These practical exercises will introduce you to key services and search techniques in finding information at the University of Birmingham. They will guide you through FindIt@Bham which covers:
If these activities are being completed as part of the supported database session, a tutor will be available to support you should you have any questions or problems. Work through the exercises, noting your answers.
You can use your own search terms if you prefer, the exercises are intended for guidance only.
The University’s Library Catalogue gives details of all of the material held in the libraries. This activity guides you through the process of finding a book.
ACTIVITY 2: Finding a book
Book details: 'Coulson and Richardson's Chemical Engineering by J.M. Coulson & J.F. Richardson Vol.3, Chemical and Biochemical Reactors and Process Control edited by J.F. Richardson & D.G. Peacock
A key information type in Metallurgy and Materials Science is journals. It is very important that you understand the different elements of a reference to a journal article, and then how to go about finding the article, both online and in print.
Anatomy of a journal reference
The most important elements of a reference to a journal article are:
These should be presented in a consistent style in your resource or reading list (and your own reference lists).
e.g: Valenti, M. (2000). Kicking the OPEC habit Mechanical Engineering 122 (5) : p44 – 51.
So in this case:
When searching for a journal article, you need to start by looking for the Journal title.
ACTIVITY 3: Finding an electronic journal
Finding a journal on FindIt@Bham
Journal article details: Valenti, M. (2000). Kicking the OPEC habit 122 (5) : p44 – 51.
Go back to the search box and look for some of the following journals:
Note that there is an option via the pin icon to place the journal in your e-shelf
ACTIVITY 3A: Finding a print journal
Finding a journal in the library
If your journal is not available electronically, it will not be listed in the ‘online items’ section. To find print journals in the libraries, you will first need to consult the Library Catalogue. Try the following search for the journal ‘Journal of Materials Education':
Most of the print journals you will need are stocked in the Main Library.
NB Sometimes the most recent years of a journal may be electronically available, but older ones will be available in print only.
The journals held at Birmingham are just a small subset of the journals covered by bibliographic databases, which themselves cover a subset of all of the journals in the world. How to use these is covered in the next activities
An important part of the academic process is searching the literature to find current and older research to inform your ideas and back up your arguments. The most efficient way of searching the literature is to use a good quality ‘bibliographic database’. Examples of these include Compendex, ANTE and Web of Science. The sooner you start using these, the more confidently and efficiently you will search them, and the more time you will save!
The University subscribes to a range of different types of online resource, many of which are relevant to Chemical Engineering.
ACTIVITY 4: Locating databases
Go to FindIt@Bham http://findit.bham.ac.uk and login with your University username and password.