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Engineering Research Guide

Use this guide to find UNO library resources and other helpful research tools.

Engineering Best Bets

Technical Jargon

Sometimes, the technical term for something is shortened in everyday conversation. If you try to do a keyword search using the slang term or abbreviation, you may not find what you're looking for in the databases!

Be sure to use the full term, even if it's just the first part of a name, to ensure you get the most returns in your search! The database may use "fuel cell" instead of "battery" and vice versa.

Example topic: (Zinc) Silver Oxide Cell Battery Operated Devices and Systems
Keywords to try: Silver Oxide Cell

Engineering & Architecture

How do I know if it's "scholarly"?

Often, an assignment will require the use of "scholarly" or "peer-reviewed" sources. Most databases provide a function enabling to select only scholarly (or peer reviewed) journals. Look for the following characteristics:

PURPOSE:

  • Communicate the results of research in the field of study covered by the journal.
  • Reflect a systematic and thorough study of a single topic, often involving experiments or surveys.
  • Occasionally publish review articles that summarize the current state of knowledge on a topic.

APPEARANCE:

  • Lack the slick advertising, classified ads, coupons, etc..
  • Articles are often printed one column to a page, as in books.
  • Often graphs, tables, or charts referring to specific points in the articles.

AUTHORITY:

  • Written by the person(s) who did the research being reported. 
  • The first author listed is often the primary researcher who coordinated or supervised the work done by the other authors.
  • Most highly‑regarded scholarly journals are typically those sponsored by professional associations, such as the American Psychological Association or the American Chemical Society.

VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY:

  • Articles are evaluated by an editorial board and other experts (peer review) before they are accepted for publication.
  • Ensure that the articles published are based on solid research that meets the normal standards of the field of study covered by the journal.
  • Professors sometimes refer to peer-reviewed journals as refereed journals.

WRITING STYLE:

  • Contain an advanced vocabulary, since the authors use the technical language or jargon of their field of study.
  • Authors assume that the reader already possesses a basic understanding of the field of study.

REFERENCES

  • Always indicate the sources of their information.
  • References are usually listed at the end of an article, but they may appear in the form of footnotes, endnotes, or a bibliography.

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Standards

What is a standard? A standard is defined by the National Standards Policy Advisory Committee as:"A prescribed set of rules, conditions, or requirements concerning definitions of terms; classification of components; specification of materials, performance, or operations; delineation of procedures; or measurement of quantity and quality in describing materials, products, systems, services, or practices."
 
Also, see  What is a standard?  from the International Organization for Standardization.