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Chemical Engineering Lab 4200:360 - Literature Search (2014): Activity 2

Help with the literature search activity in Chemistry Engineering Lab

Finding Articles

If you need to find articles on a TOPIC or SUBJECT, use one of our databases. Databases collect article references from many sources so you can search broadly.

If you have a reference and you want to FIND AN EXACT ARTICLE, use the A-to-Z journal list. Search for the journal title and follow the links to the full text.

Alternately, you can use Google Scholar, which is pretty good at locating EXACT article titles.

Finding Books

Use the library catalog to find books at The University of Akron. If our library doesn't have a title, click on the "OhioLink" button. Ohiolink search button image

If there is a copy in OhioLink, have it sent to Akron by clicking the green "Request" button.  Request Item Button

If the book is not at Akron or in OhioLink, try Interlibrary Loan.

Checking Vocabulary

Perry's will have more of a dictionary feel, with very brief definitions. Kirk-Othmer and Ullmann's encyclopedias both have review articles on chemical engineering topics. Between these three respected, scholarly resources you should be able to define any chemical engineering terminology you come across.

Reviewing References

Some patents or articles may have over 50 references, so you will have to pick and choose which references to look up. Consider....

  • Do we have the reference in full-text? - in the course of a week you will not usually be able to get and Interlibrary Loan request filled. So focus on journals we have in our electronic A-to-Z list, or in our physical collection.
  • Is the reference important? - some references are for background, some are for methods. You want to look at references that offer alternate hypotheses or are critically important to the author's argument.

Finding the references

Easiest way to find a reference is to copy and paste the full title, with quotation marks, into the University of Akron Google Scholar link. This link has the UA proxy, so it should give you access to full-text, even off campus.

Another way is to copy and paste the DOI (digital object identifier) into Google Scholar

Other ways...

Evaluating Figures

Some general considerations about figures -

  •    Does the scale of chart axes make sense given the data?
  •    Are all units clearly marked? Is it easy to tell what is being presented?
  •    For photos, is the feature the author refers to easily visible? Does it clearly support the author's argument?
  •    Are chart axes labeled? Does the figure have a meaningful legend?
  •    For microscopic photos, is there a scale bar present? How was it determined?

The links below may also be helpful.