NAU students, faculty, and staff can request books and articles that Cline Library doesn't own. We will get them from another library at no extra cost to you! Just set up a DDS account and you'll be able to get electronic copies of articles and book chapters. Entire books take a little longer to receive, and you'll get a physical copy available for pickup at the Ask Us! Desk.
About Journal Articles
The purpose of journals is to allow researchers to publish and share the results of their research projects with each other. Most journal articles typically describe very specific research projects, in very technical language. They can be hard to read, even for expert engineers! Thus, these sources are not published for consumption by the general public - their audience is other experts.
Journals contain articles. Journals are focused on a specific discipline, and journal articles report on a single, detailed, research projects that is described in about ten to twenty pages (on average).
Information in these publications is arranged in a way to help readers quickly determine if the article or paper would be useful to them. Here's what you can expect to find:
A title that describes the research project
An abstract - usually about a paragraph long - which provides a summary of the research project and findings (NOTE: This is a good spot to check and see if the article you found is relevant to your assignment, before reading the whole thing!)
An introduction that provides the scope and objectives of the research project
A section explaining the materials and/or methods used
The results that were found - often in the form of data, tables, graphs, etc.
A discussionand/or conclusion describing the significance and relevance of the findings
A list of cited references to other publications that the authors consulted in designing and developing their research project.
Journal articles go through a peer-review process before they are published. Peer review is a process where one or more experts will read an article or paper and examine whether the research methods are valid and whether the conclusions make sense. They might also look at the importance and utility of the research, as well as the quality of the authors' writing. If the article or paper isn't good enough, it will not pass the peer-review process and will not be published. However, just because a source is peer-reviewed does not mean it is perfectly accurate and reliable!
Provides access to industry-leading standards and technical engineering information. Covers a broad range of engineering disciplines, including aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, environmental, geological, health and safety, industrial, materials science, mechanical, nuclear, petroleum, soil science, and solar engineering.
With more than 440,000 papers spanning biomedicine, communications, sensors, defense and security, manufacturing, electronics, energy, and imaging, the SPIE Digital Library is the most extensive database available on optics and photonics research.
Search the web for articles, books, theses, and other sources spanning many disciplines. Many results will be from scholarly sources. Access full-text articles from your search by selecting the FullText@NAU link. To see the FullText@NAU links in Google Scholar from any computer anywhere, link your Google Scholar account to NAU.
Citation database of scholarly articles spanning the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Indexing goes back to 1900. This database can also search for articles that cite a particular work or author. Formerly called Web of Knowledge.
Does your topic relate to astronomy, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, or medicine?
The most comprehensive physics and astronomy article database. SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) includes three bibliographic databases: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics and Geophysics, and arXiv e-prints. ADS also links out to data catalogs and archives.
Database of electronic preprints covering physics, astronomy, math, computer science, quantitative biology, and statistics. (Preprints are drafts of articles; many will later go through a formal peer-review process and be published in scholarly journals.) ArXiv is also available in the database ADS (Astrophysical Data System).
The most comprehensive medical database. This resource covers medicine, dentistry, nursing, physical therapy, biomedical research, clinical practice, administration, policy issues, and health care services. This public version provides a Clinical Queries search interface.