Inspec versus Other General Databases
Inspec is a key research tool in theoretical and applied physics. Scopus will generally not be as targeted, but is likely to include more international publications, open access journals, and cross-disciplinary content. PubMed is a medical database used for research in applied nuclear and medical physics.
Google Scholar can be a good starting place if you already have a research topic. For off-campus searches, go through the library web site (under Databases) or through this guide for seamless full-text access.
Google Scholar includes the full-text of articles that have either been 'purchased' by the library, or posted to Google 'free' by permission of an author.
Sometimes a Scholar search will turn up citation information only, and no full-text. Citations can be used to search our catalogue for a print copy, or request articles through a 'RACER' loan.
Journals appearing on Google Scholar are mostly peer-reviewed. You can confirm the peer-review status by viewing the editorial policy on the journal publisher site.
If unsure about the appropriateness of an article, you should consider: the credentials of the authors; whether the writing is coherent; and if bias and error are properly accounted for. Answering these questions will help develop your analytical skills which will in turn make you a more successful writer.