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Collection Development for Physics in the Boston College Libraries


Scope and Collecting Emphases

Guide to collections-building for Physics

Guide to the Physics Collections

This collection serves the needs of the Boston College Physics Department, as well as physics-related needs of researchers and students in the other sciences.  The Physics Bibliographer selects materials based on user requests, curricular needs and knowledge of the discipline.  The bibliographer collaborates with the faculty library liaison appointed by the department and acts on purchase requests by faculty and graduate students whenever possible.

Disciplinary Scope and Collecting Emphases

This collection spans all areas of physics (QC), particularly as needed to serve curricular needs, however, given the particular focus of departmental research on fundamental and applied condensed matter and nanoscale physics, these are the areas of greatest collecting depth.  Examples of more specific collecting areas within those broader categories include:


  • Correlated electronic and magnetic systems that include topological insulators, all manner of superconductivity and magnetism; 
  • Lght-matter interactions including metamaterials, plasmonics, photovoltaics and nanophotonics;
  • Advanced thermal and thermoelectric materials and energy-converting properties; and
  • Integrated science endeavors in bio/chemical sensors e.g. for multiplex detection of disease biomarkers.

Selection favors materials from high quality scholarly publishers, regardless of country of origin or location of research.  The most important publishers in the field include the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Cambridge University Press, Elsevier Publishing Company, Oxford University Press, Springer Nature, Wiley and other highly-regarded commercial and scholarly presses.

Collaborative interdisciplinary relationships are seen particularly with Biology and Chemistry, and will expand with the centralized role that Physics will play in the Schiller Institute.