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Conducting STEM Research Utilizing Open Access Tools: What is my why

This guide is a supplement to the North Carolina Community College Library Association's 2022 Conference presentation "Conducting STEM Research Utilizing Open Access Tools."

What caused Denice to go down this path?

Considering my past education and work experience, programming, software, and data science are my heart and peak my interests.  However, there was one event and one data point that caused me to ask myself "What alternative databases/tools are out there for STEM research that are free?" 

  • The event:  A Physics graduate student requested a personal research session with the following "What I am trying to do is find all the scientific papers which reference a particular article titled "On Continued Gravitational Collapse" that was published in 1939 and attached below. The issue is that the database I am using called Web of Science doesn't seem to have this specific article."  Being me, I deep dived into what databases/tools contained the article as well as allowed forward citation searching.  That led to me researching other databases/tools for citation research.  The summary table I created is included here.
  • The data point:  When I looked at the students that were registered for the Spring class LIB290:  Information Literacy for Engineering at the end of the Fall semester, 9 of the 11 students were seniors.  Since I typically teach to the students sitting in front of me, it didn't make sense to focus on subscription based databases/tools they would only have access to for a single semester.


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