Ene 262 spring 2014


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How to find information in environmental science. Updated for Spring 2014.

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Ene 262 spring 2014

  1. 1. How to Find Information in Civil and Environmental Engineering Bruce Slutsky NJIT Library
  2. 2. Scientific Method The scientific method is the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate representation of the world. There are various thought processes that are used when the scientific method is employed
  3. 3. Information Retrieval We are flooded with scientific and technical information. Scientists, engineers and students must be able to find information at all levels from a multitude of information resources available to them
  4. 4. Similarities between the Scientific Method and Information Retrieval Scientific Method Information Retrieval         Know the subject Require new knowledge Propose an experiment to find new knowledge Conduct the experiment Observe and interpret the results Revise the experiment Interpret the final outcome of the experiment         Know the scope of and contents of databases in his/her field of endeavor Require new knowledge Devise an initial search strategy using relevant terminology in subject databases Examine the initial answer set Revise the strategy based on findings from the initial answer set Explore alternative search options Examine the final answer set Find the relevant documents Use the information found
  5. 5. THE STRUCTURED RESEARCH METHOD IS AN ITERATIVE PROCESS • Look over initial search results, check for false #3 hits or additional terms descriptors you may EVALUATE have missed. RESULTS #1 RESEARCH QUESTION • Does your original search string need to be modified? Did you select an appropriate database? • Develop understanding of research question and scope of topic • Brainstorm alternative keywords/synony ms for major concepts #2 SEARCH STRATEGY • Use both a web search engine and the library portal. • When selecting a data source to search, think about who would care about your topic? What disciplines cover your area of interest? • Formulate search string by combining concepts
  6. 6. Formats of the Scientific and Technical Literature        Journal Conference Proceeding Magazine Review Journal Research Level Book (monograph) Encyclopedia Data Compilation
  7. 7. What is a Journal? A journal is a publication issued periodically that reports original research. Manuscripts submitted by researchers are scrutinized by an editor and a referee before they are accepted for publication. This is known as the peer review process. The articles are very detailed and include detailed experimental procedures. It is aimed at a very specialized audience of researchers in the field.
  8. 8. PEER REVIEW 1. Scientist writes a paper and submits it to a journal. 2. The editor sends the paper to other specialists in the field for anonymous review of quality and originality – – – – Was the work done properly Is the discovery original Is the subject appropriate for this journal Will other scientists be able to understand and repeat the experiments with the same results. 1. The Editor uses the comments to accept, reject or require revisions.
  9. 9. Selected Journals in Civil and Environmental Engineering Environmental  Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmenta  Environmental Science and Technology  Environmental Pollution  Ground Water
  10. 10. Selected Journals in Civil and Environmental Engineering Structural  Journal of Structural Engineering  Journal of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engin Engi  Computer-aided civil and infrastructure enginee  Computers & Structures
  11. 11. What is a Conference Proceeding? Scientists and engineers regularly attend conferences to report recent research findings to their colleagues. Most conferences are organized by professional societies such as the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Conferences may be held annually, bi-annually, or irregularly. Some are one-time events. A conference proceeding is the permanent record of the papers presented at a conference. They are held as books or as CD-ROMs in a library. Many conferences do not publish their proceedings, some publish only abstracts, and that papers from such meetings
  12. 12. Examples of Conference Proceedings  Environmental engineering, 1999 : proceedings of ASCE-CSCE National Conference on Environmental Engineering : July 25-28, 1999, Norfolk, Virginia / edited by Gary C. Shafran ; sponsored by the Environmental Engineering Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers [and] Environmental Engineering Division of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineers.  Clean water, clean environment, 21st century : team agriculture, working to protect water resources : conference proceedings, March 58, 1995, Kansas City, Missouri / [sponsored by Working Group on Water Quality, U.S. Department of Agriculture ; coordinated by ASAE, The Society for engineering in agricultural, food, and biological systems].  Application of stress-wave theory on piles : Second International Conference / edited by G. Holm, H. Bredenberg, C-J Grävare
  13. 13. Review Journal A Review Journal is a condensed version of a research journal. It summarizes research in a field over a short period of time. The articles omit the detailed experimental procedures but do provide lengthy bibliographies with references to the original research. Examples are:   Annual Review of Energy and the Environment Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics
  14. 14. Magazines A magazine is a publication issued periodically that has scientific and technical articles that are translated into a language suitable for a more general audience. Magazine articles are usually written by a journalist rather than the scientist who has done the research. Some magazines are aimed at the lay public while others are suitable for technically trained people. Some examples of scientific and technical magazines:     Civil Engineering Modern Steel Construction ASTM Standardization News Hazardous Waste Consultant
  15. 15. Monographs A monograph is librarians' jargon for a book that is only published once. Books are obviously written at levels ranging from elementary to graduate school level. Recent research done over a longer period of time is reported in monographs. Now, the information is available to a much wider audience. There are thousands of monographs written in civil and environmental engineering and related disciplines.
