Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

How to Find Information in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Published on

A general tutorial introducing students to print and electronic resources in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

How to Find Information in Civil and Environmental Engineering

  2. 2. Scientific Method <ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  3. 3. Information Retrieval <ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Similarities between the Scientific Method and Information Retrieval <ul><li>Scientific Method </li></ul><ul><li>Know the subject </li></ul><ul><li>Require new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Propose an experiment to find new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct the experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Observe and interpret the results </li></ul><ul><li>Revise the experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret the final outcome of the experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Information Retrieval </li></ul><ul><li>Know the scope of and contents of databases in his/her field of endeavor </li></ul><ul><li>Require new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Devise an initial search strategy using relevant terminology in subject databases </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the initial answer set </li></ul><ul><li>Revise the strategy based on findings from the initial answer set </li></ul><ul><li>Explore alternative search options </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the final answer set </li></ul><ul><li>Find the relevant documents </li></ul><ul><li>Use the information found </li></ul>
  5. 5. THE STRUCTURED RESEARCH METHOD IS AN ITERATIVE PROCESS <ul><li>Use both a web search engine and the library portal. </li></ul><ul><li>When selecting a data source to search, think about who would care about your topic? What disciplines cover your area of interest? </li></ul><ul><li>Formulate search string by combining concepts </li></ul>#1 RESEARCH QUESTION #2 SEARCH STRATEGY #3 EVALUATE RESULTS <ul><li>Develop understanding of research question and scope of topic </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm alternative keywords/synonyms for major concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Look over initial search results, check for false hits or additional terms descriptors you may have missed. </li></ul><ul><li>Does your original search string need to be modified? Did you select an appropriate database? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Formats of the Scientific and Technical Literature <ul><li>Journal </li></ul><ul><li>Conference Proceeding </li></ul><ul><li>Magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Review Journal </li></ul><ul><li>Research Level Book (monograph) </li></ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia </li></ul><ul><li>Data Compilation </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is a Journal? <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Some Journals in Civil and Environmental Engineering <ul><li>Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Structural Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Science and Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is a Conference Proceeding? <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Many conferences do not publish their proceedings, some publish only abstracts, and that papers from such meetings </li></ul>
  10. 10. Examples of Conference Proceedings <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Clean water, clean environment, 21st century : team agriculture, working to protect water resources : conference proceedings, March 5-8, 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]. </li></ul><ul><li>Application of stress-wave theory on piles : Second International Conference / edited by G. Holm, H. Bredenberg, C-J Grävare </li></ul>
  11. 11. Review Journal <ul><li>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:   </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Review of Energy and the Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics </li></ul>
  12. 12. Magazines <ul><li>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: </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Magazine of Concrete Research </li></ul><ul><li>Modern Steel Construction </li></ul>
  13. 13. Monographs <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Handbooks <ul><li>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.  </li></ul>
  15. 15. Examples of Handbooks <ul><li>Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers </li></ul><ul><li>Handbook of Civil Engineering Calculations </li></ul><ul><li>Standard Handbook of Environmental Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Handbook of Environmental Engineering Calculations </li></ul>
  16. 16. Encyclopedias <ul><li>Encyclopedias introduce researchers to specialize fields of study.  Students have used general information  encyclopedias such as the World Book and Britannica since elementary school.  They may not be familiar with encyclopedias in civil and environmental engineering such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia of building and construction terms </li></ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia of environmental science and engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia of the environment </li></ul>
  17. 17. Is Wikipedia Reliable? <ul><li>Can it be trusted as a source of engineering information? </li></ul><ul><li>( The next 3 slides about the Wikipedia are adapted from a presentation at the Spring 2006 American Chemical Society meeting by Martin Walker of SUNY Potsdam ) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Dealing with Problems <ul><li>PROBLEM: </li></ul><ul><li>Articles can be edited by anyone (e.g. schoolchildren) at any time. </li></ul><ul><li>Most articles do not undergo expert peer review. </li></ul><ul><li>PARTIAL SOLUTION? </li></ul><ul><li>Vandalism and major factual errors on important pages are usually caught very quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>Many articles are informally checked by experts, and new initiatives may formalize this. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Professional Studies <ul><li>In December 2005, Nature conducted a study where 42 leading scientists each assessed an article in the area of expertise, looking for errors and omissions. </li></ul><ul><li>This was used to compare Wikipedia with Encyclopedia Britannica (EB). </li></ul><ul><li>The conclusion: “ Jimmy Wales' Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries. “ </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia suffered from poor writing in places, but had the advantage of very fast updates. </li></ul><ul><li>A recent rebuttal by EB (rejected by Nature) has shown some flaws in the way the study was conducted. </li></ul><ul><li>However it may show that Britannica’s (and Nature’s!) dependence on one major writer for an article (or review) can be a weakness too! </li></ul>
  20. 20. Flow of Scientific Information
  21. 21. Flow of Scientific Information <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Types of Databases <ul><li>Bibliographic - includes the elements needed to identify the document </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Author(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal, Year, Volume, Issue Number, Pages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Full-Text - includes the entire article in electronic format </li></ul><ul><li>Numeric (Data Compilation) - includes only specific data elements such as thermodynamic or spectral data </li></ul>
  23. 23. Database Formats <ul><li>Print - Very cumbersome and difficult to use </li></ul><ul><li>Online (1970s to the present) - Pay as you go.  Cost is based on amount of information retrieved </li></ul><ul><li>CD-ROM (1980s to the present) - Only so much information can fit on one disk </li></ul><ul><li>World Wide Web (1990s to the present) Allows for remote access </li></ul>
