Scientific references to published articles follow certain conventions. Although these conventions can vary slightly from country to country, they tend to follow a similar pattern. For instance:
In the case of books rather than scientific journals, the format is:
Another type of reference is to a paper published in a book (rather than a scientific journal) that contains many other papers by different authors. For example:
Most university (college) libraries will carry copies of the major scientific journals, such as Nature, Science, or Scientific American. These tend to be general interest journals, so they sometimes don't go into a lot of detail on any one subject. More specialised journals like The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology or the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences will tend to carry more detailed papers, but they may not always be available at all libraries.
I'm fortunate, since I live in a major city (Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia) and have ready access to two nearby universities (La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne), not to mention various TAFE institutions. However I find it hard to get some of the journals published in other countries (although the University of Melbourne has a huge selection of obscure "foreign" journals). If you don't live in a large city, or are not close to any universities, then major public libraries may carry some of the general interest scientific journals. However the more specialised the journal is, the fewer libraries tend to carry them.
In the case of books, rather than scientific journals, you may get lucky and find them at nearly any library. Plus there is the added bonus of being able to buy them to keep from book stores. I have bought many of my Australian dinosaur books from the Monash University Science Centre in Clayton, a suburb of Melbourne here in Australia. If you live in Australia, then see their on-line catalogue for the books they carry.
These days you can do almost anything online. Book stores such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble allow anyone with a credit card to order almost any book you can imagine. Most scientific journals also have online services. Subscriptions can be expensive (it's always better to photocopy articles from a library where possible), but by registering for free most journal websites will allow you to read a summary of each article (called an abstract). I'm registered with Nature and Science. Occasionally Nature will give you full access to all their articles on a trial basis, or general access to important articles (they even give away free copies of the magazine itself sometimes). The Science website allows free access to articles that are more than a year old, a practice that will hopefully catch on with other online journals.
Online papers can be downloaded as web pages, but an easier and more convenient method is to download PDF files. These files can be read using a free PDF viewer called Adobe Acrobat, which can be downloaded easily off the internet. It even allows PDF files to be viewed in the internet browser window. You can read PDF files on you computer, or print them out as hard copies.
From the journal Science (requires free registration):
Cretaceous Vertical Motion of Australia and the Australian-Antarctic Discordance
Science volume 279, 6th March 1998
Predatory Dinosaur Remains from Madagascar:
Implications for the Cretaceous Biogeography of Gondwana
Science volume 280, 15th May 1998
Both HTML and PDF formats
Various papers by Steven Wroe:
Muesum Information Leaflets
Gaia Volume 15, 1998:
PDF file. CLICK HERE for other papers in the same volume.
PDF file. CLICK HERE for more free articles published in Emu.
CLICK HERE for other sample issues of CSIRO journals.
Mining at Lightning Ridge. Minfact 95, December 2000
Glickson, A.Y., T.P.Mernagh, A.J.Mory, R.P.Iasky & F.Pirajno 2000 Woodleigh - a new 120 km-diameter buried multi-ring impact basin, Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia, of pre-Jurassic post-Early Permian age: evidence of a meteoritic component injected into sub-crater basement. Catastrophic Events Conference