  16. 16. Handbooks A handbook, in print or electronic format, is a summary of the highlights of a topic, written more as a review than of an instructional work. It is usually the product of many experts who write chapters about their specialized fields. They are particular useful for providing tabular data and are helpful in finding diverse, hard-to-find data which does not become outdated quickly.
  17. 17. Examples of Handbooks Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers Handbook of Civil Engineering Calculations Standard Handbook of Environmental Engineering  Handbook of Environmental Engineering Calculations   
  18. 18. Encyclopedias  Encyclopedias introduce researchers to specialize fields of study. They may not be familiar with encyclopedias in civil and environmental engineering such as:  Encyclopedia of building and construction terms  Encyclopedia of environmental science and engineering  Encyclopedia of the environment
  19. 19. Is Wikipedia Reliable?  Can it be trusted as a source of science and engineering information?
  20. 20. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Wikipedia Advantages:  Good for obtaining background knowledge on a topic  Articles can be revised and edited quickly. Information about recent events will appear there Disadvantages:  Does not undergo the peer review process  Anyone can write or edit an article anonymously  Suggestion: Do not cite it in your bibliography
  21. 21. Flow of Scientific Information
  22. 22. Flow of Scientific Information  Scientists and engineers conceive ideas and perform experiments in the laboratory. They want to make the results of their research public. They will write a manuscript documenting their research results and submit to the editor of an appropriate journal for publication. The editor will refer the manuscript to an authority in the field who will review it and accept or deny it for publication. They may also present their findings at a professional conference.  The published information flows from the top of the chart to the bottom. Students needing information must start their research at the bottom of the chart. Tertiary literature such as handbooks, encyclopedias, and textbooks must be consulted first. If the desired information is not found there, the researcher must try to find information in reviews, journals and conference proceedings. Such publications are indexed in subject specific databases.
  23. 23. Types of Databases  Bibliographic - includes the elements needed to identify the document – Author(s) – Title – Journal, Year, Volume, Issue Number, Pages Most bibliographic databases include an abstract - a one paragraph summary of the article to help the researcher decide if it is relevant to the research question  Full-Text - includes the entire article in electronic format  Numeric (Data Compilation) - includes only specific data elements such as thermodynamic or spectral data
  24. 24. History of Database Formats  Print - Very cumbersome and difficult to use  Online (1970s to the present) - Pay as you go. Cost is based on amount of information retrieved  CD-ROM (1980s to the present) - Only so much information can fit on one disk  World Wide Web (1990s to the present) Allows for remote access
  25. 25. Limitations of Databases Subject coverage Dates of Publication Types of Publication (i.e. journals only, patents only)  Not all databases provide full-text of the retrieved documents or links to them   
  26. 26. Subject Databases (Search Engines) for Civil Engineers       Scopus Scifinder Scholar (Chemistry Related) Business Source Premier (trade magazines) American Society of Civil Engineers Environmental Protection Agency Academic Search Premier – some coverage
  27. 27. Scopus  Scopus is a multidisciplinary database that contains records going back to the mid 1960s, offering newly-linked citations across the widest body of scientific abstracts available in one place.  Designed and developed with researchers and librarians, Scopus is the easy way to get expert results. It offers superior support of the literature research process. Integrated web search plus seamless linking to full-text articles and other library resources make Scopus quick, easy and comprehensive.  It is always advisable to search more than one database when an exhaustive search is needed since coverage of databases differ
  28. 28. Scifinder Scholar  Electronic Version of Chemical Abstracts (1907 to the present)  It contains many links to full-text articles  Searchable by chemical substance, reaction, research topic, author or affiliation  It is accessible from a web site. Users must register to use it
