The following tabs provide tips and guidance on running more detailed searches in our academic research databases.
Academic research databases are great sources of journal articles, research reports, theses and more. These databases specialise in providing information for Engineering and related subjects, and allow you to run more detailed searches than Library Search. Access these resources via the main Engineering LibGuide.
Before you start searching, spend some time defining your research topic. Ask yourself, what is it that you want to find out? What search terms or keywords will find this information?
Use whatever technique works best for you - e.g. brainstorming, words lists or mind maps etc. can help you think around your topic and identify all possible search concepts and terms.
Take a look at the short video to help you begin:
It is possible to use a number of different keywords in a single search, by using operators.
The three most commonly used operators are AND, OR, NOT. These are known as Boolean operators. They can be used to broaden or narrow a search and to exclude unwanted concepts.
Watch the video to find out how to use these operators.
Truncation is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.
To use truncation, enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol at the end.
The database will return results that include any ending of that root word.
The asterisk * symbol is most commonly used for truncation. However, check out the database's help screens as !, ?, or # may also be used.
industr* will find industry, industries, industrial, industrialisation, industrialization, industrialised, industrialized etc.
Global* will find global, globalise, globalize, globalisation, globalization etc.
Use it with care to avoid finding too many alternatives.
Phrase searching is the most limiting technique as it is used to specify that your terms must appear next to each other, and in the order you specify.
Phrase searching is commonly achieved by surrounding your phrase with quotation marks.
Always check the Database Help screens, as some databases may use different symbols.
Phrase searching examples:
For more, see the Search tips guide.
Library staff are always on hand if you require additional support. Visit our 'Contact us' guide for all the ways in which you can get in touch.
Your Academic Liaison Librarians can also provide 1:1 guidance if you have any questions around literature searching. Click here for information on how you can contact your Academic Liaison Librarian and book an MS Teams meeting.
If the library doesn't have access to a book that you need, you can request it via our Student Book Suggestion Scheme. Specify that you would like to access the title as an ebook and we will try our best to add it to our collections for you.