Thinking about embarking on a life, physical or social science career? Chances are that you’ll need to nab up one of those degree-things first. Whether you’re interested in biochemistry, environmental science, hydrology or forensics, the starting point of your educational pathway will most likely involve the subject of science.
Regardless of whether you’re in high school, enrolled in community college or a full-time student at a university knowing where to find online science resources for students can make tackling assignments, reports and studying that much easier.
With so many different online science resources for students available it’s challenging to decide what to include and what to skip. For the purposes of this post we’ve pulled together web assets that offer science-related content that is believed to be either in the public domain or content that may be authorized for distribution or mashing-up under a Creative Commons (CC) type license; perhaps requiring attribution, or otherwise. Please make certain to review the copyright and use sections of these websites.
Online science resources for students
Good for students studying: environmental science, biology
Provided by the Missouri Botanical Garden Library, Botanicus is a free web-based encyclopedia with access to more than 2.3 million pages of historical botanical literature. Images are free for non-commercial use and an RSS feed of recent materials can be subscribed to. Great for geoscience students and conservationists alike.
Good for students studying: medicine, chemistry, engineering
At the time of this writing, InTech featured more than 2,343 open access book titles and peer-reviewed journals. By collaborating with 85,968 authors InTech has become the world’s largest multidisciplinary open access publisher of books in the fields of science, medicine and technology. All their published manuscripts are licensed under CC. Most content is centered on engineering, however, they are regularly expanding and adding other fields so check often.
Good for students studying: computer science
O’Reilly has published a collection of open books covering various aspects of computer science. In addition, they’ve gone to explain why they’ve created an “open book” project and address use of CC, as well as their partnerships with Internet Archive. Many of the books that they showcase are made available because the author requested open copyright or because the book was out of print/outdated. A small collection that open book fans will appreciate and (hopefully) support.
4. Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)
Good for students studying: math science, chemistry
Proving math theorems isn’t easy so let’s hear it for number crunchers and other mathy-types! Fortunately, the MSRI features a library filled with publications that cover topics like ‘Trends in Commutative Algebra’ and ‘Holomorphic Spaces’. Located in Berkley, California, this online collection brings these mathematical books and subjects to students around the globe by way of Internet.
Good for students studying: life science, healthcare
Established in 1988, the NCBI is a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) which is located on the campus of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland (hence the long URL with different acronyms). The NCBI Bookshelf gives free access to books and documents in life science and healthcare. Users can search a book’s table of contents and then navigate to the information that they need. The NCBI has a detailed copyright and permission page to assist visitors with protected publications and how to use them.
If you’ve found any other open online science resources for students or science-savvy folks, please tell us about them. We’d love to hear from you.