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I keep getting no results

It's been years since I used this system and I'm finding it pretty useless now. I just want to search engineering journal articles. What is the most effective way to do this?


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Hi Evan,

UTS Library's picture
UTS Library, 7 years ago

Hi Evan,

When you’re looking for individual journal articles, you’ll be best off if you choose the Find Databases link from the homepage, and then choose the subject Engineering. Now, because I’m not quite sure which area you're studying, I've linked you to the list of top Engineering databases.

Once you have a database chosen, look at your assignment. For example, if I had this assignment - “Planning for energy efficiency has an important role in the planning of new buildings. Discuss” I would look at the question and identify the most important words. To me, they would be “energy efficiency” “planning” and “buildings”

I would then take these keywords, and put them into a search like this: “energy efficiency” AND planning AND buildings

I put quotation marks around "energy efficiency" to make sure that it is locked together. You only need to do this when there's more than one word, and you know that those words will always be next to each other.

When I say AND, I am telling the database that I want these things to all appear in the articles that come back in the search results.

If you know that there’s different ways that the people in your area might talk about the same thing, you’d be using OR. This tells the database you're happy with this OR the other thing, and that's fine. For example, “energy efficiency” OR “green building” AND planning

I hope this is helpful. If you still need more help identifying keywords, or finding articles for your assignments, please don’t hesitate to contact us again, using the Answers, Chat, or Research Help Desk services.


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