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Mission/Project Support: Overview

Mission/Project Support

Library staff can provide support to missions and flight project teams throughout the entire life cycle and beyond. During Pre-Phase A, Concept Studies, Library can collaborate in literature reviews, search and gather relevant papers. From Phase A through E, Library can assist in looking for specific information from reference materials, reports, and standards. Once the mission is launched, data returned and used, Library can track papers using data from the mission, and provide examples of the impacts of the missions.


We have worked with teams, line organizations, and mission science teams to compile and maintain comprehensive bibliographies. For example, we can compile a list of articles published by all JPL authors within a Division. We have been working with several mission teams to maintain their database of scholarly papers from their science teams. Here is a representative list of mission-specific literature databases:

  • AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder)
  • ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer)
  • GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment)
  • OST (Ocean Surface Topography)
  • SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive)
  • Mars 2020
  • Juno

Literature Searches

When you need information beyond a simple fact, and a general web search does not provide you with the answer, you might consider requesting a literature search. A librarian can work with you (or your team) to gather a list of relevant articles, books, reports, or a combination of those.  Depending on your needs, the results can be a few items to get you started on a new subject area, a list of important articles on the topic, or a comprehensive list. JPL Library has access to many reference databases that are not available through general web searches, and our librarians are experts at searching and navigating these resources.

Sample Questions

What is the effect of atomic oxygen on germanium coated kapton?

I need general references on the description, mineralogy, and origin of the Bandelier Tuff in New Mexico.

I need a few good articles on developing a vision statement and strategic goals, and a few examples.

Citation Managers Information

Citation management tools are applications that collect article records from research databases (Compendex, Web of Science, etc.). They are extremely useful for organizing your research, sharing article libraries with others, and assists in creating bibliographies.

Why should I use a citation management tool?

_Keep your articles organized
_Share article libraries with others
_Insert citations while you write and easily create bibliographies

Product Best Used For User Cost
Endnote x9 Recommended for projects of any size. Especially good for large research projects that require ingesting thousands of citations at once. $202.83
IT Portal > Service Catalog > IT Products > Software > Approved Software
Zotero Best free option. Especially good for managing a variety of formats including webpages. Free
Mendeley Good for storing PDFs with article records and annotating (highlight, comments) in the PDF. Limited features.

$55-$165/year + Free version

Endnote Basic Good for saving articles. Limited file formats and file storage.


All of the products listed have private group sharing. It is important that teams choose one product because they are not interoperable. However, libraries can easily be converted and exported into other products if you have to switch. Contact us at the Library if you need assistance.

Contact the JPL Library

For additional information about any JPL Library resources and services please contact us:

  1. Slack #help-library
  2. Email:
  3. Phone: 818-354-4200
  4. Visit Building 111, Room 104 (the HUB) at JPL: 24/7 access with badge


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