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Engineering: Material for tutorials

Library sessions for Postgraduates

Induction session for FEE Masters students (MSc AMES: BioMed: Transport) - PGT

Welcome to the Library

New to the University of Southampton?

Spend a few moments getting familiar with key library tools and information for all new students available from our LibGuide.

Online training for PGT students

Before the session please view the following 2 learning activities from Online training:Finding good library stuff online!

  • Using Library Search to find books, journal articles and more
  • Search Strategies

Please click on 'Was this training useful?' to leave some feedback

Once you have mastered the basics, the Advanced online training is worth working through.  You can choose to look at any or all of the tutorials, but remember they can be revisited at any time during the year. Some tutorials have audio so don’t forget your headphones!

What is a subject database, and how can it help you with your research?

Go to the Subject guides and subject databases tutorial

  • After watching this tutorial (no headphones needed) find the
  • most relevant subject guide to you
  • the databases & websites YOU think are relevant to your assignment

Subject databases now try one of these...

  • If you are  an AMES & Transport student try the sample search below - use this link to access the FEE library subject guides and choose a relevant database
  • If you are BioMedical Engineering - use these links to access the FEE library subject guide and the Medicine library subject guide and choose a relevant database for your assignment
  • Tip: if you are using a computer with two screens - drag the sample search LibGuide to one screen so that you can see the instructions and have the database search screen open on the other screen

Citing and Referencing

Check out the Academic Skills pages for information on Academic Integrity, referencing and also referencing software such as EndNote Online which allows you to collect and organise citations and references from your literature seach and then inset them into you document, formatted in the style that you choose.

Academic Skills

Training and workshops plus the Academic Skills web pages will give help and direction in many areas such as Academic Writing, Critical Thinking. Referencing and Plagiarism plus much more - see and links to the workshops at

Your feedback

Please complete our short survey to give us your feedback on the whole of the session. The code to include on the online form is: AMES18 or BioMed18


Finding information for your individual project (IP) Worksheet


1. Go to Use the PIN provided.

Note: You should have looked at the following activities in Online training: Finding good stuff online

  • Search Strategy
  • Using Library Search to find books, journal articles and more

2. Find out what information is available in LibGuides@Southampton

  • Spend 2 minutes to check out the Assignment Planner -  This is a step-by-step guide to help you plan, organise and find the resources you need to complete your assignment. You can save your work and return to the planner at any time
  • Go to the Engineering Subject Guide, scroll down the Home page to Key Databases 

(NOTE: The Advanced Online Training: Improving .. has a section on Subject guides and subject databases tutorial.

  • watch this tutorial (no headphones needed) to find the
  • most relevant subject guide to you
  • the databases & websites YOU think are relevant to your IP


3. When you have decided which databases to us Do a Topic Search

From what you have learned from the previous presentations, use your project topic to create a search strategy by:

  • Breaking the topic up into key concepts
  • Thinking about alternative terms
  • Truncating words if appropriate

Follow this example to help create your OWN Search strategy/statement :

Topic: Fuel cells for use in electric cars
Key concepts: fuel cells / electric / cars
Alternative terms: fuel cells: batteries; electric: hybrid; car: automobile; Lead-Acid [type of battery]
Possible truncation: batter* (searches for battery / batteries)

Search statement: (fuel cell or batter*) and (hybrid or electric) and (car* or automobile*)


  • Enter YOUR search statement into at least 2 databases e.g. Compendex, Inspec, Web of Science, Scopus (choose the most appropriate for your topic, use the links from the Engineering and Environment Subject Guides
  • Look at the Search history and then revise or refine your search if necessary
  • Mark the records that interest you, adding them to the marked list/folder
  • Use the export function to send these records to yourself for future reference OR to the reference software of your choice to start creating  your bibliography

When you have a set of results do the following:

  • Try ‘Full Text Finder’ or other full text links
  • Use Library Search if you get the message ‘no full text sources’ from the Full Text Finder in case it is available in print.


What other useful resources are there? in your own time, check out the following ...

1. Getting the best out of the databases

Use the Advanced searching strategies tutorial ( for help on Subject heading/ thesaurus searching, Citation Searching and Keeping up to date.

Examples of searching by Author

  • Do an author search using the correct format e.g. Smith D* (this is very important)

  • Limit using author address and/or ‘Research area’

  • Look at your search history

  • Save your search

  • Mark some records and look at the export options

Examples of searching by Cited reference search

In Web of Science Core Collection, use a paper from previous search to do a Cited Ref Search or use the following example:

Broderick, N.G.R., Taverner, D., Richardson,D.J. et al (1997) Optical pulse compression in fiber Bragg gratings. Physical Review Letters 79(23), p. 4566-4569

  • How many times has this paper been cited by others?

  • How many papers does the Author cite?

  • How many related references are there? Look to see how relevant they are.


2. Academic integrity

Citing and referencing your work correctly is essential. By acknowledging the work of others you are acting with academic integrity and taking steps to avoid plagiarizing someone else's work.  Using bibliographic management or reference software can help you keep track of what you have found, what you have read as well as automatically formatting the references correctly when you use it with Word. Go to the Citing and Referencing section of the Academic Skills web pages or use the Referencing activity in Online training: Finding good stuff online.


3. Evaluating Information

Watch the interactive learning activity to help you find relevant, good quality information - Online training: Finding good stuff online


4. Academic Skills Support

For help and guidance on becoming an effective learner allowing you to develop transferable skills to use in your studies and in the workplace go to the Academic Skills LibGuides


Feedback - click here and use the code FEEG300318

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