Computer Science

Use this guide to quickly find reputable sources and save time on your research! Contact your subject librarian or the reference librarians if you need more help. For an overview of how to research efficiently, see Steps of the Research Process.

Finding Materials in the Library

Search CityCat to find books, e-books, disks and more. There are many ways to search, such as Title, Author and Keyword.

Books in the library are organized by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system which groups items by subject, so you can often simply browse the shelves.

Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on computer science include:



Computer science QA 75.5-76.95
Computer software QA 76.75-76.765
Computer engineering TK 7885-7895
Computer Networks TK 5105.5-5105.9


Reference Sources

Reference books are great for short overviews and background information. There are also reference resources in our database section.

Some relevant reference books in computer science include:

Encylopedia of Computer Science.
Ralston, Anthony, et al., eds. New York: Nature Publishing Group, 2000.
QA 76.15 E48 2000 Rosenberg Reference

Computer Science and Engineering Handbook.
editor in chief Allen B. Tucker, Jr. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997
QA 76 C57315 1997 Rosenberg Reference.


Use databases for specialized and the most up-to-date information, especially academic (scholarly) sources that are not available for free on the Web. See the Articles & Databases page for a full list of databases available.

Gale Powersearch
Gale Powersearch is a brand name for 25 multidisplinaryl databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. These databases let you limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box "Peer Reviewed publications."

Ebscohost is a brand name for more than 25 multi-disciplinary databases with coverage from 1980 to the present.

SFPL - Electronic Resources, Magazines, and Newspapers
San Francisco Public Library subscribes to many periodical and reference databases. You must have a San Francisco Public Library card number to access them. Once you have entered your barcode number, select the subject - Science & Technology.  Applied Science & Technology Index and General Science Index, and Internet & Personal Computing Abstracts are two databases that index a lot of information on computer science..


Use websites for government information, statistics and current events. It's very important to carefully evaluate websites for accuracy, currency, bias and credibility.

Association for Computing Machinery
"Founded in 1947, ACM is a major force in advancing the skills of information technology professionals and students worldwide.".

IEEE Computer Society
"The IEEE Computer Society is the world's leading organization of computer professionals. Founded in 1946, it is the largest of the 36 societies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)."

Computing Research Association
"The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies." .

C++ Programming Language
C++ resources by Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++.