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ES 598 - Capstone Design Preparation



Encyclopedias provide overviews of topics and are a solid source of background information to begin research. Access Science, also known as the McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology (REF Q121 .M3 2002), has an Engineering and Materials section. Browse the section or enter key words to search the entire 20 volume encyclopedia.




Published articles from scientific or business journals may be searched. From the library home page, click databases by subject and the Engineering category. Also try the All Subjects/Multidisciplinary category. Databases by subject will tell you which databases provide full text of articles.


Search Example and General Strategy

(polymer* or silicon or plastic*) and hinge* and design

These words can be typed on one line, or three seperate lines without the word "and." In Advanced Search, AND is already part of the database search fields, so if the words are typed on three seperate lines, you don't need to type the word "and."

The asterisk stands for any number of letters after the last letter typed and works in most databases. In this example, the singular and plural versions of polymer, plastic, and hinge will be searched. You may enter as many related terms as you want between the parentheses as long as they are separated by the word "or."

Two words typed together on one line are interpreted by most databases as a phrase.

As a general rule, when searching article databases, don't change the default search setting in the right hand column. Usually, it will read "keyword" or "word" or in Applied Science Indexes case "All - Smart Search." The words you type will be taken from the abstract or summary of the article, article title, journal title, subject headings, and other fields.

If the database has keywords or subject terms or subject headings that describe the main ideas of the article, use them. By clicking a term, you generate a list of all articles in the database having the same main idea. You may add other terms to the search to narrow the results.


Ordering Articles

For any articles not available in full text in the database, check the journal title in the library catalog. If it's not owned, make a copy of the bibliographic information (journal title, volume, pages, author, etc) and put your name/email on it. Bring it to the front desk and allow approximately 5-10 days to receive.


Select Databases to Search

Applied Science Index provides access to nearly 600 scientific journals.


Energy Citations Database provides access to energy and energy-related scientific and technical information from the Department of Energy from 1948 to the present. Much of the information is in full text.


Ingenta indexes nearly 30,000 journals.


Article First lets you see what journals are owned by MMA.


Academic Search Premier indexes all topics but does not provide the depth of coverage as Ingenta or Applied Science Index.


Business and Company Resource Center
There are engineering trade journals available in full text in this database. Off campus, an account needs to be created to access the database.




You may search the U.S. Patent Office by keyword to see what other people have designed since 1976. It may inspire some ideas or prevent you from repeating what already has been done. Here's a help guide to the quick search page.



Library Catalogs

Try keyword searches in our library catalog. Search and request books from Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, UNE, USM, UMO, and other libraries through MaineCat. Libraries across the United States may be searched in WorldCat, but you cannot request WorldCat items yourself. For WorldCat items, bring the bibliographic information to the front desk with your name on it and expect a 7-10 day wait.






Nutting Memorial Library, Maine Maritime Academy, Box C-1, Pleasant Street, Castine, ME 04420 (207) 326-2263

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