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When beginning research, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Starting off in an organized fashion will save you time and make life easier. Understand the types of articles you need to find for your assignment. Do you need scholarly, peer-reviewed, or trade? Maybe you need a mix. Make sure you know exactly what your professor wants BEFORE you begin. Secondly, know the difference between the types. Use the tutorials or the charts and tips throughout this guide, Research in an appropriate database like Compendex, Scopus or Web of Science. These are already focused on research literature. Remember, trade journal articles may be mixed in your results. So make sure the articles you select meet your research needs by evaluating your sources. Consider using a citation manager like EndNote to organize all your citations. This will make it much easier when you write your paper. Finally, if you need help, ask a librarian! Set up a consult appointment to get you off on the right start or if you get stuck, we can help you get back on track. Remember, finding information is our specialty!
Starting Your Research Project
1) Understand your assignment research requirements. Do you need statistics? Data? Research articles?
Code of Federal RegulationsThe Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. The 50 subject matter titles contain one or more individual volumes, which are updated once each calendar year, on a staggered basis. The annual update cycle is as follows: titles 1-16 are revised as of January 1; titles 17-27 are revised as of April 1; titles 28-41 are revised as of July 1; and titles 42-50 are revised as of October 1. Each title is divided into chapters, which usually bear the name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts that cover specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided into subparts. All parts are organized in sections, and most citations to the CFR refer to material at the section level. About the Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition).
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When looking for articles on your topic, start with these databases. They are already focused by subject and unlike Google, have filtered out sites and sources that would not be used in academic papers or research. This will save you time and result in a better paper.
CompendexPrimary citation and abstract database for engineering literature. Articles go back to 1892.
Scopus is an abstracting and citation database of peer-reviewed literature that contains over 22,000 titles from more than 5,000 publishers around the world, covering the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts & humanities. Scopus is a citation index which helps in determining the impact of articles and journals by highlighting which titles are most cited within a field.
The IEEE Xplore digital library is a powerful resource for discovery of scientific and technical content published by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and its publishing partners.
Includes METADEX, Copper and Polymer Library databases and provides full-text titles from around the world, including scholarly journals, trade and industry journals, magazines, technical reports, conference proceedings and government publications. Includes specialized, editorially-curated A&I resources for discovery of relevant scholarly research and technical literature critical to the discipline.
Provides indexing to U.S. government-sponsored research and worldwide scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information.
MEDLINE (ProQuest)Primary medical literature database. MEDLINE contains over 20 million citations and abstracts, providing unparalleled access to worldwide biomedical literature. The database contains a broad range of medical topics relating to research, clinical practice, administration, policy issues, and health care services. Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.