Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Subject guide

Computer Science

Overview of databases, reference works and websites for research in Computer Science

The collection of Computer Science is almost entirely digital, both in journals and books. The library for mathematics and computer science can be found on the second floor of the Snellius Building and shelfs mainly books in the field of mathematics.

The books are classified on the basis of mathematical classification MSC, which is also used by the mathematical databases MathSciNet and Zentralblatt Math. Because the Snellius library itself is unstaffed, lending is via the Gorlaeus library or by filling out a loan form.

Computer scientists mostly publish conference proceedings and journal articles, hence the collection of information consists mainly of e-journals. Major publishers in this field are the Computer Society, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Due to the rapid developments in the field physical books are no longer purchased. However, the library collects some e-books and e-book series, including the Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

Because Web of Science does not record conference proceedings, you will only find a small part of available scientific literature for computer science in this database. Especially interdisciplinary topics and applied computer science are well reflected here.  

More suitable databases for computer science are CiteSeerX and DBLP. Also Google Scholar is interesting because of the broad scope and access to green Open Access articles. 

For articles focused on mathematical problems (such as algorithms), both MathSciNet and Zentralblatt Math provide a good starting point. 

Searching for Open Access articles

Within computer science it is common to publish (a version of) an article Open Access in the universitity repository. Also, many articles are, before their official publication in a scientific journal, published open access on Arxiv.org. Setting an alert on new publications within Arxiv is therefore a good way to keep abreast of the latest developments. 

Please note: items in arXiv are not peer-reviewed. If you plan to use an article as a reference, first find out if the article was published in a scientific journal beforehand (see the heading Journal reference). Also make sure you're using the latest version!

Google Scholar is a great search engine for searching an open Access version of published articles.

The Computer Society is part of the IEEE, which also offers access to the Xplore Digital Library. Unfortunately, the link between the two is not ideal, so it may seem there is no access to the Computer Society titles. To be sure, check the IEEE Computer Society Digital Library to see if access to an IEEE journal is provided.

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.