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This guide provides links to resources available at the Waidner-Spahr Library and on the World Wide Web to support the Neuroscience program at Dickinson College. Some resources are restricted to people currently affiliated with Dickinson. Because Neuroscience research can cross over many academic disciplines (such as Psychology, Chemistry & Biology) students are encouraged to consult with a librarian for help with specific topics.

Liaison Librarian: Nick Lonergan, 717-245-1838.

Related Subject Guides:


Background information

Often you will need to get some background information on your topic in order to get a general sense of the history of the subject, and an overview of what research has been done up to this point.

Internet resources

  • Neuroscience @ NIH
    A National Institute of Health website devoted to neuroscience research. This site is an excellent place to explore different areas of neuroscience and to find out who is working in these areas and what their recent publications have been.


Sometimes books can be the best place to get detailed, but not overly technical, background on a topic. Due to the long time that it takes to write, edit and publish books, they will usually not be best source for learning about the most recent research but books, or book chapters, can provide an excellent springboard from which to be able to comprehend the significance of any new findings.

Subject headings

Here are some Library of Congress subject headings that are relevant to neuroscience (if you click the links then you can see the titles we have indexed on these headings in our collection):

Here are some examples of titles that we have in our collection:

If we do not have any books with relevant content in our collection, you may wish to use some of the above search heading in WorldCat which serves as a consolidated catalog across the collections of libraries across the world. If you find an interesting title that we do not own then you can see if it is available for loan through PALCI/E-Z Borrow. There is no charge for books ordered through this service and they typically arrive within 3-4 days of your initial request.

Review articles

Review articles provide an analysis of the research that has been published on a particular topic. These will usually be quite narrowly focused and can provide an excellent overview of the methods and findings of research studies done up to that point.

Most databases that contain primary research literature will also contain review articles. In order to limit your search to these type of articles, look to see if there is an option to limit by article type or methodology.

For example:

  • In PsycINFO, you can limit the "Methodology" to "Literature review"
  • In PubMed you can limit the "Type of Article" to "Review"

Annual Reviews is a series of annual publications done for multiple disciplines in the sciences and social sciences. You can either search across all of the disciplines, or search within the Neuroscience series.

Locating primary research articles

Primary research articles are written by the researchers themselves and serve to formally document the findings of a particular study. Typically, these will begin with a literature review and followed by a methods section, a results section and then end with discussion section where the implications of the findings are discussed.

Neuroscience journals in our collection

List of journals in our catalog indexed under neuroscience

These include:


Depending on your topic, you may want to search through databases containing content on Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, or Medicine.

Here are a couple of databases that you might find useful:

Biological Abstracts

Covers life sciences journal literature. The drop down menus provide some unusual options for limiting a search, including limiting by taxonomic classification and by concept codes. Click the magnifying class beside the menu to get more information on your chosen field.


A comprehensive electronic index to international psychology literature in journals, books, and book chapters, dissertations, and conference proceedings.

There are many different ways to limit your search in this database. Some of the most interesting options include:

  • Population Group: where you can limit your study to human, animal, male, female, inpatient or outpatient
  • Methodology: where you can limit by what type of study was conducted
  • Classification Codes: some codes that might be useful are:
    • 2500 Physiological Psychology & Neuroscience
      • 2510 Genetics
      • 2520 Neuropsychology & Neurology
      • 2530 Electrophysiology
      • 2540 Physiological Processes
      • 2560 Psychophysiology
      • 2580 Psychopharmacology
      • 2520 Neuropsychology & Neurology
    • 3297 Neurological Disorders & Brain Damage
    • 2225 Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Thesaurus: this is a separate tab where you can search for a term to see how it corresponds with the official vocabulary used to index articles in this databases. You can click on any of the terms to see any narrower terms or related terms, and you can add any useful ones to your search.


  • A database of full text articles on psychology topics.

PubMed (with Dickinson links)

PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, includes over 15 million citations for biomedical articles back to the 1950's. These citations are from MEDLINE and additional life science journals.

As this database stores so many citations, often it is useful to search using MESH (Medical Subject Headings) headings. If you use the pull down menu, MESH is one of the search options. Once you have entered a term, you can see what version of that term is used as the official indexing term, and you can limit your search by subheadings which can be extremely useful.

MESH does use the term "Neurosciences" but it also uses the following more specific terms:

Web of Science

  • Provides cited references to a vast array of social science and science materials.
  • Allows the user to see what papers have cited a particular article since it was published.
  • Provides many options for limiting a search, particularly once an initial set of search terms has been entered.

Also try Web of Knowledge, which simultaneously search Web of Science (Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index), Biological Abstracts and MEDLINE.


A large electronic collection of science, technology and medicine information.

  • NOTE: ScienceDirect identifies full-text articles with a green icon. To determine if Dickinson has access to non full-text articles, or to request an article via interlibrary loan, click on the article title and then expand the "Bibliographic Information" box in the right-hand column, then click on the "Get It!" link

SciFinder Scholar

  • A powerful electronic index for all of Chemical Abstracts as well as the citations found in Medline.
  • One of the most sophisticated science databases available, and the most comprehensive database available for chemical information.
  • Allows the user to search by chemical structure, molecular formula, reaction structure, research topic or substance identified, and provides many options for limiting one's search.
  • Access available only from computers in Rector and the Library, as specific software must be installed.

Finding Experimental Data and Tools for Research

Neuroscience Information Framework

Previously mentioned in the internet resources section, this gateway separates its list of resources into the following categories:

  • Databases of experimental data
  • Knowledge bases
  • Software tools for neuroscience
  • Bioinformatics resources
  • Providers of research materials
  • All neuroscience databases