Scope of the resources posted on this website
The Queensland Science Network is a website of general science information, particularly information about Queensland. It specialises in:
- showcasing information generated by member societies;
- bringing lost and otherwise inaccessible scientific information into public access;
- presenting digital forms of material earlier than about the late 1990s that has not been digitised elsewhere;
- assembling curriculum-linked materials for Queensland teachers and lecturers.
But the criteria are flexible. You can browse through the posts appended to the landing pages of most interest to you, or enter keywords into the search box on the home page.
Finding scientific information
A good place to commence a search is your local library. All public libraries nowadays have powerful search engines and librarians who are experienced in information retrieval. To search multiple libraries, try Trove, the National Library of Australia’s umbrella search engine. It indexes books, periodicals and other materials held in the National Library, the State Library of Queensland and many other contributing libraries including universities. (For example, it indexes more than 2 million items in the University of Queensland’s libraries).
To find scholarly articles (published in scientific journals), use academic search engines Google Scholar, EBSCO, Scopus and Informit. Informit is an Australian search engine that specialises in hard-to-find Australian materials.
Seeking a document from a defunct website? Try the Australian Web Archive, formerly Pandora, the National Library’s archival engine that sweeps a select range of official and other websites (including this site) periodically and stores them in perpetuity, capturing websites that otherwise might vanish when websites are updated. View captured annual versions of this QSN site here. A wonderful element of Australia’s information infrastructure.
Now explore this site! The 25+ societies represented here are custodians of an immense wealth of scientific and field knowledge, focused on Queensland. Click on the top tab to gain access to other categories such as government resources and curriculum materials.
Google is not the only search engine
Dr. Joerg Storm, a digital transformation expert, has written: “Google is so powerful that it hides other search engines from us. We simply do not know about the existence of most of them. Meanwhile, there are still a large number of excellent search engines in the world that specialize in books, science and other smart information.” Here is a list of sites you might never have heard of:
www.refseek.com is a search engine for academic resources. More than a billion sources.
www.worldcat.org – search the content of 20,000 global libraries.
https://link.springer.com – access to more than 10 million scientific documents: books, articles.
www.bioline.org.br is a library of published bioscientific journals.
http://repec.org -vVolunteers from 102 countries collected nearly 4 million publications.
www.science.gov is a U.S. government search engine for more than 2200 scientific sites.
www.pdfdrive.com is the largest website for free download of PDF books. Claims more than 225 million titles.
www.base-search.net is one of the most powerful search engines for academic research texts. More than 100 million scientific articles, 70% of which are free.
What is science and who can be a scientist?
The webpage of the Royal Societies of Australia includes useful explanations of the nature of science. Quoting the UK-based Science Council, “Science is the pursuit of knowledge and the understanding of our environment following a systematic methodology based on evidence.” It can be defined as both a body of knowledge we already have and also as the pursuit of a deeper understanding of both ourselves and the world around us. “A scientist is someone who systematically gathers and uses research and evidence, making a hypothesis and testing it, to gain and share understanding and knowledge”. Academic qualifications are not essential.
A short statement on science and climate change
This two-page brief elaborates on the nature of scientific method and the robustness of scientists’ conclusions about climate change.
Do you have scientific information to share?
Scientific information including experimental data are disseminated in many forms, not just scholarly journals. If you have information worth sharing, read the page on Sharing Scientific information.