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Research Guides

Civil Engineering

A research guide to help you find relevant books and articles in the field of civil engineering

Tips for Database (including the catalogue) Searching

Boolean Operators
AND only finds results that include ALL your search terms.  NARROW.
OR finds results with ANY of your search terms.  BROAD.
For example: 
  • concrete AND durability
  • Structure AND testing
  • strain OR stress


Truncation is used to search for alternate word endings in a database. Usually its done by placing an asterisk (*) where you consider the end of the word's root to be. But be careful! If you put the asterisk too soon in the word, you'll get too many irrelevant words in your search results. For example:


  • construction
  • constructing
  • constructed 
  • constructs
  • connect
  • contract
  • conflict
  • conflicted
  • contradict
  • confer 


  • construction
  • constructing
  • constructed
  • constructs

Phrase Searching

Adding quotation marks will help you find phrases in a database.

Searching for "building materials" will find results where 'building' and 'materials' appear right beside each other.

Searching for just building materials will find any result where both of those words appear but not necessarily side by side.

Pro Tip: Use all 3 methods together!

Try this:

construct* AND "building materials"