The NIFS library was established in 1985 with a small collection of books and journals donated by Prof. Cyril Ponnamperuma, well-wishers and the Asia Foundation. Since then it now has a modest collection of over 6800 books and about 120 Journal titles covering the life, physical and mathematical sciences as well as the philosophy and history of science the fundamental text books, monographs and edited volumes.


To be a leading research library, providing global access to information using innovative strategies to drive intellectual exchange and the creation of knowledge.


The NIFS library's mission is collecting, preserving, and providing access to the best scholarly and educational resources; providing high quality, innovative services; and creating a welcoming and comfortable physical environment.


  • Collecting, compiling, retrieving and disseminating information related to our research for the benefit of NIFS research staff and other interested parties, and also NIFS research publications for the benefit of outsiders.
  • Developing a well-balanced and relevant information collection.
  • Providing access to information in all formats nationally and internationally.
  • Creating new technologies and continuously developing facilities for the advancement of learning and research.
  • Developing opportunities for improving library environments and optimizing existing physical facilities for both users and staff.
  • Co-operating to promote the aims and objectives of the Institute.

Current Library Services

  • Reference and lending services,
  • Document delivery,
  • Resource sharing,
  • Inter-library loan facility,
  • Photocopying facility,
  • Information alert services,
  • New item arrivals alert service,
  • Sourcing web based electronic journals and articles,
  • Scientific literature updating service (SLUS).
  • In addition we provides updated, necessary information to NIFS administration works (Circulars, E-code etc.)
  • Providing access to the internet using updated computers and facilitating library spaces with photocoping and scanning facilities.


Our collection includes:
  • Books and periodicals, Photographs, Architectural documents, Government Publications, Data on public works, Newspapers articles, Special collections
  • Encyclopedias, Directories, Sri Lanka collection, Electronic materials, Databases
  • Biographies, M.Phil and Ph.D theses, Atlas and Maps, posters


Monday – Friday : 8.30 AM to 4.15 PM

The library is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and all public holidays


All users must obtain permission of the library staff to use library computers and scanner.


Photocopying charges: Single side Rs. 3.00; Double side Rs. 5.00 (Photocopying complies with the "Intellectual Property Act" No. 36 of 2003 in Sri Lanka”).

Library Collections

Reference Collection

This consists of reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, biographies, manuals, bibliographies, statistics, indexes, abstracts, almanacs, atlases, yearbooks, etc. This collection can be referred to users only in the library. The call number of this collection is “REF”.

Lending Collection

The books of this collection consist of various subject areas. It can be borrowed according to the user’s qualification. Books are arranged on the shelves by subjects according to the International standard classification scheme called, "Dewey Decimal Classification".

Periodicals Collection

This consists of the past and current periodical publication materials such as Academic journals, Reports, Acts, Commission reports and various government and non-government publications. Currently, Library subscribes to 7 local and foreign academic journals. We have in our possession Nature journal from 1953 and also Science journal from 1955.

Sri Lanka Collection

Books written by Sri Lankan authors, books on Sri Lanka, government publications, etc. are added in this collection. At present, it has about 1500 volumes comprising documents pertaining to these disciplines.

Theses Collection

The library consists most copies of higher degree (M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D.) theses and dissertations of NIFS researchers who obtained PG degrees at universities. The Thesis Collection comprises over 100 higher degree research theses (Doctoral and Masters by Research).

Special Collections

The collection was built up and selected from materials contributed by an individual in vast quantity as well as according to library’s criteria. Now, the library has 6 collections of followings:

  • The Late Prof. Stuiver collection (STU)
  • The Late Prof. A. Kovoor collection (KOV)
  • The Late Lionel Liyanage Collection (LIY)
  • Prof. Tissa R. Herath collection (HER)
  • Prof. S.A. Kulasooriya collection (KUL)
  • Mr.V. Manoharan collection (MAN)

The call number of this collection is uniquely designed where it begins with the contributor's name as mentioned above mainly to differentiate each other.

Multimedia Collection

This consists of non-printed and digital materials such as video cassettes, audio cassettes, slides, VCD, CD-ROM, diskettes, etc.

