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InfoMine's Mining Library Resources Guide

This guide outlines the process for finding and obtaining published papers using the Internet. It has been prepared by InfoMine's librarian with a special focus on mining-related database, library and journal resources available on the Internet.

The process involves several steps:

Step 1: Designing the search
Step 2: Finding the full reference
Step 3: Locating and ordering a copy

Step 1: Designing the search, or: What am I Looking For?

If you already know the exact reference, you can skip to Step 3.

The first step in finding information is figuring out exactly what it is you need to know. Before you start searching for a paper, narrow down your question as much as possible. Do you already have the name of an author, or a title? The more keywords you have to describe what you are looking for, the more you can focus your search and get better search results.

Step 2: Finding the full reference

At this point you are trying to find the citations (author, title, publication source and date) and possibly the abstracts of publications that interest you.

There are databases available with large numbers of references and abstracts of papers. Most of these databases only cover a limited subject area, others are more general.

A good example for the a database covering a limited subject area is GeoRef, the database compiled by the American Geological Institute. It contains more than 2.4 million references, 80,000 are added each year. Unfortunately, the information in this database is only accessible through a library or through an expensive subscription to a database host like Dialog. The Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique offers a catalog database, as well. We have prepared a comprehensive list of mining- or geology-related databases.

Ingenta, the largest online database with 17 million citations from more than 28.000 periodicals, covers a wide range of subjects back to 1988 and is freely accessible on the World Wide Web. You can search by title keyword, author or journal title. Two other search engines for journal contents are Scirus and Google Scholar, they are useful for searching references in online journals that can be accessed through pay-per-view.

All databases have online help files to guide you through the process of searching, refining your search and interpreting the search results.

Step 3: Locating and ordering a copy

Before you start locating and ordering a hardcopy, make sure you have the full bibliographic reference. It needs to include:

  • Author(s)
  • Full Title
  • Source:
    • the name of the journal, monograph or proceedings it was published in
    • the date of publication
    • page numbers

If you don't have this information yet, please go back to step 2.

When trying to locate the hardcopy of a paper you are interested in, you are faced with several options:

The "Classic" Solution:

  • If you have access to a library that might have a copy of the conference proceedings or the journal the paper was published in, you can look it up directly and make photocopies.
  • If your library does not have this item, it will likely be able to get it for you through interlibrary loan. This might take from one day to several weeks, depending on availability of the material and delivery method. There may be a small charge for this service. According to international copyright laws, the amount of published material one person is allowed to photocopy, download or receive through interlibrary loan is limited.

The Fast Solution:

  • Some database providers offer to send a document by fax or electronically. The world's largest online resource for the search and delivery of research articles is Ingenta, a service located in the UK which offers pay-per-view access to many papers published in scienific journals. More database providers.
  • A few of the large libraries offer to fax copies of articles held in their collections, for example the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI). It is generally a good idea to order from a library in your own country to avoid additional copyright cost. Note: you will have to know the exact bibliographic reference before you can order a paper from a library (see the section, 'Finding the full reference?,' above, and links to library catalogues).
  • More and more publishers are offering their recent journal articles online as pay-per-view downloads (such as Science magazine) without requiring a subscription. InfoMine has also compiled a list of online mining-related journals, most of them allow downloading of single articles.

The charges for online articles are usually between US$5.00 and US$35.00 for each document. An additional copyright fee may also apply.

Questions? Comments? Need help? Please contact InfoMine's .

You can also see the articles on our Librarian's Help Desk page.

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