Skip to Main Content

PSA: Library Tools for Postdoctoral Scholars

Getting Started: Library Tools for Postdoctoral Scholars

This guide lists library resources of importance for postdoctoral researchers.  To access licensed library resources from off-campus, please use the library VPN.   Your Researcher Services librarians are happy to help if you have questions or need additional assistance.

Use this guide to find relevant literature for your postdoctoral research as well as resources from other disciplines.  This guide lists tools for locating literature across a range of topics. Below are licensed databases to get you started in locating literature.


Comprehensive literature searching in any discipline requires consulting a variety of resources which are best found by reviewing the Research Guides by subject section.   These guides provide the most extensive listing of guides by specific disciplines and provide the most detailed listing of licensed disciplinary library resources.

Key databases

Databases listed below are the most highly-used databases from UC Davis.  

For additional databases, please review your most appropriate subject or specialized course guide(s).

AUTOMATED SEARCHES & EMAIL UPDATES:  All databases licensed by the UC Davis Library or by the UC Libraries (via California Digital Library - CDL) will have a feature to save searches and set up an email alert (often called current awareness or auto alert or SDI or update) which sends the latest references matching your saved searches to your email. Check the more…  section of your database listing to learn how to set this up for your specific database or check the database guide.

How to Choose a Database

In deciding which database(s) to use, it is helpful to note:

  • Who: Who is authoring these publications? Are these scholarly, popular, or industry sources?
  • What: What can I find in the database? (e.g. articles, conference proceedings, data)
  • When: When does coverage begin? How well is historical literature covered? Does it include articles published in the last year?
  • Where: What is the geographical scope of the coverage? Does that match your research interest?

Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

Biological Sciences


Medical Sciences

Physical Sciences

Social Sciences