About IsisCB Explore

IsisCB Explore is a research tool for the history of science, whose core dataset comes from bibliographical citations in the Isis Bibliography of the History of Science. The IsisCB contains over 40 years of curated bibliographical data.

The dataset is composed of three main types of records:

  • Citations, bibliographic entries that have been classified and indexed
  • Authorities, identity records for the subject and category tags as well as all authors and contributors, publishers, journals, and thesis granting institutions
  • Relationships, records that link citations and authorities to each other creating a semantic web that powers the search and facet features

IsisCB Explore blends a professionally curated database with social media tools. Curated bibliographical material available to anyone through this open access website. Users can add comments and suggest entries, import citations to a citation management application, and share individual citations via Facebook and Twitter.

User participation is encouraged. Please sign-in and provide comments to entries where you see errors and add further information where relevant. Suggest hyperlinks and other material that will be useful for fellow scholars.

We are fully committed to open access. Our data are available via a REST API (accessible through the icons on this site), and all of our source code is at GitHub. Our data is open for use following the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Current features

One can use the IsisCB to do a standard bibliographical search. This is the mode that we expect most users will find valuable on a day-to-day basis.

  • Account registration. You can register for an account or log in through Facebook or Twitter.
  • Zotero integration. All bibliographic records can be saved in Zotero, either individually or in search results.
  • Search history. The system automatically logs your search history and gives you the ability to bookmark and save certain searches.
  • Public user comments. Once logged in, you can add public comments on any record so that you can identify missing information or suggest outside links.
  • Faceted searching. The facets are indexed items that you can access directly using the Authorities tab.

Development schedule

The project is still in beta form, so development is ongoing. Among the features we will be adding in the months ahead:

  • Data. We will be integrating several hundred thousand new records. These data include web-based resources from the World History of Science Online and the 1913-1975 Isis Cumulative Bibliographies.
  • Link resolvers. Library users will be able to get direct access to the full text of items in subscribed library resources.
  • User account functions. We will eventually make it possible for people to adding entries, curating pages, saving marked sets of citations.
  • Indexing. As we study the authority lists, we well be able to merge many of the identical authorities that currently exist in the system.
  • Authority records. We will be providing more information drawn from places like DBPedia that will help users know more about authority records that they are using to do searches.
  • Linked Open Data. We will be adding links to many other external authority records, so that users will be able to find accurate data on records from authoritative sources, such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and similar projects.
  • More API functionality. We will be adding new ways to access our records algorithmically.


The following individuals have been especially helpful in making this project possible: Sylwester Ratowt, Colin Allen, Margaret Gaida, Amy Rodgers, Gavan McCarthy, Marco La Rosa, Ailie Smith, John Stewart, Erick Peirson, Julia Damerow, Tara Carlisle, Nathan Kapoor, Younes Mahdavi, Carolyn Scearce, Kirsty Gaither, Sam Fellows. In addition, we want to thank the many individuals associated with the sponsoring institutions listed on this page. The project could not have been completed without their help. Faculty and administrative staff in many different departments across the University of Oklahoma have been extraordinarily supportive throughout this endeavor.

Questions and information regarding this project can be directed to:

Stephen P. Weldon
Editor, Isis Bibliography of the History of Science
Associate Professor of History of Science
601 Elm Street, Physical Sciences 618
University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma 73019
spweldon [at] ou [dot] edu

This website was developed by A Place Called Up Consulting. A Place Called Up Consulting works with academic units, teams, and individual scholars to advance excellence in digital humanities research, training, and outreach. From planning to maturity, A Place Called Up Consulting provides guidance, software and infrastructure development services, training, and support for projects of all sizes.