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Key Resources in Technology
These resources contain basic overview information that can be useful when you're just beginning your research.
Oxford Reference Online
Oxford Reference Premium contains over 125 language and subject dictionaries and reference works, all published by Oxford University Press. Areas of coverage include science and medicine, the humanities and social sciences, and business and law. Content includes world maps, illustrations, timelines, weblines, and key titles from the Oxford Companions series. English dictionaries and thesauri, guides to grammar and usage, and dictionaries of etymology, foreign languages, quotations, and names are provided.
You can also search URSUS for technology-specific encyclopedias and handbooks, many of which are accessible online! A few examples are below, but there are many more.
Once you have a good understanding of your topic and have selected a few keywords, OneSearch is a great place to start your research! OneSearch is a convenient way to search almost all of the library’s resources using a single search box.
Below are just a few of our databases useful for technology research. For more databases with technology content, check out our Databases A-Z page and select "Technology" from the drop-down.
Academic Search Complete
Multi- and inter-disciplinary database with academic journals, newspapers, and other periodicals. Can be a good starting point if you're not sure what direction you want to take your research yet.
Business Source Complete
Start here for a comprehensive business database. Covers all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, accounting, banking, finance and more.
Esp@cenet: European Patent Office
This patent database provided by the European Patent Office covers patents from over 20 countries and the World Patent Organization. Links to the full text of the patents and applications are provided.
Journal articles on science, technology, and medicine published by Elsevier. Coverage: 1995-present.
USPTO Web Patent Database
For patents from 1976 to the present it provides searching by classification system, title and abstract words, inventor and company name and many other fields. For patents prior to 1976 you must search by patent number or the classification system.
Web of Science Core Collection
Covers multidisciplinary information from approximately 8,500 of the highest impact research journals. Provides cited reference searching, with which users can navigate forward, backward, and through the literature to uncover information relevant to their research. Coverage: 2000-present
Searching Tips and Tricks
- Most databases allow for searching with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
- Use AND to focus your search and combine different aspects of your topic
- Use OR to broaden your search and find sources that use different words for the same concept.
- Use NOT to omit certain terms from your results.
- Use an asterisk (*) to truncate words if you want to search for all words with that root. For example, “environment*” would search for environment, environmental, environmentalism, etc.
- Put quotes around a phrase that you want the database to search as a phrase, rather than as individual words.
- Group synonyms inside parentheses using OR between each one
URSUS is the combined library catalog for the entire University of Maine system. You can search the entire system, or select University of Southern Maine Libraries in the drop-down.
Other helpful tips:
- If you find a book that is relevant to your needs, look at the "Subject" area of the book's record. Click on a few of the subjects to find other similar books.
- In many of the book records, you can look at the table of contents - click the link under the "Inside This Book" heading. This can help you determine if a book is right for your research.
- If USM doesn't have a book you want, click the "Request" button at the top of the page and we can get it for you through interlibrary loan.
Most databases, as well as URSUS and MaineCat, assign subjects to books and articles. A subject is a designated word or phrase that describes an idea or concept and groups all articles or books about that concept together.
- Subjects are also variously called descriptors, controlled vocabulary, headings, or index terms.
- To search by subject you have to know the exact subject term. Most databases that use subjects have a Thesaurus that you can use to look up subject terms. You can also do a keyword search, find a book or article that is relevant to your research, and look at the subject terms assigned to it.
- URSUS and MaineCat use Library of Congress Subject Headings and each database has their own list of subject headings, so you have to look up subjects in each database independently.
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