University Libraries

Walter Library

July 3, 2015

Mobile Scholarly Resources in Science and Engineering

Last updated: May 2013

For students, staff and faculty in science and engineering, there are lots of mobile options. The Science and Engineering Library in Walter Library is currently investigating how CSE researchers can make the most of library subscriptions on tablets, e-readers and smartphones.

Off-Campus Access

Off-Campus access varies from database to database. As a general rule, you should be able to have full on-campus functionality from off-campus when you use the U's Virtual Private Network (VPN). It takes some initial setup, but once your device is configured, it's easy to switch on and off when you need it.

Some databases, like ACS Mobile, require a connection to your school's WiFi network or VPN. Others, like Ebsco, use an authentication method called "device pairing". The idea is that by connecting once to the database every six, nine or twelve months, the database remembers your device so that you can use it anywhere. Or in some cases, you request an authentication key from the publisher. That key is entered into the app after you install it, and it gives you access from anywhere until the key expires. In other cases, like Scopus, you log into the full database (using a library link that requires you to give your University x500 username), create a free account with the database, then use that account to log into the app version of the database.

iPad and iPhone Apps

LinkNotes and Accessing Full Text
ACS Journal portal (mobile version)You must be on a U of M WiFi network or connected to VPN.
AIP - iResearchYou must be on a U of M WiFi network or connected to VPN.
ArXivFree and open.
Chemical Compatibility DatabaseFree and open.
Chemical Safety Data Sheets
Ebsco DatabasesAuthentication Key required. First install the app, then log into the library's version of Ebsco. You'll find a link on the bottom of the page that prompts Ebsco to send you an authentication key, good for nine months. With the key, you can access full text in the Ebsco app from anywhere. This app has FindIt links as well, which will help you find full text when it's not available in Ebsco.
Engineering-Jobs.comContent in the app is free with registration.
IOPscience expressInstitute of Physics journals.
Merck Manual$49.95
NASA appsNASA apps are free and open from anywhere. They're intriguing and media rich, but they don't have an app for searching tech reports in the NTRS.
NASA Visualization ExplorerFree and open.
NatureIndividual subscriptions only. has not released a version of their app that links to our library's subscriptions. Try their full site in your browser.
Organic Named ReactionsFree and open.
Physics World magazine
ReactionFlashFree and open. Use these digital flash cards to learn organic chemistry reactions.
RSC Publishing for mobile
safari tech books
Turning the Pages Mobile
Wolfram Alpha App$2.99

Android Apps

LinkNotes and Accessing Full Text
ACS Journal portal (mobile version)
Merck Manual$49.95
NASA apps
Physics World magazine
RSC Publishing for mobile

Mobile-optimized web databases

These are databases that are accessible from any standard browser (usually Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari).

ACS Journals
Annual ReviewsDevice Pairing. Your first access needs to be from a U of M wireless network. Then, your device will be recognized from any network as authenticated for six months.
CRCnetBASE ebooksDevice pairing. Visit the URL provided on this page, then click "Device Pairing" to enable access from off-campus.
IEEE Xplorefree search; full text for U of M affiliates
OSTI Mobilefree
SciFinder Mobile
Taylor & Francis Online Mobile
University of Minnesota Librariesfree search; full text sources for U of M affiliates
Web of Science6 month roaming outside of the U's IP range. See:
Wolfram Alphafree

About Kindle, Nook and other e-readers

If your e-reader has WiFi with full web functionality, then you should have no problem using mobile-optimized library databases listed on this page or at Whether you have full web functionality or not, the only way you are going to be able to read on your device is if the particular database you are interested in offers downloading (e.g. PDF and ePub formats.) Many publishers do not allow this. Some allow downloads when you have Adobe Digital Editions installed (not an option for Kindle or Nook.) Too many of them only offer their e-book or e-journal content in HTML format.

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