  24. 24. Limitations of Databases <ul><li>Subject coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Number of Publications </li></ul><ul><li>Dates of Publication </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Publication (i.e. journals only, patents only) </li></ul><ul><li>Not all databases provide full-text of the retrieved documents or links to them </li></ul>
  25. 25. NJIT Library Home Page <ul><li>Catalog (Voyager) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Database of the print holdings of NJIT Library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Databases </li></ul><ul><li>Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Form </li></ul><ul><li>Library Information </li></ul>
  26. 26. Voyager, the NJIT Library Catalog <ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Journals (print) </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Reports </li></ul><ul><li>Conference Proceedings </li></ul><ul><li>Theses and Dissertations (by NJIT students </li></ul>
  27. 27. Subject Databases (Search Engines) for Civil Engineers <ul><li>Scopus </li></ul><ul><li>Scifinder Scholar </li></ul><ul><li>Business Source Premier (trade magazines) </li></ul><ul><li>Web of Science - available at Rutgers but not at NJIT </li></ul>
  28. 28. Scopus <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Please keep in mind that the coverage and indexing of Scifinder Scholar and Scopus differ.  It is always advisable to search more than one database when an exhaustive search is needed.  </li></ul>
  29. 29. Scifinder Scholar <ul><li>Electronic Version of Chemical Abstracts (1907 to the present) </li></ul><ul><li>It contains many links to full-text articles </li></ul><ul><li>Searchable by chemical substance, reaction, research topic, author or affiliation </li></ul><ul><li>It is now accessible from a web site. Users must register to use it </li></ul>
  30. 30. Scifinder Scholar <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>When searching for substances, it is suggested that the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number be used.  This is a &quot;social security number&quot; for chemical substances.  Many print and electronic sources use registry numbers to avoid ambiguity. </li></ul><ul><li>Only two people at NJIT may search Scifinder Scholar at a time.  Please minimize time you are using it by: </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluating your answer set while you are off line </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using the database during off-peak hours.  It is available almost 24 hours a day/7 days a week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Waiting at least 10 minutes before attempting to login again. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trying others databases such as Scopus and Science Direct for technical searches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A tutorial is available at http:// </li></ul>
  31. 31. Publisher Databases at NJIT <ul><li>American Chemical Society Journals </li></ul><ul><li>American Institute of Physics </li></ul><ul><li>American Society of Civil Engineers </li></ul><ul><li>American Society of Mechanical Engineers </li></ul><ul><li>IEEE/IEL Electronic Library </li></ul><ul><li>Institute of Physics </li></ul><ul><li>Science Direct (Elsevier) </li></ul><ul><li>SIAM Journals Online (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) </li></ul><ul><li>Springer </li></ul><ul><li>Wiley Journals Online </li></ul>
  32. 32. American Society of Civil Engineers Journals <ul><li>Journal of Bridge Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Energy Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Environmental Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Hydrologic Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Structural Engineering </li></ul>
  33. 33. Science Direct Journals <ul><li>Cement and Concrete Composites </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements </li></ul><ul><li>International Journal of Fatigue </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Global and Planetary Change </li></ul>
  34. 34. Availability of Journals <ul><li>Print only </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic Only </li></ul><ul><li>Print and Electronic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dates of electronic availability vary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check Serials Solutions Database </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open Access Journals </li></ul><ul><li>Not available at NJIT - order through interlibrary loan </li></ul>
  35. 35. Advantages of Electronic Journals <ul><li>Allows for remote access </li></ul><ul><li>No missing issues or pages </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes browsing </li></ul><ul><li>Allows links to the references in the bibliography </li></ul>
  36. 36. Boolean Logic AND <ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  37. 37. Boolean Logic OR <ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  38. 38. Boolean Logic NOT <ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  39. 39. Devising Optimal Search Strategies <ul><li>Choose the proper database(s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be aware of the scope and limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use all relevant search terms and appropriate Boolean logic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think of concepts not words </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Devise a search strategy for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Precise search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expand strategy if too few are found </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exhaustive search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cut down if too many citations are retrieved </li></ul></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Is Your Answer Reasonable? <ul><li>If not, what can you do differently? </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind that the thought processes involved in applying the scientific method to laboratory experiments apply in the search for technical information </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for help </li></ul><ul><li>Library Reference desk in person or at 973-596-3210 </li></ul><ul><li>Bruce Slutsky, Technical Reference Librarian, at [email_address] or 973-642-4950 </li></ul>
  41. 41. Cited Your Sources Correctly <ul><li>APA Style Guide (American Psychological Association) is recommended </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See guide from Purdue University </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NoodleBib Express – generates citations for you in APA or MLA format </li></ul><ul><li>EndNote – a program that generates bibliographies </li></ul>
  42. 42. Remote Access <ul><li>EZ-Proxy (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) -  you will be asked for your UCID and password.  By doing this, you will be authenticated and allowed to access the library's restricted resources. Click here for more information. </li></ul><ul><li>VPN -  VPN is a client software you install on your PC. It allows you to use your own Internet Service Provider (ISP) to connect to the NJIT Network to access information that is normally restricted to campus use only. Click here for more information and to install the VPN client on your PC . This is needed to access Scifinder Scholar remotely </li></ul><ul><li>Dial-up If you dial NJIT's network, you will be asked for your UCID or Highlander AFS or ADMIN username and password. By doing this, you will be authenticated and allowed to access the library's restricted resources. Click here for more information </li></ul>