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Engineering Communication EAL ENG 3003
Databases - which provide references to journal articles with some links to the full text
for sources of general comment see the databases which cover a wide range of journal and newspaper articles such as
Academic Search Premier
Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre
Expanded academic ASAP
There are a number of specialised databases, by subject content or by type of material.
for engineering aspects try
Compendex: engineering index
CEDB: Civil Engineering DataBase
for business and management aspects try
Business Source Complete
for social and community issues try
ERIC - education
Geobase - geography, communities
PsycINFO - psychology
Sociological abstracts- social issues
for Australian aspects try
Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre
for international newspaper coverage see
for citation searching see
Web of Science
Producing a report
Essay, thesis, report writing - some ideas
Harvard reference system
Image and Copy Centre
Ask your Librarian
To get an understanding of aspects of your topic, some background information is useful so, try encyclopaedias and handbooks. (1)
For more detailed discussion find other books through the Library Catalogue (2)
Once you know which aspects of the topic you want to develop for your report, you will need to read comment and opinion written in journal articles. Use specialised indexes, known as Databases, to find out what articles and papers might be relevant. (3)
(1) Handbooks and Encyclopaedias
Engineering handbooks aimed at professional engineers are useful sources of reliable information. For a list of available engineering handbooks in electronic format, click here.
In addition there are still some useful titles in print format eg. -
in commerce and business
Encyclopedia of business. 2 volumes
Reference collection 650.03 E56
in social sciences
Encyclopedia of psychology
Reference collection 150.03 K23e
(2) What does the Library provide? (in electronic or print format)
At the Library Home page there are two search options; the Catalogue and Summon.
The Search bar across the Library home page uses the Summon program to find a selection of newspaper comment, journal articles and books that may be relevant to your topic.
In addition to the content of the Library Catalodue, Summon provides fulltext of some articles from some journals and some newspapers from some publishers for some years.
'Find everything' does not mean that you will find everything that is available through all of the Library's resources.
To use Summon,
Leave the default at Find Everything; then in the search bar, type in words (keywords or a phrase) to indicate your topic, eg.
characteristics of the graduate engineer
Click on [go] to get a list of results across a range of time and types of material.
For more information
Put your cursor over the title of the article to bring up the preview giving an abstract and all of the subject headings for the article.
For the full text
Click on'Full text' in the yellow circle or click on the title, to bring up the link to the full text where this is available.
Refine your search
From the column on the left-hand side, click in the box to the left of 'Limit to articles from scholarly publications' to restrict the results to academic articles only.
Collect a set of useful articles
Put your cursor over the record of an interesting item, to bring up two icons in the top right hand corner; click on the icon at the far right. Before you end your search, scroll down to the bottom right-hand side of the screen and click on Saved items to get the Email and Print links.
Summon is useful for a quick, simple search; to do a specific search with more flexibility and with the ability to transfer your search strategy to databases, use the Library Catalogue.
At the Library Home page there are seven rectangular boxes across the top of the screen; click on the one labelled [Catalogue] to bring up the Basic Search bars
At by: pull down on the arrow-head and select Keyword (use and, or, not, " ")
This is a specific search system in which you specify the exact words and the relationship of those words.Before you start a Keyword search -
Think about the concepts in your topic
Think of the terms, words and phrases, that could be used in the title of a paper that you would want to read for your topic. These are keywords
This keyword search strategy applies in the commercial Databases so develop your search strategy here, then you can copy and paste your search strategy from the Catalogue to the Databases.
At the Search for: bar type in your keywords.
<>Type the computer command and between each keyword to tell the system to find only those Catalogue records which include each word you have selected. eg.>
engineers and characteristics
At by: pull down and select Keyword (use and, or, not, " ")
Click on the [Search] button to bring up the results, that is the titles that match your search strategy.
The Brief Record format indicates the location of the book and whether it is on loan.
Click on the title for more details in the Full Record.
The Full Record describes the book and lists the Subject Heading(s): which may give leads to more books on the topic.
Click on a Subject Heading: to bring up a list of headings from which you can find other relevant material.
Click on Requests: to get an item that is on loan or in the Joint Store.
Click on History: to see your search strategies in this session. Click on a search strategy to get the results of that search.
Click on Other Catalogues to see there any useful material at Flinders and UniSA libraries. Use History: to re-run your Keyword search strategy.
You can borrow from the other university libraries with your University of Adelaide student card.
