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Subject guides: Science & Technology Studies

Science & Technology Studies, Ground floor of the Scicence Library

Welcome to the UCL Library Services subject guide to Science and Technology Studies. The content is regularly revised and feedback or suggestions are welcomed. The printed collections in UCL Library Services are described below. There is also information about:

Regular training sessions on electronic library resources are held in the Library. For details see Information Skills Training. Individual training sessions on specific databases and other electronic resources can be arranged on request.

WISE for Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences is an online guide to finding and using information effectively. Go to UCL 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.

Printed collections

The principal collection for STS is the HISTORY OF SCIENCE collection on the 3rd floor of the Science Library. There may be relevant material elsewhere in the Science Library and in the Main Library.

Book collections
The HISTORY OF SCIENCE collection is divided into several sections, a brief breakdown of these:

HISTORY OF SCIENCE A - Introductions to the history of science
HISTORY OF SCIENCE B-J - History of Science by period
HISTORY OF SCIENCE K-U - History of specific scientific disciplines
HISTORY OF SCIENCE W - Philosophy of science
HISTORY OF SCIENCE Y - Science and society

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

PHILOSOPHY (Main Library, Donaldson reading room)

CLASSICS (Main Library, North, 1st floor)

HISTORY (Main Library, South, 2nd floor)

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

For some older material and scientific sources see the SCIENCE COLLECTED WORKS (Science Library, ground floor); multi-volume collections of the works of some important scientists.

Journal collections
The library holds both print and electronic journals (periodicals). Journals cannot be borrowed but may be photocopied, subject to copyright. Most of the journals relevant to STS are kept in the PHYSICAL SCIENCES Pers section on the third floor of the Science Library. Older journals and those which are also available electronically are held in the library store. These 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.

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Electronic collections

Material in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL. Users are advised to access these resources via the links from the UCL Library website. If you are off-site, you will be prompted for your UCL userid and password.

Indexes and abstracts
The following are relevant to STS. For a complete list of databases available at UCL, see the A-Z list.

History of science:

  • Web of Science (Science Citation Index) indexes over 6000 science journals from 1981 onwards. The Web of Science help pages offer useful tips on effective search strategies.
  • History of Science, Technology and Medicine indexes journal articles, conference proceedings, books and dissertations in the history of science, technology and medicine from 1975 onwards.
  • Historical Abstracts is a bibliography of world history, excluding USA and Canada, from 1450 to the present, indexing books, journals and dissertations.

Philosophy of science:

Social studies of science:

Additionally, for biomedical topics, you may wish to use:

  • Embase indexes biomedical and pharmacological journals.
  • PubMed indexes biomedical literature, including all data from the Medline database from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the US National Library of Medicine (NLM).

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

Electronic journals
To look for a specific title, go to the A-Z list from the Library's Metalib pages. Earth Science titles can be browsed by selecting the subject tab from the same page.

Journal titles can be searched for using Explore (select UCL journals in the resource list). Explore also allows you to search for articles within some journals (select Journals articles).

Exam papers
E versions of past exam papers can be found by searching here. 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.

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Other libraries

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

The joint library of Imperial College and the Science Museum has an excellent collection of STS material. It is available for reference use by any member of UCL, but only academic staff and research postgraduates may borrow from there. (Note that much of the Science Museum's older material does not appear on the online catalogue; although staff at the Museum will check the card catalogue for you on request).

The Wellcome Trust Library has excellent collections in the history and philosophy of the life sciences and is open to the public.

The British Library is a useful resource and all UCL staff and students can apply directly 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.

See UCL's guide to using Other Libraries for more information.

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Contact details

The library contact for this subject is Robert Tomaszewski, based in Room 314 of the Science Library. Tel: extension 32634 or 020 7679 2634. Please contact for any questions regarding the collections and library resources or to arrange individual training sessions.

See the Science Library blog: Library news for Science and Engineering: to keep up to date with new resources, events and library news.

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Last modified 18 September 2012

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