Mechanical Engineering: Article Search

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Why Articles?

Articles appear in magazines, journals, periodicals, and newspapers.  Use articles for:

  • most recent research on a topic
  • coverage of very narrow topics
  • coverage of current events
  • contemporary accounts of past events and research

Article Databases

Databases provide a systematic method of searching for articles, conference papers, technical reports and other documents on your topic. The top databases for Mechanical Engineering are:

Evaluating Publications

Use critical thinking skills when deciding whether an article is appropriate to use. Consider:
Purpose: Is the intent to inform, entertain, persuade or educate?
Objectivity: Are various sides or points-of-view represented?
Author: Does the author have expertise on the topic?
Date: Is the information current or timely for your topic?
Bibliography: Are the authors sources of information cited completely.

    Types of Periodicals
    Periodicals, journals, magazines fall into 'categories' determined by their overall purpose:

    Popular: Written for general public; authors and editors usually not experts in subject field; purpose is to provide current, societal/cultural news and discussion.
    Trade: Written for individuals in a specific career/job or with a specific interest/hobby.  Authors are generally persons working in the field/hobby or journalists with specialized knowledge.  Articles discuss current issues, applications, & cases but are not reports of research.
    Scholarly: Written for, and authored by, researchers, educators, students.  Articles are reports of original research or other scholarly discussions.

      Getting the Articles

      Here's a short video showing how Find it @ MU works. (About 4 minutes long.)

      Two common ways to find out if the Libraries have access to the articles you need:

      1) You are searching in an article database, but it doesn't have the full-text:  

      Click on  Findit@MU button in the article citation. Another window / tab opens with two possible options:

      • Links indicating Find it @MU may have located one or more sources for full text of the article. Click on the links and follow the trail to the article. 
      • Links to search MARQCAT by the journal title or its ISSN number. The journal may be available in print or electronically through a source not searchable by Find it @MU.

      2) You already have a specific citation and aren't currently searching in a database:

      • Search for the journal title in MARQCAT, the library catalog;
      • Do not search the title or author of the article, MARQCAT doesn't contain article level information.

      The MARQCAT record will indicate what years we have in print and/or online, providing call number locations for the print and links to the e-journal.  Once at the e-journal, navigate to the volume, issue and page that you need.


      Didn't find the article/journal using Find it @MU or MARQCAT?  Request the article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) by clicking on the link at the bottom of the Find it @MU window or tab.  Learn more about ILL here.

      Ever wonder why the full-text isn't there?  Watch this short video about the Business of Information.