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Subject guides: Computer Science


Welcome to the UCL Library Services computer science subject guide. These pages are maintained by Tara Platt, subject librarian for computer science. The content is regularly revised and feedback or suggestions are welcomed.

This guide provides links to and information about resources relating to computer science. Both printed and electronic collections are covered:

WISE for Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences
WISE is a comprehensive, step-by-step online guide to finding and using information effectively. Go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/moodle, and log in with your UCL userid and password. Click on WISE and select Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences to start the course (If WISE does not appear in your list of courses click on “All courses” in the top left menu then select WISE and register yourself on the course.) Help with WISE.

Training sessions
Regular training sessions on electronic library resources are held in the DMS Watson Teaching Cluster. For dates and times see Information Skills Training. Individual training sessions on specific databases and other electronic resources can be arranged on request.

For further information or to arrange an individual training session contact the Library Science Team on lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk or see contact details below.

Library news for Science and Engineering
Visit Library news for Science and Engineering the library blog for the UCL faculty of Engineering and UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences to keep up to date with new resources (both printed and electronic), Open Access, interesting events, useful websites and general library news.

Recent blog posts
Printed collections

The Computer Science collection is on the 4th floor of the Science Library, in the DMS Watson Building. There may be relevant material elsewhere in the Science Library.

Book collections
The Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves. A typical classmark for a book will consist of the name of the subject (indicating a section of the Library) followed by letters and numbers indicating its classified position on the shelves within that section. For instance:

COMPUTER SCIENCE M 14 MIT for Machine learning by Tom Mitchell (where Computer Science is the collection, M 14 the classified position within the colection and MIT the first three letters of the author's surname)

The COMPUTER SCIENCE collection is divided into several sections. Some important ones are as follows:

COMPUTER SCIENCE A - general introductions to the subject
COMPUTER SCIENCE C - computer systems organization
COMPUTER SCIENCE D - programming and software engineering
COMPUTER SCIENCE F - theory of computing
COMPUTER SCIENCE H - information systems
COMPUTER SCIENCE M - computing methodologies, including artificial intelligence at COMPUTER SCIENCE M 10; imaging and vision at COMPUTER SCIENCE M 30; and pattern recognition at COMPUTER SCIENCE M 40

Some of the other sections of the Library you might need are:

MATHEMATICS (Science Library, 3rd floor)

ENGINEERING (Science Library, 4th floor)

Use Explore to find the exact class mark (shelf location) of a book.

Journal collections
The library holds both print and electronic journals (periodicals). Journals cannot be borrowed but may be photocopied, subject to copyright. Computer Science journals that we keep on site are in the Engineering Pers section on the third floor of the Science Library. Older journals and those which are available electronically are held in the library Store. Journal volumes held in the library store can be requested via the Store Request Form.

Use Explore to search for journals the library has access to (select UCL journals in the resource list). Explore also allows you to search for articles within some journals (select Journals articles). Contents of journals can also be searched via indexes and abstracts (see below).

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Electronic collections

Material in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL. To access these resources, users are advised to navigate to material using the links from the Library Services website. If you are off-site, you will be prompted for your UCL userid and password. For more information about this visit the
Information for electronic Library resource users section of the Library Services website.

Indexes, abstracts and ebooks
The Library subscribes to a number of bibliographic databases, of which the following might be particularly useful:

  • Inspec covers physics, electronics, computing, control engineering and information technology.
  • MathSciNet is produced by the American Mathematical Society and covers mathematical literature worldwide since 1940.
  • Web of Science (Science Citation Index) indexes over 6000 science journals from 1981 onwards. You can follow a number of online tutorials in various languages on the Web of Knowledge website by clicking here. You will need a browser running Flash Version 8 or higher to view these tutorials.
  • SCOPUS is a multi-disciplinary database containing references to journal articles, conference proceedings, trade publications, book series and web resources. For further information, see the online tutorials at SCOPUS.

Full text collections:

  • The ACM Digital Library gives the full text of ACM journals and conference proceedings from the earliest volumes in many cases.
  • IEEE Xplore gives the full text of IEEE and IET journals and conference proceedings back to 1988, and the current IEEE standards. For further information, see IEEE's online tutorials. You will need Adobe Flash Player 9 or above to view these.
  • Safari Large ebooks covering technology, digital media, and business books and videos online. Includes O'Reilly publications and other academic publishers. from 2010-.
  • Synthesis Digital Library of Computer Science and Engineering is a collection of more than 200 e-books in several series on important research and development topics in computer science and engineering.

For a complete list of databases available at UCL go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/database/index.shtml.

MetaLib can display a full list of indexing & abstracting services. For further information see our online guide.

Electronic journals
A range of journal titles are available electronically to registered members of UCL.

  • To look for a specific title, go to the alphabetical list on the Library's web pages at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/ejournal. You will also find details of the access arrangements for each title.
  • Computer Science titles can be browsed alphabetically by following the link to the e-journals page and clicking on the “Subject” heading. From there, select your subject from the category list.

For further information you can consult the Library leaflet on Finding journals.

Exam papers
For information about exam papers, and access to all undergraduate and postgraduate papers for the last 5 years up to 2010, go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/exam.shtml. Online papers for Computer Science are available via this link. Paper copies of exam papers for the current year for all Main and Science Library subjects are shelved in the Photocopying Room of the Main Library. Older papers are available in printed format and are kept in Stores. These can be requested by clicking here.

Other Internet resources

Other useful reference sources, reports and bibliographies on the web include:
Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies : details of over a million journal papers and technical reports.
Computer User High-Tech Dictionary
FOLDOC : Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing.
The Computing Research Repository (CoRR) : sponsored by ACM, the arXiv.org e-Print archive, NCSTRL (Networked Computer Science Technical Reports Library), and AAAI (American Association for Artificial Intelligence).

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Other libraries

The Senate House Library in Malet Street has some relevant collections. Any registered member of UCL can join the Library and borrow from there.

All UCL staff and students can apply directly to the British Library for reference access. You will need to bring indentification showing proof of address (e.g. utility bill), proof of signature (e.g. driving licence) and proof of student or research status (UCL ID card) in order to obtain a reader's pass.

More information about using other libraries, and links to other library catalogues, are available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/otherlib.shtml.

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Contact details

For further assistance in using the Library, visit the Science Enquiry Desk, which is located on the ground floor of the Science Library and is staffed from 09:30-17:30 during term-time (shorter hours during vacations). You may also telephone the Enquiry Desk on extension 37789 or 020 7679 7789 (for external callers).

The Subject Librarian for Computer Science is Tara Platt , who is based in room 314 of the Science Library, and who may be contacted on extension 32634 or 020 7679 2634.

For further information or to arrange individual training sessions email the Library Science Team lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk

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Last modified 18 September 2012

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