Welcome to the CCDP library guide
This guide provides information on search techniques, tips and tools.
Inverted Pyramid of search results
Identify the main concepts of your research topic.
- What are the variables affecting sustainable water systems?
Think of synonyms for each concept.
- sustainable = sustainability
- water = hydro
To find articles which contain all of your concepts:
- Combine them with AND
- Using AND narrows your search
- The more words you combine with AND, the less results you will retrieve
- water AND sustainability
To find articles which contain any of your keywords:
- Combine them with OR
- Using OR expands your search
- The more words you combine with OR, the more results you will retrieve
- water OR hydro
Combining Boolean Operators
You can combine multiple operators in your search:
- Use brackets to separate concepts
- (water OR hydro) AND (sustainability OR sustainable)
To find an exact phrase use quotation marks.
- "sustainable energy"
Truncation, also called stemming, is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings.
- Both the singular and plural forms of a word
- Words that begin with the same word stem
- Truncation symbols vary by database; common symbols include: *, ?, #, $
- sustainab* = sustainable, sustainability
- Controlled vocabulary/Subject heading
- Document type
General Search Tools
Engineering Specific Tools
- Ei Engineering Village
- ASME Digital Collection
- SPIE ebooks
- Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science: Collections 1-10
Subject Specific Guides
- Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- Systems and Computer
- Sustainable and Renewable Energy (Stream A: Smart Technologies for Power Generation and Distribution)
- Sustainable and Renewable Energy (Stream B: Efficient Energy Generation and Conversion)
- Engineering Physics
- Information Technology
- Industrial Design
A patent is a certificate of grant by a government of an exclusive right with respect to an invention for a limited period of time. Patents can be invaluable sources of information, but are not easy to search for and use.
Standards are officially approved specifications that cover such topics as methods of testing, terminology, performance, and construction requirements. Often they are not more than a few pages long. Many bodies issue standards (national and international standards organizations, trade associations, government departments, etc).
A thesis is the final product of a Masters degree that demonstrates that the student knows the background and principal works of the research area, can produce significant scholarly work and should contain some original contribution whenever possible.
A dissertation is the final product of a Doctoral (PhD) degree, it must contain a substantial contribution of new knowledge to the field of study.