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WRI: Writing an Effective Scientific Research Article: Science & Engineering: The Basics

Tools for scholars and writers to help discover and assess the literature of the field.

Reviews and overviews

To familiarize yourself with the broader landscape of a research field, especially if your work will have applications in other disciplines, go to the basics:

  • AccessScience - The McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
  • Annual Reviews - Series of authoritative, analytic reviews in 33 focused disciplines within the Biomedical, Physical, and Social Sciences. Useful for researching engineering applications in physical sciences.
  • Foundations and Trends in Business, Economics and Technology - Gateway to the primary research literature, combining peer-reviewed expertise, the breadth of reference works, and the pedagogy of textbooks.
  • Synthesis and Colloguium Digital Library (Morgan & Claypool) - Collection of lectures that synthesize various research or development topics in biomedical engineering, communications, artificial intelligence, computer science, and electrical engineering.
  • ScienceWatch.com - Summarized Publication and Citation Data from Thomson Scientific for the Analysis of Research Trends & Performance. Visual representations of leading scientific literature track the ground breaking papers in various scientific fields.

 

Google Scholar Tips

Google Scholar  

  • search engine which Indexes scholarly literature in many disciplines
  • For many scholarly journals, links directly to the article
  • Includes cited references like the Web of Science database
  • Advanced search allows discipline, author, date, and other searches
  • Integrated with Findit@PUL
  • Includes links to JSTOR and Elsevier journals

Set Your Preferences for Google Scholar

  • Before you search use Settings to set up on "Find It" functions. 
  • Search Princeton in the Library Links box and make sure box is checked           
  • WorldCat - set default for off-campus access to "Library Search"
  • Select preferred citation manager
  • If you use RefWorks or EndNote, choose your option in the bibliography section
  • Then Save Preferences

Princeton Users:
Find scholarly articles in journals and newspapers not in Google by searching Databases. You can also browse databases at the library by Subject.

Directions to access Princeton-only articles from off-campus
http://library.princeton.edu/help/remoteaccess.php

More on Google Scholar

Google Scholar

  •    Scholarly focus
  •     Academic publishers
  •     Professional papers and conference proceedings
  •     Online journals and reprinted articles
  •      Use the Advanced Search for better searching

Set Your Preferences for Google Scholar

  •      Before you search use Settings to set up on PUL access links (FindIt@PUL)      
  •      Search Princeton in the Library Links box and make sure box is checked
  •      WorldCat - set default for off-campus access to "Library Search"
  •      Select preferred citation manager. If you use RefWorks or EndNote, choose your option in the bibliography section
  •      Then Save Preferences

Pros:

  •        Relevancy (relevant hits at the top of the list - tend to be older)
  •        Web-based materials not in other databases
  •        Access to full-text enabled (linked to PUL library resources)
  •        Searches a broad cross-section of subjects and disciplines
  •        "Cited by" links to works that cite a particular book or article
  •        Strong in the Sciences (Engineering, Chemistry, Biology etc)
  •        Improving all the time

Cons:

  •        Frequency of updates?
  •        Gaps in coverage
  •        Incomplete Citations (often omit years, issue numbers or journal titles)         
  •        Doesn't handle variant spellings of author names or journal titles         
  •        No saved searches like many library databases
  •        Bias towards older literature - much of which is not full text
  •        Exporting citations : Only one at a time

 

 

Accessing library resources from off-campus

Most of the Library's electronic resources are available to registered students, faculty, and staff when away from campus, including while abroad. The Library offers two means of remote access, EZproxy and VPN.

EZproxy

The EZproxy service requires no configuration. It can be used directly from our Articles and Databases listings. Off-campus users will be asked to supply their Princeton netIDs and passwords when first attempting to access a resource that requires authentication. Resources in the listings marked "Princeton Only" do not work through EZproxy and are available only from designated Library workstations within our physical libraries.

Need help with EZproxy? Contact Library Support at lsupport@princeton.edu. If you are having problems with a specific resource please include the URL you are trying to access in your message.

Secure Remote Access (SRA)

The SRA service is managed by Princeton's Office of Information Technology (OIT) and requires installing and configuring software compatible with your computer's operating system. Instructions for Windows, OS X, Linux, and mobile devices are provided. Please note that SRA works for most, but not all, Library resources. Use the EZproxy service if you are using a public computer (hotel, public library, Internet cafe, etc).

OSX Users

Please note that Mac OSX versions 10.6.8 and older are incompatible with the SRA service. You will need to upgrade to OSX version 10.7 or later to use SRA. If you are unable to upgrade your machine at this time you can still use OIT's legacy VPN service for a limited amount of time. This service is currently scheduled to be retired in March of 2014.

SRA Help

Need help with SRA? Contact OIT via email or call 609-258-4357 (8-HELP).

 

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

The VPN service is managed by Princeton's Office of Information Technology (OIT) and requires configuring software built into your computer's operating system. Please note that VPN works for most, but not all, Library resources. Use the EZproxy service if you are using a public computer (hotel, public library, Internet cafe, etc).

Need help with VPN? Contact OIT at helpdesk@princeton.edu or call 609-258-4357 (8-HELP).
 
Special note for MAC users: If you are able to establish a VPN connection but are still unable to access Library Resources, try the following:
  • In System Preferences, choose Network
  • Highlight VPN connection
  • Click Advanced
  • Under Options, check "Send all traffic over VPN connection"
  • Under TCP/IP, set Configure IPv6 to Off (or, in Lion, choose "Link-local only" from the pull-down)