Think about other words that an author might use in their title, which would be of interest to you, eg.
engineer and graduate and characteristics
Where the search word could be singular or plural, use the truncation symbol * to tell the Catalogue to find all words beginning with the letters you have typed, eg.
engineer* and characteristics* and graduate*
Alternatively you can broaden the search by deleting a search term, eg.
engineer* and characteristics*
There might be other words which authors could use for each concept so combine search terms with the operators and, or, " " eg.
(profession* or graduat*) and (characteristic* or attribute* or skill*) and engineer*
Remember to use brackets/parentheses ( ) around words separated with the OR command
Where one word will always follow another in your search terms you can use the phrase search command " " eg.
(3) Databases listing journal articles and papers
You cannot use the Library Catalogue directly to find out which journal or newspaper articles are available through the Library. To do this you need to search individual Databases.
The Library subscribes to a number of these commercial services which list millions of articles. In many cases the Library's subscriptions provide access to the full text of the article through the Database.
Where this is not the case, to find out if the Library provides access to a specific item, search the Library Catalogue by: Journal or Newspaper Title.
which Database to use?
Your topic looks at many issues so consider using databases indexing business issues, social issues, politics, psychology, etc. Does the Database cover recent articles? Is an Australian database appropriate?
Some databases that may be useful -
for a wide range of issues, including public comment see
consider the employers comment in business and management journals
Business Source Complete 1965-
for social issues
This is only a selection of available databases.
If you need information not covered by the databases above or in the column to the left, check the [Resource guides] on the Library Home page to see the databases suggested for other Disciplines, or contact the Engineering Librarian
Databases use the the same basic search strategy as used when searching in the Library's Catalogue by Keyword (use and, or, not, " ") so start by pasting in a copy of your search strategy from the Library Catalogue,
- think of additional search words and other words that could be used for a concept
- combine search terms with the commands and, or, " "
remember to use brackets ( ) around search keywords separated by the or command,
- use the asterisk * for truncation
(engineer* or designer*) and (graduate* or profession*) and (knowledg* or attribut*) and (milit* or municipal* or academ* or commerc*) and (ethic* or philosoph*)
Remember that journal articles are usually on a specific topic - avoid using general search terms.
Think of words and phrases that an author could use in the title of an article that might give the information you need.
Consider searching for a named device, project, company, structure, place name etc, as well as more widely for the type of project and type of utility.
Use the * the truncatation symbol to pick up alternative endings, such as singular and/or plural.
dealing with the results
Look at the titles - are there other, useful words in the titles and abstracts of the first articles you retrieve? Consider 'improving' your search strategy!
Your initial results give a Brief Record; in most Databases you can click on the article title to display the Full Record which will include subject terms. Click on a subject term to find other articles on that same topic.
Look for the 'boxes' to mark, that is to collect a set of useful records.
Look for icons and instructions for emailing, printing or saving your results.
once your Database search has given some references, you need to find the full text of the article or conference paper.
In many cases the Library's subscription to the database includes full text access, so there may be a link to the article.
Alternatively, look for the blue rectangle labelled [Check fulltext options] Click on [Check fulltext options] to see if the Library does provide access to the full text of the article in electronic format.
Remember, the Library may have the journal in print form, so go to the Library Catalogue and search by: Journal or Newspaper Title.
- for journals available in electronic form the Library Catalogue record provides a Link to e-Resource: and indicates the years available electronically.
- for journals in print form the Library Catalogue record lists the Location: (which library), Call Number: (where in that library) and what the Library Has: (which issue our set starts with, and the last issue received)
Check the date and volume number of your reference against the Catalogue information to make certain that the Library provides access to the article you want.The Barr Smith Library does not hold all journals listed in the databases.
To find out if a journal is available in Adelaide, use the Other Catalogues option to search the catalogues of Flinders University and UniSA libraries.
If you need some ideas for ways of presenting the arguments in your essay or seminar, try some of the guides to report writing and presentation.
When you are listing works that you have consulted for information for your essay, you should use a definite referencing or citation style. A referencing style is simply a standardised way of writing down the elements of information about a book or journal or electronic source.
The Library provides a guide with a range of examples in An introduction to the author-date (Harvard) referencing system which is widely used in the engineering literature.
If you are using EndNote to manage your references, the Library provides some suggestions on training and help and an EndNote Tutorial.
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