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Mechanical Engineering

Provides a starting point for research in mechanical engineering.

General Research Tips

Research is not a "simple Google" search. It's very complicated. Plan to spend a couple of hours searching materials and then another couple of hours reading and analyzing what you've found.

Don't give up! Good research takes time and requires multiple searches in multiple databases.

Ask for help. There are no stupid or silly questions about the library. Your librarian is here to help :) Her contact info is on the Getting Started tab. 

Strategies to build your search

Below are some strategies that will help you search databases effectively and efficiently. You don't have to use all of them but try out a few!

Break your research topics into the most important concepts. Don't enter questions or sentences into the database. 

Research topic = create low cost, wearable device to continuously monitor a fetus in utero 

Concepts = low cost, wearable, monitor, fetus


Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to connect keywords. They must be capitalized! Think of the Venn diagrams below to help you decide which operator to use. 

dementia AND treatment NOT diagnosis

Note of caution: If you use NOT, you may be excluding relevant results. So you should do the search both with and without the NOT operator. 


To search for a phrase (2+ words in a row), put the phrase in quotation marks (" ")

"hip replacement"  "logistics planning"  "three-dimensional printing"


Use truncation to find all forms of a word by putting an asterisk (*) at the end of the root word 

computat* = computation, computations, computative, computational, etc. 


Brainstorm synonyms for your keywords and connect them with the OR Boolean operator

drone OR unmanned aerial vehicle


Use parentheses ( ) to connect different concepts

(cancer OR tumor OR neoplasm) AND ("mobile phone" OR "cellular phone")