  29. 29. Scifinder Scholar  There is a link in the database for every article. When you click on that icon you can determine if the document is available in print or electronically at NJIT  You must open an account with Scifinder which is good for your entire time at NJIT  Several how-to guides are available at http://www.cas.org/support/academic/sf/htg/index.html
  30. 30. Publisher Databases at NJIT With Civil Engineering Content American Chemical Society Journals American Institute of Physics American Society of Civil Engineers American Society of Mechanical Engineers IEEE/IEL Electronic Library Institute of Physics Science Direct (Elsevier) SIAM Journals Online (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics)  Springer  Wiley Journals Online        
  31. 31. American Society of Civil Engineers Journals        Journal of Bridge Engineering Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering Journal of Energy Engineering Journal of Environmental Engineering Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engin Journal of Hydrologic Engineering Journal of Structural Engineering
  32. 32. Science Direct Journals      Cement and Concrete Composites Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements International Journal of Fatigue Environmental Pollution Global and Planetary Change
  33. 33. Environmental Protection Agency (http://www.epa.gov) Laws and Regulations Environmental Issues Environmental Test Methods and Guidelines  Chemicals: Scientific Review and Assessment   
  34. 34. NJIT Library Home Page http://library.njit.edu  Catalog (Voyager) – Database of the print holdings of NJIT Library     Databases Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Form Library Information Search All – A New Feature
  35. 35. Search All  Aggregates Several NJIT Databases – Scopus – Science Direct – Wiley – Academic Search Premier  Can Limit by – Peer Review – Full-Text Availability at NJIT
  36. 36. Voyager, the NJIT Library Catalog      Books Journals (print) Technical Reports Conference Proceedings Theses and Dissertations (by NJIT students)
  37. 37. Selected List of Resources in Civil and Environmental Engineering  http://researchguides.njit.edu/civil
  38. 38. Evaluating Web Sites  Please see http://library.njit.edu/researchhelpdesk/howt o/evaluate.php  You may use web sites in this assignment, but please make sure they are reliable
  39. 39. Availability of Journals    Print only Electronic Only Print and Electronic – Dates of electronic availability vary – Check Search Journals on Library Home Page  Open Access Journals  Not available at NJIT - order through interlibrary loan
  40. 40. Boolean Logic AND  The Boolean AND narrows your search by retrieving only documents that contain every one of the keywords that you enter. The more terms you enter, the narrower your search becomes. EXAMPLE: air pollution AND benzene EXAMPLE: water pollution AND benzene AND New Jersey
  41. 41. Boolean Logic OR  The Boolean OR expands your search by returning documents in which either or both keywords appear. The more keywords you enter, the more documents you retrieve. EXAMPLE: ozone OR smog EXAMPLE: ozone OR smog OR particulates
  42. 42. Boolean Logic NOT  The Boolean NOT limits your search by returning only the first keyword but not the second, even if the first word appears in that document, too EXAMPLE air pollution NOT ozone EXAMPLE water pollution NOT chloroform
  43. 43. Devising Optimal Search Strategies  Choose the proper database(s) – Be aware of the scope and limitations  Use all relevant search terms and appropriate Boolean logic – Think of concepts not words  Devise a search strategy for: – Precise search  Expand strategy if too few are found – Exhaustive search  Cut down if too many citations are retrieved
  44. 44. Is Your Answer Reasonable?  If not, what can you do differently?  Keep in mind that the thought processes involved in applying the scientific method to laboratory experiments apply in the search for technical information  Ask for help  Library Reference desk in person or at 973-5963210  Bruce Slutsky, Technical Reference Librarian, at Bruce.Slutsky@njit.edu or 973-642-4950
  45. 45. Cited Your Sources Correctly  APA Style Guide (American Psychological Association) is recommended – See guide from Purdue University  NoodleBib Express – generates citations for you in APA or MLA format  EndNote – a program that generates bibliographies  Scopus and Ebscohost databases – can output your bibliography in the format of choice
  46. 46. Interlibrary Loan  If you need an article or book not owned by NJIT, you may submit a form to request the item(s) you need.  Please check to see if the information is complete.  Incomplete information will delay the receipt of the materials you need
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