Maps and Atlases collection

Maps and Atlases collection comprises about 550 maps. The collection includes: topographical maps, provincial maps, agricultural base maps, land use and forest cover maps, road maps, and National atlas of Sri Lanka. The collection also includes: maps of the heavens-1984, The times atlas of the world-1987, National geographic atlas of the world-1981, atlas of galaxies -1988 and Britannica atlas- 1980.

Journals subscribed by the library

  • Nature
  • Science
  • New Scientist
  • Scientific American
  • Journal of the National Science Foundation
  • The Sri Lankan Scientist



*To get the login details of the below references please contact the library

HINARI-Hinari Access to Research for Health programme

Hinari Programme set up by WHO together with major publishers, to gain access to one of the world's largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Up to 13,500 journals (in 45 different languages), up to 60,000 e-books, up to 110 other information resources are now available.

Visit the website
OARE - Online access to research in the environment

OARE provides access to a collection of up to 11,500 scientific journals, 27,000 e-books, 40 databases and other information resources.

Visit the website
AGORA - Access to Global Online Research Information in Agriculture

AGORA provides access to more than 3000 journals from the world's leading academic publishers.

Visit the website
ARDI – Access to Research for Development and Innovation

ARDI currently provides, over 100 publishers provide access to around 30,000 journals, books, and reference works for 120 developing countries and territories through ARDI.

Visit the website
GOALI – Global Online Access to Legal Information
Visit the website

Open Access Journals

DireOpen J-gate - Largest Open Access English Language JournalsPortal
Visit the website
Open Science Directory - 13000 Open Access titles
Visit the website
Directory of Free Full - Text Journals in Chemistry
Visit the website
Free Medical Journals - 3223 titles
Visit the website
Socolar - 11739 Journals open access journals
Visit the website
High Wire Press - 2,325,142 free full-text articles from 278 archives of free journal back issues
Visit the website
Worldwide Science- the global science gateway
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University of Virginia- All areas of science and engineering
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PubMed Central (PMC)- 4.1 Million Articles
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Open Access Journals Search Engine (OAJSE)- Journals in the World (excluding India)
Visit the website
SpringOpen- 200 Titles
Visit the website
sciencedirect- 599 Titles
Visit the website
National Academy of Sciences: PNAS Open Access Option
Visit the website


Scientific Research Publishing - 200 titles
Visit the website
BioMed Central - 256 titles
Visit the website
Hindawi - More than 300 Titles
Visit the website
Dove Press (Biomedical and Scientific Journals)- 180 Titles
Visit the website
Springer Open- 88 Titles
Visit the website
Open Access Academic Journals- 108 Titles
Visit the website
Oxford Open Journals- 09 Titles
Visit the website
Public Library of Science- 7 Titles
Visit the website
Elsevier- 81 Titles
Visit the website
OMICS Group- over 300 leading-edge peer reviewed Open Access Journals
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Wiley Open Access- 12 Titles
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Inter Research Science Centre- 6 Titles
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SAGE journal
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
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SIAM Journals- applied mathematics and computational science
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eLife- biomedical and life sciences articles
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BMC Biology- Biology article
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Cell Reports- Life Science
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Ecology and Evolution- all areas of ecology, evolution and conservation
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Nature Communications- natural sciences, physics, chemistry, earth sciences and biology
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Environmental Health Perspectives- Environmental Health Sciences
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Science advances
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The following people are allowed to use the library:

  • All NIFS staff members
  • Permitted outside researchers /students


The following persons are eligible for the Library membership:

  • All permanent staff members are registered by submitting the duly completed application form after the receipt of a copy of the letter of appointment from the NIFS.
  • Membership is valid until leaving the Institute.


  • All NIFS Permanent staff members have borrowing privileges in the library. Other people may use the library, but do not have borrowing privileges.


    Member category

    The length of loan periods



    Audio visuals


    Three months

    One month

    One month

    Research Assistants

    One month

    One month

    One month

    Other Staff members

    One month

    One month

    One month

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