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Engineering Summer Academy (BESST): Doing Research! (finding journal articles and books)

Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST)


Search preparation

Step 1:

  • Choose topic or has a topic been provided by instructor?

  • Brainstorm about topic – is it too broad or too narrow? Browse ASEE Prism Magazine for ideas

  • Break topic into keywords

  • Construct a search strategy using AND, OR and Truncation *

Step 2:

  • Select database (s) from this research guide or check Databases by Subject or consult a librarian; OneSearch is a good place to start

  • Check your results – are you getting relevant hits? No? Consult box opposite.

  • Limit by date; in engineering we generally search for articles published in the last 5 years for currency

  • Limit by type of material if necessary (usually limit to peer-reviewed articles) but check your syllabus – are magazine articles, chapters in books, books acceptable?

Step 3:

  • Review titles and abstracts (summaries) of articles and decide which ones are relevant to your topic

  • Are they full-text? Check for PDF links or click on Getit@CSULB link to find full-text in other databases

  • If not available full-text, you can request via BeachReach


Not getting enough? Getting too many?

Getting not enough or no results? (HOW TO GET MORE)

  • Check spelling

  • Check which field you are searching (topic, author, etc.)

  • Use less key words (get less specific)

  • Use more "OR's" (common name, synonyms)

  • Try another database

Getting too many results? (HOW TO GET LESS)

  • Add more concepts (get more specific)

  • Use more limiters (years, peer-reviewed only, etc.)

Search the Library Catalog (OneSearch)

magnifying glass


A good place to start research to find journal articles, books and other media available in the Library.                                           

About OneSearch

OneSearch Tutorials 


Not Available at CSULB?

BeachReach - interlibrary loan heading image

Is your article not available at CSULB?

Put in a request through BeachReach to get full-text of any article. 

You can get to BeachReach from the Get It @ CSULB page when you are searching in the databases.

Need more information on BeachReach? Visit our interlibrary services page.

Get It @ CSULB

Get It @ CSULB

This button appears in almost all of the Library's research databases (e.g. Academic Search Complete or PsycInfo).

Click the button to search CSULB's subscriptions for full text of your article.

If you have any problems, please report them at the link below: 

Looking at your results

Can you IDENTIFY all the parts of a journal article citation?

  • Author

  • Year

  • Title

  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

  • Journal Title

  • Volume

  • Issue

  • Page numbers