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Searching the Scholarly Journal Literature

Because there are many journals devoted to each academic discipline, special tools are needed to locate articles that have been written on any topic. These tools are called databases, and they serve as indexes to the journal literature in a number of different fields.

If you already know the best database for your research, or if you'd like to browse through all those offered by the library, there is a link to the full list of databases in the navigation bar to the left.

If you are unsure of which databases would be best, you can consult the subject guides maintained by Missouri S&T librarians. We provide a guide for each department at the university, and each guide recommends a number of the best databases to use when researching topics associated with those departments. There is a link to the subject guides on the library's home page.

 



Each database has a slightly different interface. In this example we will look at the Mechanical & Transportation Engineering Abstracts database.

 

 

You can begin your search by entering a keyword, just as you would with a typical search engine. In selecting a keyword, it is best to focus on specific nouns that describe your topic.

 

 

When you perform your search, you will receive a list of the articles in this database that match your search terms. Each article is identified by its bibliographic citation, which is the information you can use to locate a copy of the article. This database also provides an excerpt from the article's abstract, which is a brief summary indicating what the article is about.

 

 

If an article sounds interesting, you can click on its title to view the abstract in full. By reading the articles' abstracts, you can get an idea of which articles are best for your particular research and also what other keywords might help you perform a more focused search.

 

Certain databases provide a link to electronic full-text versions of some of their articles. In many cases, though, you will have to make use of other library resources in order to obtain a copy.

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DESERT EXPLORER

Michael Bouchard studies bizarre dome-like structures in Egypt's Afar Desert.

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GOING THE DISTANCE

Marathon runner Devin Dixon sped through three degrees in just over six years.

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MINING ON THE MOON

Dr. Leslie Gertsch takes a look at humanity's future in space.

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D-DAY RE-EXAMINED

John McManus' latest book looks at the Big Red One at Omaha Beach.

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LIFE ON MARS

Melanie Mormile studies bacteria here on Earth that could survive on Mars.

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SPELUNKING FOR A CAUSE

Michael Bradford helps protect bats and cave formations in Missouri.

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SLIMY STUFF

Paul Nam suggests the potential solution to several global problems is green slime (algae).

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DANCING WITH CODE

Marquia Lewis studies computer science and is a member of the Gold Miners dance squad.

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CRAFT-Y MAGAZINE EDITOR

Casey Burton works to improve cancer screenings and publishes a gamer magazine.

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A GOALIE'S PERSPECTIVE

Carrie Levy enjoys the mental challenge of being a Lady Miner goalkeeper.

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A PHILOSOPHY OF ADVOCACY

Kate Burns is proof that students in every major can find success.

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PHYTOFORENSICS

Joel Burken's research team use trees to detect soil and groundwater contamination.

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ROCKET SCIENTIST

Anan Takroori shares his love of planes, rockets and satellites with campers.

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'DOWN-TO-EARTH' SCHOLAR

Krista Rybacki studies soil samples from an area near a lead recycling smelter.

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MINERS ABROAD

Delancey Rougely studied the effects of war in France and blogged about it.

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