Explore engineering articles, patents, standards, and other information.

Search for Journal Articles, News, Conference Papers, and More

Save your time! Use these search techniques:
  • Put quotation marks around PHRASES (two or more words), so that the words are searched together
    --- Example: "chicken pox"
  • Put an asterisk at the end of words, so that you get all of the word endings
    --- Example: high* = high, highs, higher, highest
  • Think of alternate spellings or synonyms
    --- Examples: house OR home OR dwelling OR residence; "cyber security" OR cybersecurity -- it's used both ways
    -- You should also add "information security" OR "computer security" OR "network security" or cyberdefense [this does not need quotation marks because it is only one word]
  • Start by putting your search words in the TITLE. If you get nothing, you can take them out of the Title and move them to "Anywhere."

Use journal articles to get:

  • a narrow or specific part of your topic
  • up-to-date information

For specialized article databases, go the library home page --> Articles & Databases --> Databases

  • You can choose an article database by its NAME or by its SUBJECT
  • In the list of SUBJECT databases, start with the ones listed under CORE, which are the best for that subject
  • To see what the database covers, click the little round "i" button next to its name


In all databases as well as Google Scholar, always use "Advanced Search."

  • This will let you focus your search to get better results, as well as save you a lot of time









In all library databases including Google Scholar, the FIND IT@JHU link will take you to all of the ways that you can get an article.

  • On a Hopkins computer, Google Scholar automatically shows you FIND IT@JHU  links
  • But on a non-Hopkins device (like your laptop), you should
    --- go to the library home page , choose "Articles and Databases," and use the "Google Scholar" tab, OR
    --- log in through the portal (, OR
    --- configure Scholar to show the links to you: in the upper left corner, click the little icon with 3 lines; choose "Settings"; choose "Library Links"; click "Save

If you do not see "FIND IT" next to a citation, look below the citation and click on the little arrow UNDER the citation. Usually, the FIND IT link will magically appear.








In your Google Scholar list of article results, you may also see books.

  1. If you click on the title, Google Scholar will take you to Google Books
  2. However, copyright law prevents them from showing you the whole book
  3. Search the library catalog for the book you want -- if we have it, you can see 100% of it!
  4. Remember that if we do not have a book in any format, you can request it through BorrowDirect or Interlibrary Loan (on the library home page under "Borrow and Request Materials")

In addition to news, news items can also provide the names of information sources about your topics.

Plagiarism -- It is extremely important to make sure that your writing does not use someone else's work without properly acknowledging it. Even "paraphrasing" (putting someone else's writing into your own words) must be done in a very careful way.

These tutorials will help you learn the basics of avoiding plagiarism. You will always need to know this, not only during your academic career, but throughout your professional career, too.

Here are the instructions to get to these tutorials.


For your citations (also called “references”):

  • You may use *any* style to cite your references (for example, Chicago Manual of Style)
  • The major citation styles are listed on the library’s Citing Sources guide
  • After you choose a style, you must use that same style for all references, in both essays
  • List your references at the BOTTOM of the page on which you use them, NOT at the end of the paper. (They are called "footnotes" because they are at the "foot" [bottom] of the page.)


Six Standards for Your Essay

This list is in your syllabus. I have reworded it a little bit. To have a good essay, you must do all of these things:

  1. Address the assigned topic or question in a highly analytical manner.
  2. Propose a well-defined thesis statement, stated at the beginning of your paper, and include evidence to support it.

    --- THESIS STATEMENT:  Here is a definition from the Writing Center at U. North Carolina Chapel Hill
    A thesis statement is “usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. ...The rest of the paper…gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your [analysis]."

  3. Address specific course themes and concepts relevant to the assigned topic or question.
  4. Mention opposing arguments or weaknesses in your thesis, and and the supporting evidence given  (this is defined as a "counter-argument").
  5. Do all of  this in a clear and well-organized way, using proper grammar, punctuation, usage, and sentence structure.
  6. Do not plagiarize any material, in any way.


For Writing Help

Citing Things That Are NOT Journal Articles

  • It can be hard to cite things that are not regular journal articles
  • The pieces that you need are mostly the same for everything -- author/editor (individual or corporate), title, date, publication/database, URL, date accessed
  • Always remember to give MORE information than NOT ENOUGH
  • For example, here are the pieces from a Gartner item: title, author, and date. You can also add the name of the database (Gartner), the URL for this page, and the date you accessed it


RefWorks is the citation manager that is supported by JHU. It is free for you.
  • Citation managers let you export citations FROM databases INTO the manager, so that you can put them into separate folders, and print out a bibliography in whatever style you want
  • They also help you organize your references, by using different folders or tags
  • Here is our guide about how to use it

Use the NEW RefWorks! Log in here.
  • Here are video tutorials about the NEW RefWorks
  • NEVER search from WITHIN RefWorks; always search from within the database itself

HELP is the question mark at the top right:

Here are some of the links from HELP:

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Save Your Time and Use the Best Tools

ALL databases allow you to FOCUS your search, so that you get exactly what you want.

1. Engineering, Computer and IT Topics, and More -- Start with Compendex

2. Business News and Information -- Start with ABI/INFORM (this database is also on the Computer Science + Security list)

3. Technology and Communications Industries

Gartner Advisory Intraweb -- This database has short articles and reports about the technology and communications industries. It can be complicated to use, but keep trying.

Start with "Advanced Search":

Just like all of the other databases, use the other features to FOCUS your search. Remember to start by putting your words in the TITLE, or TITLE and SUMMARY, and put PHRASES in quotation marks:


  • You cannot search the wholeGartner website at once. Here is a site map to help you find specific parts of the database
  • "Archived" means that the item is more than 1 year old
  • Here is their "IT Glossary" -- there are a few terms on the bottom, but use the alphabetical list to search for what you want

4. Law and Policy

  • CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly) has topics you can browse. Under Defense and National Security --> Technology are some reports about cybersecurity and privacy that will give you good background information
  • Contact Yunshan Ye, the librarian listed on the left of this page

5. Broad Search -- Google Scholar

  • In addition to the specialized databases listed above, most of the essay topics would benefit from a carefully focused Google Scholar search -- here's an example of using the Advanced Search to get decent results in Scholar (although still too many)

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