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OLD Research Assistance: Overview

Research Support

Library staff are available to provide research support at different levels, including but not limited to the following:

  • General reference questions
  • Literature searches
  • Specialized bibliographies
  • In-dept consultation

In addition, we can give library orientations or subject/resource specific training sessions. We can come to your group meeting or you can bring your team to the Hub.

The Library also provide support in publishing papers, managing research data, and organizing contents.

Quick Questions / General Reference

Do you need a quick answer? The JPL Library Services Desk in the HUB (111-104) is staffed from 9am-1pm Tuesday-Thursday, available virtually 8am-5pm Monday-Thursday, 8am-4pm Non RDO Friday. Closed RDOs.

For answers to quick questions and Library general information please stop by the desk, or call (818) 354-4200, or email us at

Our services desk staff may refer you to one of our research librarians for detailed consultation, or other services like publication metrics, and more. (See other tabs in this guide.)

Sample questions

Do you have books on acoustic testing?

Is the Mali Lake Debo inland delta area called Macina or Massina?

Please find an article by King written in the 1950s on the scientific uses of earth satellites.

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.


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

In-Depth Consultation

If a project requires more specialized, in-depth, or ongoing information services, our team can deploy an Information Science Specialist to perform dedicated work within that domain for a limited duration. In depth services can include traditional library work, such as bibliographies and literature searches, and, can also span to encompass data management and curation, specialized research, and information organization and management. The type of work performed and duration of services are designed to fit the specific context of need.

To learn more about embedded services or to request services, contact Caroline.M.Coward, Library Group Supervisor

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