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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

ASE 333T - Engineering Communication

Find Articles, Books, and Websites

Finding Information in Journals, Books, and Websites

For help in finding articles, we recommend using indexing tools.  Some indexes only index; some index and include text for some of the articles.  Always, though, you should see the citation for the article.  This helps find the text for the article in the UT subscriptions.  Here are databases we especially recommend to you:


Multidisciplinary and including more popular sources:


Subject specific and usually research oriented:

Also, the Libraries offer many other databases that index articles.  There is a big list.  Included in these databases are full-text products from society publishers such as the American Chemical Society (ACS), IEEE, ASME, ASCE, and others.


Special for statistical information:

Encyclopedias can be helpful as you start your research. They provide background information on a topic; list key terms, facts, statistics, and definitions; and suggest additional resources.​


Library Encyclopedias



The UT library catalog indexes the holdings --- print, electronic, and other formats, too --- of the libraries at the University of Texas at Austin.  For this class, we don't think of books as the first stop, but books can help by providing an overview of a topic and by giving background information.
  • Start with a keyword search to find a book on your topic.
  • If you don't find good items, try synonyms.
  • When you find a good title, follow the subject headings for more books on the topic.



  • Take note of the location of the book, we have over several library locations and lots of e-books.
  • If it's a print book, note the call number; this is how you will locate the book on the shelf.
  • Take note of the current status: If the book is unavailable and out to someone else, request it by using the Pick it Up service.
  • Also, use Pick it Up to have a book, DVD, or CD sent to the library of your choice for checkout. 
  • You can request a scan of a book up to 50 pages by using the green Get A Scan button.  This option may take a few days.

Can’t find what you are looking for?

  1. Request a copy thru InterLibrary Services (ILS) - ILS staff obtain books, article scans, and other material not owned by the University of Texas libraries.
  2. Request a book be added to the library via the Suggest a Purchase form.



Using Websites for Your Research


Government Sites

Government websites are generally considered reliable and important sources of information.  The government might be international, federal, state, or local.  Types of information include statistics, technical reports, data, court cases, and patents.  

Any Google search may be filtered with a site limit.  This would usually be "site:gov" (for government) and could be "" (for military).


We have a guide from the Libraries pointing to government information:


   Plus, here are some

Select Government Sites:

​For searching across multiple websites

  • - "Your Gateway to U.S. Federal Science"
  • - "a global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals."
  • - home of the U.S. Government's open data


Valuable for agency information, reports, and statistics --- just a few agencies and sites


Company Sites

We expect a company's website to be a good source of information about the company.  Bias on behalf of the company is to be expected.  Remember to be a careful consumer but look for statements company representatives make about the history, values, and outlook of the organization.  Sometimes you will be able to compare what the company website says about these topics to what others say from outside sources.



Other Websites -- some thoughts

If you use Wikipedia, remember --- as always --- to be a cautious consumer.  Be careful of bias by omission or by over-emphasis on certain details.  Look at the list of sources to follow-up on leads.

You may find lists like the Forbes Global 2000: The World’s Best Regarded Companies 2019.  This is information collected by a well-known business magazine and made freely available.  You may gain insights.

Perhaps you are thinking about what goes into training engineers.  You might want to look into what ABET requires for accrediting programs of undergraduate engineering education or refresh your memory on the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics.

Read through your articles/websites and pull out important and related terms and synonyms to use as keywords when searching the library's databases. 

Think of the scientific or technical term for common or controversial words, for example:

  • hydraulic fracturing | fracking
  • unmanned aircraft | drones 
  • vehicles or automobiles | cars

A good place to look for related terms is in the article record within the library databases, for example:

  • under the Subject Terms field in Academic Search Complete  
  • under Keywords in IEEE Xplore

Try to avoid generic words like pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages.  While these terms may work in Google, they are typically not helpful when using our library databases.  

  • ​If you need articles related to GMOs and their benefit to society consider using terms like “agricultural productivity” or hunger (as in the reduction of hunger)
  • If you are lacking information on the harmful aspects, try adding terms like health risks" or environmental

Spell out acronyms, especially if they have common alternative meanings

  • Search "near field communications" rather than NFC (e.g. National Football Conference; National Finance Center)
  • NOTE: Some acronyms are very established in the literature (e.g. RFID is more commonly used than radio frequency identification)
  • When in doubt, search using both terms

Add additional terms to refine your results

  • e.g. fracking AND wastewater

Combine terms using AND and OR 

  • AND narrows your search by looking for articles with all of the words
  • OR broadens your search by looking for articles with any of the words

Example Search

screen shot of boolean search


Search Term Hits
gmo  3,083
"genetically modified organisms" 2,502
(gmo OR "genetically modified organisms") 4,380

(gmo OR "genetically modified organisms") AND hunger

(gmo OR "genetically modified organisms") AND (hunger OR famine)                                 40
(gmo OR "genetically modified organisms") AND (hunger OR famine OR drought)   96

Where is the article?

  1. Look around for a PDF or HTML button, image, or link (this may seem obvious, but some of our vendors make it difficult to locate the link to the full-text)
  2. Click on Find it @ UT to see if the material is available in another database or in print in the library.
  3. Use the Get a Scan button to ask for a copy of an article you can't find --- no charge for this.

Already have a citation?

TIP: Paste the title of the citation into Google, for example, "Cybersecurity skills: Foundational theory and the cornerstone of advanced persistent threats (APTs) mitigation".

  • If you are on campus and the library subscribes to journal and has the issue containing your article
    • you will get instant access to the article
  • If you are off-campus and the library subscribes to journal and has the issue containing your article
    • you can still get access to the article AFTER you have gone through a path that establishes you as affiliated with UT-Austin.  There is more information at this guide - Electronic Resources: Troubleshooting.

Find a Journal

  • To see if we have access to a particular journal title (print or electron) use the Journals link to see which database(s) provide online access and for which years.

If we don't have an article or book:

  • InterLibrary Services -  will obtain books, articles, and other material not owned by the University of Texas libraries.  


Terminology for Ethics and Values

  • The formal term used to describe the discussion of the appropriate behavior of engineers in their professional practice is ethics. Engineers have longstanding codes of ethics to guide their professional practice.  In discussions of these topics, you may also see or hear words such as values, societal, environmental, sustainable, and impact.


Databases for Finding Journal Articles Concerning Engineering Ethics

  • To find journal articles on ethics and values as related to engineering and science topics, search the usual databases; see the articles page.


Some Websites


Some Journals Focusing on Ethics in Science


For Books Discussing Ethics in Engineering


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