Designing Search Strategies
- Select keywords from your research topic
- Find synonyms or related terms for each of the keyword you identified above
- Use Boolean operators (AND, OR) to connect your keyword; Combine concepts using AND, and combine alternate terms within a concept using OR
- Select search tools (library catalogue, databases, etc.)
- Conduct your search
- Review your search results and revise your search if necessary
You can use the Search Strategy Worksheet below to help you develop your search strategies.
Finding information for your CEE4441 project
If you are new to your topic or would like to start by reading some more general background information, here are some good places to start:
Use Omni to find books (print and online) on your topic from Western Libraries and the Affiliated University College Libraries
A large collection of E-books by McGraw Hill for engineering subject areas. Check the AccessEngineering LibGuide for content coverage, user guides, and video tutorials.
CRCnetBASE offers e-handbooks and e-books in multiple disciplines.
Notes: Review articles, an important source of background information, can be really helpful in getting started: They synthesize key research on your topic, and normally are written by experts in your fields. Review articles can be found in databases.
You can find primary information sources, such as articles and conference papers, in the following databases:
- ASCE Library
ASCE Library is an online full-text civil engineering database providing the contents of peer-reviewed journals, proceedings, e-books, and standards published by the American Society of Civil Engineers
- Web of Science
The Web of Science provides seamless access to current and retrospective multidisciplinary information from approximately 8,700 of the most prestigious, high-impact research journals in the world.
Scopus is a navigation tool covering the world's largest collection of abstracts, references and indexes of scientific, technical, and medical (STM) literature. Seamless links to full-text articles and other library resources make Scopus quick, easy, and comprehensive
Check Finding Dissertations guides for theses and dissertations.
Access the full text of articles
- Click at the Get it @ Western button to try to get fulltext online. If Get it @ Western doesn't get you fulltext, search the library catalogue's holdings by Journal Title.
- If the journal issue or conference proceeding isn't in the library catalogue, search for it on the web. You may be able to get it for free.
- If all else fails, order the article through Interlibrary Loans (free for most items for Western users).
Finding Maps and Geospatial Information
Finding News Articles and Industry Info
Research Process Toolkit
The tutorial toolkit is a collection of Western Libraries tutorials specific to the research process. Organized as a step by step series from the beginning to the end of the research process, this toolkit helps equip undergraduate students with essential research skills along with the knowledge of various ways the Library can help