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Do I Really Need To Use the Library?. Presentation to Materials Science and Engineering Grad Students October 3, 2007 by Linda Michtics, Liaison Librarian for Engineering [email protected] , ext. 23882. Objective of this Presentation.

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Do i really need to use the library

Do I Really Need To Use the Library?

Presentation to Materials Science and Engineering Grad Students

October 3, 2007

by Linda Michtics, Liaison Librarian for Engineering

[email protected], ext. 23882

Objective of this presentation
Objective of this Presentation

  • To provide you with information on sources and services available through the McMaster Library which will assist you with your research


  • I am looking for articles on ‘solute drag’ and I want to know the most efficient way of searching for them

How do i find a database
How Do I Find a Database?

  • by subject (Materials Science) under the Databases tab on the Library’s homepage

  • by list of Primary Science and Engineering Databases on Thode’s homepage left nav bar (Note: this is a small subset of many electronic databases to which the Library subscribes)

  • by contacting the Library or your Liaison Librarian

Favourite database choices
Favourite Database Choices

  • favourite choices of Materials Science profs in your department:

    • Engineering Village – Compendex and Inspec

    • SciFinder Scholar

    • Web of Science: Science Citation Index Expanded

Constructing a search
Constructing a Search

  • identify main concepts

  • identify synonyms for these concepts (tip: use online thesaurus)

  • when phrase searching, enclose phrase in quotation marks eg. “solute drag”

  • use boolean operators: and, or, not

  • use proximity operators eg. near

  • use asterisk symbol * (truncation) for plurals or alternative endings : * eg. canad* gets canada, canadian, canadians

  • use wildcard symbol ? eg. wom?n for woman and women

Compendex engineering index
Compendex (Engineering Index)

  • most comprehensive bibliographic database of research for all engineering disciplines

  • includes references from over 5,000 engineering journals, conferences and technical reports

  • online coverage from 1969 to the present

  • updated weekly

  • use online tutorial and online help in Compendex

One good article strategy
“One Good Article” Strategy

  • find one good article

  • use hyperlinked words from descriptors (main heading; controlled terms, uncontrolled terms, etc.) or authors to find other relevant articles


  • use RACER if article is not available at or through McMaster libraries

  • RACER = online Interlibrary loan system

  • searches other Ontario university libraries as well as many others

  • average of 5 to 10 days to receive material

  • FREE

Racer from thode s homepage
RACER from Thode’s Homepage

Database alerts
Database Alerts

  • receive emails to keep up-to-date on latest research in your area(s) of interest

  • offered by various database producers, societies and journal publishers

  • registration required but it’s FREE

  • for list, click on Database Alerts from the left nav bar on Thode’s homepage

Saving your references in refworks
Saving Your References in RefWorks

  • web-based citation management software

  • FREE to Mac students

  • create one or several accounts

  • store unlimited number of references

  • registration required

  • can move your RefWorks database into another database programme (eg. Endnote, ProCite, Reference Manager, etc.)

Library catalogue
Library Catalogue

  • contains all material in all four campus libraries

  • includes materials the Library owns or has access to such as: print books, e-books, print journals (by title only), e-journals, government publications, conference proceedings

  • check location information and status from a catalogue record

E journals portal
e-Journals Portal

  • Contains online full-text journals, magazines and newspapers

  • Note: always check the Library Catalogue if you can’t find something as we may have it in print or even online

Google scholar
Google Scholar

  • searches across many disciplines and sources from one place

  • includes peer-reviewed articles, theses, books, etc. published by professional societies, preprint repositories, universities

  • if on-campus, can link directly to full-text papers that McMaster subscribes to as result of Library’s link resolver

  • use get it @ Mac link if it’s available

Need help just ask
Need Help? Just Ask!

  • Visit: Research Help Desk in Thode Library, 1st Floor

  • email: [email protected]

  • Call: ext. 24256, Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • MSN: [email protected] M – F 11 -3

  • AOL/Yahoo!: maclibraries M – F 11 -3

  • Contact Linda Michtics, Liaison Librarian for Engineering: [email protected] or ext. 23882