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Physics: Search the literature

Library catalogue and specialist databases

To find a recommended book, journal or article, use the library catalogue. To research a subject area, use the specialist databases below. In these, you will find details of many thousands of journals and articles. Some include other sources of information, such as books, patents and conference papers.

Physics databases

General multidisciplinary databases

Dissertations and theses

Can't get access to the full text?

Physical and chemical properties

How to do a literature search

Library Guide to 'How to do a Literature Search'

Finding patents and registered designs

The following resources provide information about patents. Each database has its own strengths and its coverage will be widest for the first-named geographical area. Use these tools to locate patent application and granted patent documents from around the world.

The following are the official websites for the major patent offices. The EPO, USPTO, KIPO, JPO and SIPO are part of the IP5, a co-operative group of the five largest patent offices in the world. If the patent databases do not provide all the information you need for a patent, for example its legal status, you can refer back to the patent office of origin. 

The design of a product, in other words, how it looks, its shape, arrangement of parts and any decoration, can be protected too. Designs can cover specific items but also packaging, symbols and typefaces. By registering a design you can prevent others from copying and using it for up to 25 years, subject to renewal every 5 years. Designs can be registered with national (usually the patent office), regional or international design offices. The following tools enable you to search for and view registered designs.

Maps and map data

Finding standards