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General Engineering: a general undergraduate research guide

A concise guide to important resources for undergraduate Engineering students.

What is a Journal?

A journal is also known as a magazine or a periodical, especially one published for a special group, learned society, or profession.  It is issued at regularly recurring intervals, such as bi-weekly, monthly, etc.

Choosing Search Terms

+ Think of synonyms or similar words that convey the same meaning

+ Look at related terms that are displayed when searching a database to see which words are most commonly used for that topic/concept

+ To connect search terms, use AND or use OR:

"AND" Operator - narrows search and decreases results

Example: Searching for "College Students" AND Music


"OR" Operator - broadens search and increases results

Example: Searching for "College Students" OR "University Students"

+ To be more specific, search only in the TITLE field

+ If you don't get many relevant results in one database, try a different one

+ When you locate a very relevant article, use the terms from that article and its references

++ Compendex database includes a Thesaurus for additional search terms

Steps to Locating Articles on a Topic

1. Search in the appropriate Research Databases using subject terms for your topic.

2. If the article you want is not available in full text in the database or the link is broken, search for the journal title in Journals at CSU below.

3. If CSU doesn't subscribe to that journal in print or online format (i.e. it is not in "Journals at CSU"), you may request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Find a Journal Reference

Interlibrary Loan

After searching in Journals at CSU, if the article or paper you need is not available at CSU, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Subject-Specific Engineering Research Databases

General Research Databases


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Peer-reviewed articles are also known as "scholarly" or "refereed" articles.  Before being accepted for publication in a journal, they have been reviewed by a panel of experts in that field or on that topic. Peer-reviewed articles are the best available.

A search in Academic Search Complete and other select research databases can be limited to peer-reviewed journal articles by checking off the "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" box under "Limit your results."

Google Scholar

Subject Guide

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Theresa Nawalaniec
Michael Schwartz Library
RT 110F