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Engineering Guide to Research

A guide to conducting research in engineering including finding sources such as journal articles, academic books, standards, and patents.

Why Use Articles?

Articles are a great resource to use when you need to find a more current perspective on your topic. They are useful as articles commonly focus on one aspect of a broader subject and as a result are more specialized in topic.

Key Databases

Some databases with broad coverage across a wide range of disciplines in engineering are:

Some more specialized resources that you may find useful include:

Choosing Keywords

Boolean Operators and Modifiers

Learn how to use the Boolean Operators AND/OR/NOT to target and refine your search.

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

Learn how to format your search using the Boolean Modifiers quotes " ", asterisk *, and parenthesis ( )

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

Cheat Sheet Boolean. Boolean logic is fundamental to the search functions of Internet search engines like Google and Library databases like JSTOR and Web of Science. As a student, correctly utilizing a few key Boolean Operators and Modifiers will provide better, and more accurate search results. Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT. AND is also implied by a blank space between words e.g. Geriatric AND Driving. Results will contain both the words Geriatric and Driving. OR E.g. Geriatric OR Elderly. Results will contain one or more of the words Elderly or Geriatric. NOT e.g. Elderly NOT "Middle Aged". Results won't contain the search term "Middle Aged." Search modifiers. " " * () Quotation / Speech Marks, e.g. "Middle aged". Results will contain the words Middle and Aged together as an exact phrase. Asterisk. e.g. Driv* Results will contain terms that begin with Driv, e.g. Drive, driver, driving, driven. Parentheses/brackets. E.g. (Geriatric OR Senior) and "Driving Cessation". results will contain "Driving Cessation" and either or both of the words geriatric or senior. Search strings. Boolean operators and modifiers can be used together to form more specific search strings. E.g. A search for journal articles about reasons for driving cessation amongst seniors might look like this: "Driving Cessation" AND (geriatric OR senior OR "Older adults"). Boolean Tips. Use AND to NARROW result. Use OR to produce BROADER results. Use NOT to remove previous results. Some applications don't support the asterisk modifier, instead construct OR statements to search all variations. Record each search string to avoid duplication.

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