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