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Tips for literature search

For Starters

General Information

  • Kinds of documents:
    • patents: government granted license to an invention;
    • standards: agreed upon methodology: e.g. 802.11;
    • journals: research results presented in a periodical/magazine;
    • conference proceedings: research results presented at a meeting (most conferences in CS are peer-reviewed);
    • technical report: description of a solution to a specific problem;
    • books
      • reference: encyclopedias, tables, data collections, properties;
      • manuals: lab methods, programming languages, operating systems;
      • monographs: general topics;
    • technical specifications: how a device or component works, e.g. circuit diagrams;
    • code library: database of source code listings or linkable subroutines;
  • Peer review: researchers validating each others work before publication.
  • If you are not sure how to get started on your project, come to the Steacie library.

Free Citation Management Software

  • Zotero stores and organizes citations and associated PDFs in the cloud (300 MG of free space) and on your desktop. It automatically generates citations using plugins for most popular word processors. It can also export citations for use in BibTeX; visit this page about BibTeX and Zotero for more help.
  • Mendeley is similar to Zotero. It stores and organizes citations and associated PDFs in the cloud (2 GB of free space) and on your desktop. It automatically generates citations using plugins for most popular word processors. It can also export citations for use in BibTeX; visit this page about BibTeX and Mendeley for more help.

Logging in from Home

  • Need to use your Passport York login to authenticate from off-campus. You will be automatically prompted to log in as long as you access resources from the library website.

Finding Resources

Finding Books & Journals

  • Do a search in the York Catalogue:
    • by title: Concurrent programming in Java : design principles and patterns
    • by author: Bjarne Stroustrup
    • by journal title: journal of the acm
    • by subject: Java
    • by subject: concurrent programming, parallel programming, parallel processing
    • by keyword: concurrent programming java

Finding Articles

These online databases can also be found by searching for them in the catalogue or by browsing the Computer Science Research Guide.

Article Citation Databases

  • INSPEC - best source for citations in all computing fields, best for comprehensive searches.
  • ACM Digital Library - a good source for citations for major publishers in computing.
  • DBLP - another source of citations for major computer science journals and proceedings.
  • Web of Science - a multidisciplinary database with very good coverage of all major computing journals. Good for citation searches.
  • Scopus - another multidisciplinary database.
  • Very important: it can be tricky to locate the full text of conference proceedings and grey literature. Try the following steps:
    • Try the Get It @ York button (if it is available in the database you are using).
    • Decipher the citation. Make sure you can tell the authors, titles, dates, and publishers apart.
    • Search Google Scholar using the title of the paper.
    • Search the catalogue for the title of the proceeding.
    • Search full text article databases (see the list below) using the title of the paper or the title of the proceeding.
    • Search CiteSeerX, which indexes the scientific literature in computer and information science, using the title of the paper or the title of the proceeding.
    • Use RACER Interlibrary Loan to request the item from another library. This process can take up to two weeks or more.

Full Text Article Databases

Online Computer Books

  • Safari - over 200 online computer/technical books on a wide range of subjects.
  • Books24x7 - 1000s of searchable full text books in computing and engineering.
  • Synthesis - amazing collection of CS & Engineering ebooks, more advanced topics.
  • SPIE Digital Library - e-books on photonics and optics.

Using Google

Use the Internet wisely.

  • Using Google as a scholarly research tool:
    • example: concurrent programming
    • example: concurrent programming locking
    • example: concurrent programming locking algorithm
    • example: concurrent programming locking algorithm java
    • strategy: find good portal sites
    • strategy: make sure you know exactly who produced the content

Cited Reference Searching

Librarian Contact Information

  • Jacqueline Kreller-Vanderkooy
  • Office: Steacie 102J
Last modified:
2015/01/07 16:10