Skip to Main Content

Engineering: Construction Engineering Technology

Key Journals

Key Databases

Open Access Journals

Reference Books


When using the INSPEC database for research, you can employ several effective search strategies to locate relevant and high-quality resources.

Here are some tips:

  1. Use Controlled Vocabulary:

    • INSPEC uses a controlled vocabulary, also known as indexing terms. Familiarize yourself with the terms relevant to your topic and use them in your search. This can help you retrieve more accurate and targeted results.

  1. Utilize Boolean Operators:

    • Employ Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine or exclude terms in your search. This can help you refine your results and find articles that are more closely aligned with your research focus.
  2. Truncate and Expand Keywords:

    • Use truncation () to capture variations of a word. For example, searching "comput" will retrieve results containing "computer," "computing," etc. Also, try to expand your search by using synonyms and related terms.
  3. Search by Field:

    • Advanced Search allows you to search within specific fields such as title, author, abstract, and more. If you are looking for a paper by a particular author or with a specific word in the title, use these field-specific searches.

  1. Filter by Document Type and Publication Year:

    • Take advantage of filters to refine your results. You can filter by document type (e.g., articles, conference papers) and publication year to focus on the most relevant and recent research.
  2. Look for Classification Codes:

    • INSPEC provides classification codes for articles, which can help you find papers related to specific topics or subfields. Use these codes in your search to narrow down your results.

  1. Use Quotation Marks for Exact Phrases:

    • If you're looking for an exact phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. This ensures that the search engine retrieves results containing the phrase as a whole.
  2. Explore Thesaurus and Index Terms:

    • Check the thesaurus or index terms provided by INSPEC. This can help you identify additional keywords and concepts related to your research.

  1. Check Citations and References:

    • If you find a relevant paper, check its references and citations. This can lead you to other valuable resources that are related to your topic.
  2. Experiment and Iterate:

    • Don't be afraid to experiment with different combinations of keywords and search strategies. If your initial search doesn't yield the desired results, iterate and refine your approach.

Engineering and Learning Technologies Librarian

Additional Links