Universiteit Leiden

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Subject guide


Overview of databases and websites for research in Astronomy

The astronomy collection is located in the Gorlaeus library on the first floor of the Gorlaeus building. In addition, a collection rare and important works on the history of astronomy is available in the University Library at the Witte Singel, including the archives of the observatory itself and of major professors as Oort and Kaiser.

  • Astronomy uses its own bibliographical database in which almost all publications, articles and data sets on astronomy and physics can be found: the Astrophysics Data System (ADS).
  • For searching publications on physics and chemistry that affect astronomy, Web of Science is considered a good database.
  • In astronomy research it is almost a matter of course to publish a (preprint) version of articles on the open access platform Arxiv.org. For who wants to follow the latest developments, it is advised to create an alert on new publications.

The Astronomy collection traditionally focused on books, but nowadays electronic journals predominate. More than 70 percent of today's astronomical publications can be found in one of the three major astronomy journals: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS), Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) en Astrophysical Journal (AJ).Additionally, journals with a high impact such als Science en Nature spend attention to astronomy.

Technical papers and theses are often written using the typesetting program LaTeX. However, not all reference managers are equipped to handle LaTeX. The free reference manager Mendeley, available for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Linux, manages a BibTeX file that you can attach to your LaTeX documents. This way references can still be captured, stored and organised in one place.