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Engineering: Research Skill

This subject guide covers resources available at the UM Libraries for locating information in Engineering. We are here to make sure that you are getting the help you need with library resources, databases, searches, training and instruction.


EndNote will: 

  • store and manage references in your own database so you don't lose track of them.
  • work with Word to format your references in a wide range of styles. 
  • import references from many online databases such as Web of Science without you having to type them in.



What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s ideas as your own. If you don’t know when to cite and reference the sources you have used, you may be guilty of plagiarism without realizing it. If you keep a record of where you find your information, then it will be easy to find the details when you need to reference your work.



Library Research Skills

Top tips : 

Starting your research

  • think about your topic – don’t be too vague or too specific (try mind mapping or keyword searching)

  • read broadly around your subject (don’t just use Google and Wikipedia!). Think about a research question that is clearly structured and builds on literature already produced

  • find information – subject databases (refine search and limit results). Other good starting points for finding information are the library catalogue. UM Library Website which allows you to search across the library's printed and electronic resources as well as major subject databases and indexes. 

  • carry out a literature review. You may want to include journals, books, websites, grey literature or data and statistics for example. Keep a record and organize your references and sources.

  • evaluate your resources – use the CRAAP test (Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose) 

  • reach considered conclusions and make recommendations where necessary

Your research journey

Your research journey.

Research skills allow you to find information and use it effectively. It includes creating a strategy to gather facts and reach conclusions so that you can answer a question.

Why do I need research skills?

  • They enable you to locate appropriate information and evaluate it for quality and relevance
  • They allow you to make good use of information to resolve a problem

  • They give you the ability to synthesize and communicate your ideas in written and spoken formats

  • They foster critical thinking

  • They are highly transferable and can be adapted to many settings including the workplace

You can access more in depth information on areas such as primary research, literature reviews, research methods, and managing data, from the drop down headings under Information Literacy (GIG1004) at SPECTRUM home page or join Information Skill Session.