Scientific and technical information is of vital importance to the national government. Consequently, much Federal publishing and information-gathering deals with scientific and technical topics and issues. St. Mary's Blume Library collects this published material in a selective manner, focusing on subject areas and levels of treatment which are supportive of university curricula.
This guide is divided into broad subject areas. To view a description of web resources in an area, choose the appropriate subject tab. Underneath each tab is a sub-page dealing with the Library's tangible collection in that subject area.
NOTE: in recent years the Library's receipt of printed documents has fallen dramatically. For that reason, there are few publications listed on the In the Library pages with recent publication dates. However, keep in mind that the Library's catalog is still an access point for government information, since full cataloging records (with subject headings and other informational notes) are available there for thousands of government publications and websites.
General Science Agencies
What's Included/Excluded from this guide
It is obviously impossible to cover all the publications available even in a limited collection such as ours, not to mention the vast resources available over the internet, in a guide like this. The following criteria have therefore been used to select documents and web sites for inclusion or exclusion:
Web resources included
- The main pages of major agencies in each field; some subsidiary pages
- Comprehensive, "one-stop" Web sites; portals
- Important databases and indexes
Web resources excluded
- Sites with a limited focus
- Sites offering primarily extremely technical material
Library resources included
- Major reference sources
- Reports of important commissions, task forces, etc.
- Laws: compilations, legislative histories, etc.
- Important series
Library resources excluded
- Monographs of limited scope or focus
Readers of this guide will notice immediately that no single agency is responsible for all scientific publishing; each subject, in fact, is represented by publications and web sites from several different sources.
Because of the dispersion of scientific and technical information throughout the Federal government, users of printed documents are urged to use the Library's catalog (or indexes described in Finding Government Information: Basic Guide).
Browsing in the documents stacks can turn up pertinent items through serendipity. But for a comprehensive search on any topic, use of the catalog and/or indexes is essential.
Internet sources on specific subjects can be found easily through our Government Information on the Web Subject Index.
Locating information on the internet presents its own special problems, and while this guide is presented as an aid in this process, do not hestitate to contact the Reference Desk for more personalized help if you have difficulty finding what you need.
Patents are the way that new devices, processes, and even engineered organisms, are protected so that their inventors can profit from their development. Below are some links to basic patent information. For more detailed help, consult the librarians in the government documents department at the San Antonio Central Public Library. If you are not in San Antonio, the US Patent Office provides this listing of other libraries serve as resource centers.
Scientific research, and engineering marvels, can't exist without precise measurements.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is responsible for maintaining the standardization of measurement that makes our modern world possible.
This agency has a special section of their website devoted to Weights and Measures. Here you can find information about their projects and programs; background information on the measurement of all kinds of distances, quantities, and times; as well as specific standards and technical manuals.