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Physics and Astronomy Subject Guide: Home

Subject Guide - help and guidance on finding resources in your subject area

 Welcome to the Physics & Astronomy Subject Guide

   Use this guide to help you make the most of the library and information resources and services.

New to the University?  Explore the Getting Started with the Library guide to learn all about the Library basics. 


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Sarah Jones (Exeter)


Connect to the platform with your Exeter IT login, and create a free account to save and organise journals and articles.

Find out more

Reading for leisure

Take a break from your recommended academic reading and explore e-books and audiobooks on the Libby app.


More information can be found on the Libby guide.

Where to start your search

Library Search

Library Search will help you discover books, journals, articles, audio visual material and more on your chosen topic. This is a good place to start when you are beginning to research a topic as you can draw on content from a variety of different sources.

For more in depth research in databases and archives, use the A-Z Databases List.

Access Your Reading List


Find your module reading list via ELE or click here to search by module code or title.

Online guides


Full text is access to the whole article or paper

  • Some databases provide full text access to the articles themselves.
  • Some databases are primarily indexes or bibliographic databases, and although they provide information about the content of a journal article, they may not provide full-text access to the actual article itself.
  • Some databases are a mixture of full-text and indexed/bibliographic access.

How do I get the full text?

1. Use the Check for this at Exeter button; clicking on this link will check whether we have access to the item.

Or 2. Search for the journal title in the library catalogue. See this video for guidance on how to do this:

Or 3. Run your search in Google Scholar

First go to Settings> Library links and type University of Exeter in the search box. Make sure the box next to the University of Exeter is ticked and click Save.

Now when you search, you can get sometimes get PDF links to University subscribed content alongside the results.



Tip: You can also use the LibKey green teardrop iconLibKey browser extension to help you get access to full text articles.


LibKey green teardrop icon

Use LibKey to help you get access to full text articles. 

Click the LibKey icon above to add the extension to your web browser. Select 'University of Exeter' as your institution and login using your Exeter IT login when prompted. 

Expand your search

Key resources

                            For comprehensive literature searching. Similar to SCOPUS, Web of Science is a multidisciplinary bibliographic database, offering access to thousands of leading peer-reviewed publications.


Access to thousands of abstracts for articles, conferences and book chapters across a range of subject disciplines. Use SCOPUS to link to full-text holdings, find related items and track article citations.

Provides early access to full-text research papers in physics, astrophysics and mathematics.

Other useful resources

  • Oxford Scholarship - Over 450 Physics/Astronomy titles published by Oxford University Press

  • Springer Link - Over 450 Physics/Astronomy titles published by Springer

  • eBookCentral -  Over 1700 Physics/Astronomy titles from a variety of publishers

  • Cambridge Core - Over 1700 Physics/Astronomy titles published by Cambridge University Press

  • Oxford Handbooks - Several handbooks covering Nanoscience, Cosmology and Soft Condensed Matter

  • SCOAP3 - Open Access key textbooks and monographs in particle physics


Use the Databases A-Z List to access all the resources available to you.

You can browse by subject (e.g. Physics and Astronomy) or type (e.g.Journals, News, Data etc.) or search to find your required resource.

SCOPUS - The SCOPUS Quick Reference Guide will introduce you to the database.

Web of Science - Use the Web of Science LibGuide for comprehensive support and training

IEEE Xplore - IEEE Xplore provide a number of useful video tutorials; sharing tips and techniques to improve your searching. 

ScienceDirect - ScienceDirect provide a range of help materials including a series of online tutorials.

MathSciNet - Use the QuickStart guide if you are new to this resources. This has lots of hints and tips to help you search effectively. 

Effective Searching & Referencing

It is important to plan your search strategy, and manage your search results so that you get the most from your online searching.

Keep a record of all the material you need to cite in your assignments, papers, projects etc. 

Use the Search Techniques and Referencing guidance to assist you.

  • It is  easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information available to you.  
  • Invest time in planning an effective online search strategy so that you can quickly and easily discover relevant and high quality information. 


As you search you need to keep track of all the material you will be using in your academic work so that you can cite and reference it appropriately.

Top Tip

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

For more guidance take a look at:

Find out more about the skills support available to help you develop a range of study skills including essay writing, referencing, critical reading and getting the most out of lectures.

Study Skills Support

Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a great resource to use when you are planning and conducting your research. 

It is targeted at social science researchers but is useful across all subject areas as it covers key research methodology topics that are applicable across the research spectrum.

Sage have produced a comprehensive LibGuide to help you get the best from the resource.

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University of Exeter LibGuide is licensed under CC BY 4.0