MathSci Quick Guide

MathSci is the major index in the mathematical sciences.  It has comprehensive international coverage of literature on mathematics, statistics, and computer science and their applications in a wide range of disciplines from 1940 to present.  MathSci contains signed reviews and bibliographic data from the first issue in January 1940 to the present. Journals, conference proceedings, and books of mathematics research are covered.  HSU library has the print counterpart, Mathematical Reviews, in the abstract section of the first floor (QA1 .M76) from 1940-1995.


MathSci is accessible from here as well as the Databases link on HSU Library's home page<>. The first screen you see is below:

MathSci Opening Screen

Before you begin your search, take some time to look at the Search Tips at the left side of the screen.  As you move your cursor over the topics, a box appears on the right side of the screen that has information on how to set up your search.

Once you have familiarized yourself with the search tips, type your term(s) into the search box(es).  It is a really good idea to click on the question mark to the left of each search box so you can view the help screen for that type of search.

If you fill in more than one search box, your searches will be combined with AND (see AND, OR, NOT (Boolean Operators) for an explanation).  Therefore, it is best to only use two or three boxes at most so you will retrieve a representative list of citations.  If you get too many citations, you can always go back and refine the search further.

For example, I am interested in the history of prime numbers.  I type prime(w)number? in the subject box. Subject will search the abstract, descriptors, keywords, notes, and title parts of the records in MathSci. Then I type history and biography into the descriptor box because there is a descriptor, "history and biography," into which all references dealing with the history of mathematics are classified.  This is much more precise than typing history into the subject box. I also want only English langauge journal articles so I select the doc type "Journal" and the language "English" as seen on the search screen below:


MathSci Search for Prime Numbers


After I click the Search button, I am asked to select All Humboldt Users from a pulldown menu and click the Connect button. When I do this, I get the following results:


Search Results


I retrieved 36 journal articles in English on the history of prime numbers.  I am interested in title #5 so I click on the link and get the following:




After reading the abstract, I decide to obtain the article.  In order to see if HSU library has the article, I go to the HSU Periodicals Finding List and type (or copy/paste) the complete title, into the bottom box:

I then get the following information allowing me to obtain a copy of the article:


I can get the article  in one of two places by clicking on the link(s).  Academic Search Elite will lead me to the electronic form of the article which I can email to myself.  HSU Catalog leads me to the printed form of the journal which is housed on the second floor of the Library.

If the Library does not have the book, report, document, article, etc. which you need, you may request it through  Interlibrary Loan (ILL). This process can take up to two weeks or more so it is a good idea to begin your research early. Either fill out an online Interlibrary Loan Request Form or a paper ILL request form (at the ILL assistance table located behind the Library's Information Desk).

Send comments and suggestions about thispage to: Sharon S. ChadwickSend comments and suggestions about this page to: Sharon S. Chadwick
Last Updated: February 6, 2002Last Updated:  August 27, 2004

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