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Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar

ME Grad Seminar Resources

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Important Basics


Defining a Topic


  • Look at theses at UC, in OhioLINK (keyword search and limit material type to thesis)
  • Look at books, reviews, encyclopedias and handbooks to get background information
  • Check out faculty or researchers whose names you know and see what they are doing in databases and web sites
  • Use the funnel approach
    • name a broad area  name a subarea  name a specific topic within the subarea
    • what aspect to look at: theory, application, design, material, construction process, function, use data
    • what are your independent variables? your dependent variables.

Search Tips

Start with a keyword search, then refine by subject or other facets later. 

Building a search query:

  • Create a search set of synonyms (use "OR" operator) for a concept
  • Combine search sets for concepts with "AND" operator
  • use quote marks " " to identify a phrase
  • Use truncation and wild cards to expand based on a word stem (e.g., nano* )

Narrow your results:

  • Examine search result record to see what subjects have been assigned (if any) to the record. Subjects can be combined with keywords to focus search, or searched individually to find items that are primarily about the topic.
  • Use refine or limit features such as date, material type (e.g., review article), treatment (in Compendex - theoretical, applied, etc).

Citation searching

  • Expand to related articles with shared citations (Scopus)
  • Use citation searching and browsing features, including sorting by # of times cited (Scopus, SciFinder, Google Scholar, etc)

Web Searching

  • Tips
    • Use advanced searching to control words, where it searches, domains
    • Limit to title to reduce results

Retrieving the Material

When searching in an article database, find the "UC Article Linker" icon Article Linker icon or "Find Full Text" (Google Scholar)

  • From Article Linker, check if your desired volume/issue is available online.  Otherwise, search for a print copy in the Library Catalog.
  • If not online or in print, submit an interlibrary loan (ILLiad) request.  ILLiad will automatically populate the request form with the journal article information. 
    • NOTE: First time ILLiad users will be prompted to fill in a profile. The "M number" is on your UC ID card in the upper left corner.  Enter the M number so it looks like this: M12345678.

PRO TIP: before submitting in ILLiad, search for the article in Google Scholar.  Some authors post the article in an open access repository.  Use Google's "All x versions" link to see available options.

Services for Researchers / Data Management

Contact: Amy Koshoffer, Science Informationist:

Other tools and services for researchers

  • Data & GIS Collab (GMP Library) - large dual monitors, collaboration space, consulting on data/geospatial needs
  • Contact for data, informatics, GIS project consultation, reserving lab space
  • UC Box (storage and backup - more info), Scholar@UC (data archiving, DOI/permanent URL)


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