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Research Guides

CIV1320 Indoor Air Quality

This guide will help you find articles and other technical literature related to indoor air quality.

Web of Science

Web of Science® provides quick, powerful access to authoritative content from the highest impact journals worldwide, including Open Access journals, in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Web of Science also searches the Conference Proceedings Citation Index--Science database, covering 1990 to present.

Boolean searching

Use booleans terms (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR) to combine terms.


  • searching air quality AND aerosol returns articles that contain both terms
  • searching for  OR neoplasms returns article that contain either term
  • searching for spectroscopy NOT x-ray* returns articles that contain the term spectroscopy but not the term x-ray

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a great resource when you're looking for 1 or 2 articles on a topic, or if you are looking for a specific article.


Compendex is the most comprehensive bibliographic database of scientific and technical engineering research available, covering all engineering disciplines. It includes millions of bibliographic citations and abstracts from thousands of engineering journals and conference proceedings. When combined with the Engineering Index Backfile (1884-1969), Compendex covers well over 120 years of core engineering literature.

Database Search Tips

  • Each Database is slightly different.  Make sure you check the Help files of the database so you know you are searching it properly.
  • Some databases, such as COMPENDEX use controlled terminology.
    • That means that someone looks at each and every article in the database and tags it with words from a thesaurus, so no matter what words the author uses, the words being used to describe the article are consistent; if you use the words that the database uses, you will get all of the articles in the database on that topic.
    • That also means that if you use the words that the database uses to search for articles, the articles don't just have your search terms in the article, but the article is actually about that topic
    • it is a very powerful way to search, and helps you to narrow down your search and helps to make your search results more relevant
  • Other databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science, use keyword searches, so you have to be very creative in the search terms you use
    • the database only searches for what you type in, so if you use "tumour" but there are relevant articles in the database that use "tumor", "neoplasms", "cancer" etc. you won't find those articles
  • Use truncation, wildcards, etc. - often the * symbol, to expand your search
    • for example, searching for "engineer*" in COMPENDEX returns engineer, engineers, engineering, engineered, etc. - you don't have to type in each of those terms
    • in COMPENDEX, searching for sul*ate returns sulfate or sulphate
    • remember, each database has its own quirks, so look at the help files of each database to learn how best to use wildcards or truncation for each search