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MNG 101   Tags: mining_engineering  

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Getting Started Print Page

Introduction to Research

For this class you will only need to use resources within this guide and your folder. Start here:

Step 1:  Open the folders you have been given.  They include:

  • A research topic on a card. There is one card for the team.  It will either read “Scholarly” or “Non-scholarly” under the given topic. 
  • A  worksheet to record your work
  • One example each of a scholarly and non-scholarly journals
  • A tip card on characteristics of scholarly and non-scholarly journals
  •  A tip card on developing keywords.

The team should decide who will be the database searcher, who will record your research question, the key word list and any notes you want to include for the presentation.  The third team member should present your findings to class.  

Record all your work on the worksheet.

Step 2:  List your topic on the worksheet. Then turn your topic into a Research Question: What aspect of this topic do you want to research?  Can you refine that toward a specific aspect of the topic? Record on your worksheet

Step 3: Develop your keyword list.  Make a list of subject terms or keywords that you will use to search for articles.  

Step 4:  Identify an article that addresses your research question.  Use the  article databases on the course guide: to research your topic.  You may discover one is better for your research than than another.

  • Use the chart, videos or tutorial on the Non-Scholarly, Trade, and Scholarly Journals tabs above to learn the differences between the three types of journals. Or use the handouts in your folder.
  • Use Coal Mining is Not A Research Question to learn how to refine or develop a research topic.

Use the database videos tab to find short videos that will help you develop keywords for searching.  Use the two listed databases (Compendex, IEEE Xplore, Health & Safety Science Abstracts, NTIS  and/or Academic Search Complete) for your searches.

NOTE:  Remember - do not rely on the database to determine if a journal is scholarly or trade as most are NOT differentiating. Use the handouts, chart, videos, on the Non-Scholarly, Trade, and Scholarly Journals tab (above) to help you determine if it is a scholarly or trade journal article.

Step 5:  Present your findings to the class.  Each team will be able to discuss their experience and explain how the article they selected meets either the criteria for a scholarly journal article or a trade journal article.  You can use your completed worksheet as speaking points.  Be sure to turn in the worksheet with all team names to get credit for this class.


  • Compendex
    Contains references and abstracts taken from over 5,000 engineering journals, conferences and technical reports.
  • Health and Safety Science Abstracts
    Provides a survey of work relating to public health, safety, and industrial hygiene, focusing on risks and hazards across the spectrum of environmental and occupational situations.
  • IEEE Xplore
    Interdisciplinary database for all engineering fields, but focused on electrical, computer and electronic applications.
  • NTIS Database (National Technical Information Service)
    Provides indexing to U.S. government-sponsored research and worldwide scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information. Please note: Some full-text is now available online via the NTIS/GPO FDLP Beta Document Access & Retrieval Test (DART) System.

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