Computer Science

This guide is meant for self service. If at any time during the research process, should you feel the need for research support, then email me. We will arrange a convenient time to get together on Zoom, and other platforms.

The research process

  1. Get background information from handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries
  2. Once your topic is narrowly defined, select databases to find specific articles that have been published in journals
  3. Films and images as non-literary forms of representation 
  4. Find books on your topic to gain greater depth and understanding
  5. Write down or store all the references you have consulted to include them in the bibliography of your research paper, for example Mendeley

Search tips

  1. Begin by defining exactly what you are searching for
  • Select the keywords/synonyms/antonyms in your topic
  • Be specific when determining keywords/synonyms/antonyms and terms to search
  1. Use the advanced interface of electronic databases and Internet search engines to help narrow your search
  • Limit results in electronic databases to full-text or peer reviewed journals only
  1. Use Boolean Operators to connect search terms by understanding how search engines operate
  1. Take notes during your research to keep track of where you have been, keywords searched, what worked and what didn't, etc.

Subject headings

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) use controlled vocabulary to access and express the subject content of documents. Computer Science as a discipline has been divided into the following subjects or research areas. ‚ÄčThis is a searchable index. Click on a link below to display the Library's holdings in this area:

  • Add keywords
  • Use the filters on the left of the resulting screen
  • Typical filters are Available Online and Peer Reviewed Journals
  1. Algorithm analysis and problem complexity
  2. Algorithms
  3. Analysis
  4. Artificial intelligence
  5. Computer communication networks
  6. Computer science
    1. Computer science -- Artificial intelligence
    2. Computer science -- Hardware and architecture
    3. Computer science -- Information systems
    4. Computer science -- Interdisciplinary applications
    5. Computer science -- Software engineering
    6. Computer science -- Theory and methods
  7. Computer simulation
  8. Data mining
  9. Data mining and knowledge discovery
  10. Database management
  11. Engineering -- Electrical and electronic
  12. Information storage and retrieval
  13. Information systems
  14. Information systems applications
  15. Mathematical logic and formal languages
  16. Mathematical models
  17. Optimization
  18. Programming techniques
  19. Software engineering
  20. Studies
  21. Telecommunications
  22. User interfaces and human computer interaction

Key database

  1. OMNI: the Carleton University Library search portal. Please see Help With Using Omni
  1. Dissertations and Theses Global: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global is a comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1743 to the present. PQDT Global includes theses from Great Britain and Ireland.
  2. SAGE Knowledge Encyclopedias: Carleton subscribes to the 2011 Encyclopedia Collection which provides perpetual access to 27 encyclopedias in the social sciences published between 2005-2011, as well as some other encyclopedias which have been ordered individually. Browse by Content Type: "Encyclopedias" and/or "Handbooks".
  3. SAGE Research Methods: With information on the full range of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods for the social and behavioral sciences, as well as methods commonly used in the hard sciences, the book, reference, and journal content in SAGE Research Methods helps researchers of all levels conduct their research.
  • Cases: Cases are peer-reviewed and come with pedagogical tools including learning objectives and discussions questions
  • Datasets: Datasets is a collection of teaching datasets and instructional guides that give students a chance to learn data analysis by practicing themselves
  • Video: Video contains more than 125 hours of video, including tutorials, case study videos, expert interviews, and more, covering the entire research methods and statistics curriculum
  1. is a gateway to government science information and research results.
  2. Scopus: A multidisciplinary abstract and citation database of research literature and web sources.
  3. Wiley Online Journals: Multidisciplinary Wiley journals (current issues and backfiles).


  1. How to Read a Book, v5.0 School of Information University of Michigan
  2. How to Read for Grad School Miriam E. Sweeney
Content last reviewed: June 27, 2018