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CIE 100: Introduction to Civil & Environmental Engineering

Searching URSUS (Books, Gov. Publications) Searching Indexes and Databases for Articles Searching for Technical Reports and Data  Searching Newspapers Sustainable Engineering on the Web

How do you know if an article is acceptable for a research assignment?

There are four types of periodicals to be found at Fogler library and online via subscription databases: popular magazines, trade publications, scholarly journals, and conference proceedings. Not all articles are created equal. Generally, you will want to stick with articles from scholarly journals, conference proceedings and trade publications. For detailed descriptions of each type, see Identifying Scholarly Journals vs. Popular & Trade Magazines.

Searching Fogler's Indexes & Databases

Fogler has subscriptions to some very powerful electronic indexes and databases, many of them containing full-text articles available for printing. Use these to find scholarly, peer-reviewed publications. Electronic Indexes and Databases are not always the best resources for finding older (pre-1970s) articles, but there are print indexes available for locating older materials, located in the Science and Engineering Center of Fogler Library.

Selected Resources

ASCE Library Environmental Science Collection
CAB Direct GreenFILE
Compendex ScienceDirect
Environment Complete Web of Science

Search Examples

Tip 1: Most of the tips provided in the URSUS examples also apply to electronic databases

Tip 2: Every database has it's unique characteristics and features. If you are not getting the intended search results, be sure to read the help files provided by each vendor on their respective database page.

Example 1: In this example we will find articles related to riverbank stabilization. We'll focus on the use of the 360 Link utility to find the full-text of the article.

  1. Start by opening Environmental Science Collection.
  2. Click on the Advanced Advanced Search link, above the search box.
  3. In the first empty search field, enter Riverbank. In the empty field directly below it, enter the word Stabilization. Click the Search button (screenshot). You should get about 1150 search results.
  4. Click on the linked title of the search result for Riverbank stabilization program (#5 in my search results). Review the abstract and the subject headings. You could broaden or refine your search using some of the relevant subject headings (called Subjects, here), but I've chosen not to do that in this example.
  5. Click on the 360 Link iconicon near the top of the record. If the full text is available, you will be taken to it. If is not available, you will be taken to a page with other options for acquiring the full text.
  6. In some circumstances clicking the 360 Link iconor the Article Linker button will prompt a new browser tab (or window) to open showing a list of University of Maine campuses. If this is the case, click on the link for University of Maine. (screenshot). There will then be a list of several databases where the full-text of the article can be found. If you are not familiar with Article Linker, you may want to view this video tutorial also. (4:27, requires Adobe Flash Player)

Example 2: In this example we'll find articles related to the use of solid waste for energy production. We'll search for keywords within the abstracts of articles to insure that our search results are relevant. We'll also use phrase searching (using quotation marks) and the Boolean operator OR to make our search more precice.

  1. Start by opening CAB Direct.
  2. Next, click on the Advanced Search link, just below the search box.
  3. In the first empty search field, enter "Solid Waste" (include the quotation marks). Change the drop down menu next to the search field to Abstract.
  4. In the second empty search field, enter Energy OR Power OR Electricity. Like before, change the drop down menu next to the search field to Abstract. (screenshot)
  5. Leave all other options alone and click the Submit button. You should get about 860 search results.
  6. Review the article titles, abstracts and subject heading for the search results and identify articles that may be useful. Follow the instructions for 360 Link and ArticleLinker, above, to search for the full text.

Remember! These examples are only a few ways to find information for your projects. Many other resources are available for students' use at the Science & Engineering Center on the 2nd floor of Fogler Library, and additional electronic journals and databases are accessible from the library's website.

If you need help finding resources, don't hesitate to contact us - that's what we're here for! There are many ways you can reach us:


Created by: Martin Wallace | Revised: 01/06/2014
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