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Library Resources for Research

Mathematics Databases

General Science Databases

Finding Journals

Looking for handbooks and encyclopedias? Go to the Background Information page. Looking for datasets? Go to Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis!


Dissertations Written by OU Students

  • Visit OU Libraries Discover/Local Catalog
    • Search by author or title.
    • Online full text access to doctoral dissertations (Masters' theses are not available electronically).
    • Print copies can be checked out (shelved by author's last name in the Great Reading Room, with overflow into the nearby Decks).
  • SHAREOK Repository
    • Joint repository of digital items for OU and OSU
    • Since 2014, OU dissertations have been deposited there so that they are freely available
    • Items can be found through a Google (or other search engine) search.

Dissertations & Theses from Other Universities

  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses – Formerly known as Dissertation Abstracts. Provides full text access 1997-present to most dissertations from U.S. institutions. Provides indexing information to dissertations 1861 - present. Many universities, including OU, no longer submit the full text of their dissertations in this database. Instead, they post their dissertations in an institutional repository (at OU, this is SHAREOK). If the dissertation is not available electronically, you can order through interlibrary loan.
  • DART-Europe E-theses Portal – Dissertations from European universities
  • UK Theses

Professional Societies in Mathematics

To find grey literature, identify professional societies in your discipline and use a web browser such as Google to search their web sites for publications or report series or search for "grey literature" plus your discipline. The list below is non-exhaustive and adapted from Purdue University. Want to recommend an addition to the list? Email

  • American Mathematical Society
  • American Statistical Association
  • International Mathematical Union
  • European Mathematics Information Service
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • NSF Section for Mathematics and Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical Association of America
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • International Mathematical Science Institutes

Mathematics Government Documents

Federal Resources

International Resources

State Resources

Questions? Reach out to OU Government Documents Librarian Jeffrey Wilhite.

Patent Searching

Business Information

Popular Treatments of Mathematics

Send us your recommendations:




The Library's Role Is Providing Access

Databases are searching tools designed to help researchers find information. Check out OU Libraries' What are Databases? handout to learn more.

OU Libraries subscribe to both databases (paying for the indexing that the databases do) and to publications (paying for full text access). In the age of the internet, there are many ways to publish information; as such, the library connects you to many different types of resources. Don't hesitate to reach out to the Research Help Desk or the STEM Services team for assistance.

Struggling to find the full text of an item? Look for the OU Link to Article button in the database or try searching the library catalog. Check out OU Libraries' Finding Full Text guide. You can also try the interactive tutorial, Access Full Text. If we don't have a resource available here, often another library has it and is willing to send us a copy via Interlibrary Loan. The Lean Library browser extension can make accessing full text easier and will even direct you to Interlibrary Loan where needed.

Scholarly Sources

Peer review is a system within the academic community that is widely accepted. Generally, the peer review process is an evaluation of an academic work (a submitted manuscript or preprint) done by other professionals (reviewers) in the same field. Scholars rely on peer review to check each others' work and ensure published information is factual and accurate. The peer review process is used to evaluate journal articles, but also books (also called monographs) and sometimes conference papers and grant applications.

Many scholars consider an article trustworthy once it has been peer-reviewed; when crafting a bibliography for a course assignment, it is often expected that most sources be peer-reviewed, and some professors require this for all sources (ask your professor!).

The question of what counts as "scholarly" is often answered by peer review, but there are other forms of vetting information, such as review from a committee or the oversight of a standard issuing body or government organization. This can start to fall into the "grey literature" region – think about your research needs and what each perspective might offer. It is helpful in the long term to learn how to differentiate between sources and recognize an article as peer-reviewed.

How can I know for sure if an article is peer-reviewed?

  • Identify the journal's title, then visit their website to view their policies
  • Search the journal or periodical in the UlrichsWeb International Serials Directory
    • In Ulrichs, journals that have a  icon are "refereed," which is a common term for peer review. 

If you are still not sure, reach out to your librarian.

Grey Literature

We went over peer review in detail, but scholars communicate with each other in many ways. Could your research question be informed by any of the following types of publications?

  • Conference papers or proceedings
  • Theses or dissertations
  • Handbooks
  • Standards
  • Codes or safety data
  • Industry websites
  • Datasets
  • Clinical trials
  • Trade journals
  • Patents
  • Technical reports
  • Government documents
  • Market and industry reports
  • Interviews, newsletters, press releases

Library databases do a very good job of listing and organizing the published literature of a discipline – particularly articles and books. Many library databases also include these other kinds of documents. However, many disciplines produce information that might not be part of library databases.

For example, the discipline of engineering produces countless technical report series published by universities, funding agencies, government agencies, and professional engineering societies. Some, but not all, of these report series are indexed in the enormous database Engineering Village. It can be difficult to find documents that aren't published commercially and aren't readily accessible via library databases. As a whole, these documents are sometimes referred to as "grey literature."

Grey literature search tips:

  • Identify the important professional societies in your discipline, and search their web sites for publications or report series.
  • Examine the "works cited" section of influential published books and articles on your topic.
  • Use a web browser such as Google to search for "grey literature in engineering" or "grey literature in economics" (or whatever your discipline is).
  • Consult your librarian.

Popular Works

Popular works have their time and place in the research process. Newspapers and magazines are considered popular works – check out OU Libraries Newspapers & Magazines guide, and our Popular Magazines guide lists common magazines!

Popular sources do not face the scholarly publication timeline. So, while the information does not undergo a vetting process, it is often more timely. CQ Researcher is a resource that might fit better under grey literature due to its congressional association, but its reports explore "hot" issues in the news each week, including political, social, medical, international, educational, environmental, technological and economical issues. 

Visit the News Literacy research guide for information on identifying fake news, teaching news literacy, and resources for fact-checking.

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