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Researcher's Toolkit 2023: Scientific Information Outside Google

One-day workshop for graduate students in engineering and the physical sciences.

BMarXiv: custom-filter your daily arXiv digest

Keeping up with new or recent preprints can be a daunting task. BMarXiv (formerly the Busy Man's arXiv) allows you to custom-filter the arXiv postings in the arXiv categories of your choice to just those that have the keywords and/or authors you are interested in.

BMarXiv is written in Python. Once you have download BMarXiv from GitLab and have installed it, you will need to customize the 'config.yaml' file with your keyword preferences.  After that, all that you need to do to keep up with the literature on arXiv is to type 'python'. Less than a minute later the results will be displayed in your web browser of choice.

Web of Science: searching the published literature

Web of Science is a carefully curated database of scientific publications in the natural and social sciences. It allows you to find publications in authoritative journals in your field of study starting in the year 1900.

To bookmark Web Of Science go to the library catalog and look up 'Web of Science'. This will allow you to pass through the paywall to access this expensive resource, even if you are off-campus.

There are many different ways to narrow down a search result. Try performing a keyword search for e.g. "topological+materials". Or do a category search for e.g. "physics condensed matter", or an author search.

There are also many different ways to refine your search results once you have them. You can do this by affiliation, by journal, or by document type (e.g. "review article").

There are also many ways to sort the search results. One important one is by number of citations, which will find the most important papers in your field. You can also sort by date to list the latest or oldest papers first.