jun 15, 2013 #5


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    There are also fields where almost no one uploads anything to arxiv (e.g., chemical physics). So relying on arxiv is very much *not* recommended.

    For literature search I personally find Google Scholar to be most helpful. It tends to index almost everything, and by tracking citations from/to articles (i.e., into both directions) it is possible to get a reasonably complete overview over a topic. If you need to find all literature relevant to a certain topic, first find *one* article X dealing with this subject, then look both for articles which X cites, and articles citing X (using above mentioned "cited by" feature). Recurse as necessary.
  7. Jun 15, 2013 #6


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    Use Google Scholar.

  8. Jun 18, 2013 #7

    Andy Resnick

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