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A how-to of the Kettering & MeL databases

Science Reference Source

Using Science Reference Source

Science Reference Source

Science Reference Source provides full text for hundreds of science magazines, journals, reference books and high-quality videos. The database also contains science experiments, curriculum-aligned lesson plans, and a vast image collection.

Based in the U.K., Nature Picture Library provides thousands of stunning photographs from more than 300 of the world’s best nature and wildlife photographers. The collection features images of wild animals and plant species from around the world, pets, people, landscapes, and the environment.

Topic Areas

Science Reference Source offers a variety of features and functionality to support research success and productivity. In addition to simple and advanced search options and powerful filters, researchers have the ability to explore topics by category, including:

  • Agricultural Science
  • Applied Sciences
  • Astronomy and Cosmology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Climate and Weather Science
  • Computer Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Forensics
  • Genetics
  • Geology
  • Health and Wellness
  • Mathematics
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology
  • Physics
  • Scientists and Innovators
  • Space Sciences and Astronomy
  • Technology

Each category breaks down into popular, colloquial or curriculum-based subtopics that are logical for all users and friendlier to novice researchers. Clicking on the subtopic brings the user to a page with a topic overview, related subtopics, overview articles, sample search results (with the option to view all results), and a carousel of relevant e-books (if available).

Searching the Database

You can start your search using the box at the top of the homepage. 


You can also scroll down on the homepage to view suggested and popular topics shown in blue boxes. If you choose to browse the topics in blue, each time you click a category, you will be taken to a new set of options as you drill down to a more specific sub-topic and reach the final results. 

Once you narrow your topic, your results page will provide a list of possible resources for you. There are some things to look for, highlighted in the image below to help you ensure you find the sources you need most. 

  1. Click the "Peer Reviewed" filter to narrow your field of results.
  2. This filter allows you to select the publication date ranges you need. For example, some professors request that you use articles from the last 5 years, or last 12 months. This filter offers 3 filters: last 12 months, last 5 years, and last 10 years.
  3. The "Source Type" filter offers options such as academic journals, encyclopedia entries, magazines, and more, depending on the topic you searched.
  4. Always check what this area says when you are looking at results. This database offers an array of different sources, and not all of them are academic journal articles. There are also ebooks, book chapters, magazine articles, transcripts, reviews, news sources, and more.
  5. This part of the record will let you know how the resource can be accessed. Some will be in PDF format, others are webpages, and others are media files. 

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