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General Science: What is Science?

According to the dictionary...

science.  Akeakamai, hana ʻimi naʻauao, huli kanaka, ʻike noʻeau.

akeakamai.  A lover of wisdom, seeker after knowledge, philosopher, scientist, scholar; philosophy, science; scientific. Lit., to desire wisdom.

[Pukui MK, Elbert SH. 1971. Hawaiian Dictionary. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii.]

Many Schools

‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi.
All knowledge is not taught in the same school.
One can learn from many sources.
-Pukui MK. 1983. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau : Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press. [203] p.24.

At the University of Hawaiʻ at Mānoa, taught and studied are many sciences, many knowledge systems and methodologies.  Historically, the focus and knowledge boundaries have been drawn through a Western lens, and this still colors the organization of schools, departments, and programs.  The Science and Technology Reference Department in UH Mānoa Library, for example, currently focuses on serving the following schools of science.

College of Natural Sciences



School of Ocean & Earth Sciences & Technology (SOEST)


College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Departments and Units

School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene

College of Engineering


Scientific Methodology

Students generally learn the various scientific methods of their respective sciences as they progress through the program of their choice.  While there is no one scientific method that is applicable to all versions of doing "science," there are some practices you might come across at UH for which it is good to be familiar.


Citations are references to sources of information that are pertinent to a topic of discussion. Recognizing sources and genealogies is an important part of knowledge creation in Hawaiʻi, and utilizing citations in published work is a standard practice throughout academia. See Organizing and Citing for more info.

Literature Reviews

A literature review is a critical and in depth evaluation of previous research. It can serve to give a sense of what came before and to place your research in its proper context.  Here be links to more info:

Data Management

Much research at UH Mānoa involves the creation of sets of data. Ideally, researchers follow best practices for effectively creating, organizing, managing, describing, preserving, and sharing this research data. See University of Hawaii at Manoa LibrariesData Management guide for more info.

Open Access

Open Access (OA) refers to unrestricted, free-of-charge, online access to research. OA is central to discussions of University of Hawaii at Manoa LibrariesScholarly Communication at UH Mānoa due to UHM's commitment to "disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible."


UH Mānoa Library uses a system of classification called the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) for organizing the physical books and journals in their collections. This 19th century system of organization was developed for the U.S. Library of Congress, and has subsequently been adopted for use by a large number of academic libraries.  The UH Mānoa Library Science & Technology collection covers the following "classes":  Q - Science; R - Medicine; S - Agriculture; T - Technology; U - Military Science; V - Naval Science; Z - Library Science.

LCC is, of course, simply one method for organizing materials. Here are a few links that lead to discussions of indigenous knowledge representation systems.

Is That Science?

Here are some sample resources pertaining to questions of what constitutes "Science," from a variety of sources that are accessible through UH Mānoa.

Print Books