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AE/CV 1001: Preparing to do Library Research

Initial Considerations

  • Before conducting any research first think carefully about your project.
  • Think of potential resources, such as books and articles, that you are already aware of.
  • Identify professional associations, organizations, companies, and groups that may be related to your project.
  • Determine if you will need to search for specific types of data or methods of calculation.

Resources Overview

Scholarly Resources

Print and Electronic Books – Scholarly books can be found in both print and electronic formats.

Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Articles and Journals – Scholarly journals are academic in nature and reference researchers in the field of study. Peer-reviewed articles are articles that have been vetted by a knowledgeable member in the field of study through a review process. Examples of scholarly journals include The Journal of Architectural Engineering, The Journal of Green Building, and Civil Engineering.

Professional and Specialized Technical Literature

Codes and Standards – Codes are sets of rules and specifications for the correct methods and materials used for a certain product, building or process. Standards are an established norm or requirement. Different groups produce and publish standards.

Patent Literature – Patents are another vital source of important technical information. Patents can provide information on: experts in subject areas, companies who are doing work in certain areas and current and future trends.

Technical Reports – Technical Reports are reports on projects and processes written by the corporations and institutions preforming the research.

Trade publications – Trade Publications are written for workers and leaders in specific trades and industries. Trade publications are common in engineering and nursing fields. Examples of trade publications include Design News, Control Engineering, and Electronics World.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Make a list of keywords and subjects before you begin researching. When you begin searching, keep track of words and terminology that occur regularly and add these to your keywords list.

Here's a sample keyword list that could be used for researching a project for designing a Continuing Education Facility:

colleges universities
continuing education classrooms
lecture halls seminar rooms
construction project management
learning spaces technology


Many databases use controlled vocabulary to organize terms in scholarly resources. If a thesaurus or dictionary is provided by a database, be sure to use it. Choosing the proper term can help you find the right information.