ENCS 282 Resources
Preparing your search
Writing a literature review for a project proposal gives the readers background information or the perspective necessary to understand the project. Background information, which can be found in books or journal articles, can look at whether your problem or a similar problem has been investigated in the past.
Before starting the search for background information, it's important to start the research process with the steps described in the YouTube videos below.
- Step 1 - Developing a research question for a literature review
- Step 2 - Finding key concepts and synonyms
- Step 3 - Creating a search strategy
Searching for books
Books can provide good background information, and in depth analysis of a topic.
- Sofia Discovery Tool: Concordia Library's main search tool
- In Sofia, you can widen your search to all Quebec university libraries (or even libraries worldwide) by checking the appropriate box under "Library" in the left navigation bar
- NOTE: You can borrow from any other university library in Quebec with your Concordia ID card
- Google Books: Many books scanned by Google have a "Preview" mode, allowing you to read some of the chapters.
Searching for articles
- General databases:
These databases are helpful for finding articles written from a variety of perspectives (scientific, technological, business, sociological)
- Engineering databases:
These databases cover the latest research in all engineering fields
- Business databases:
Many business databases contain trade journal articles that cover new technologies in particular industries
Searching for patents
Patents can be excellent sources of information for related designs and products as well as current technologies.
Google Patent Search
- Google Patent Search facilitates keyword searching of over 7 million US patents. Also includes patents from WIPO and the European Patent Office.
- Most countries have their own patent database.
Searching for cost information
Costing information could be important when choosing components, outlining a budget, or understanding current prices for services or parts. Here are a few sources of costing information:
Product literature: (i.e. supplier catalogues)
- Product literature, such as supplier or manufacturer catalogues, can provide costs for components, parts or entire systems.
Construction cost data (Canada & US):
- Get-A-Quote: Free online resource with US and Canadian data by state / province. Contains 2009 data from the series of books "Craftman's National Estimator". Need to adjust for inflation in order to get costs for current year. Please use this resource if RS Means is not available (see below).
- RS Means (in print in the Webster library) provide construction cost data as well as city cost indexes, productivity rates, crew composition, and contractor's overhead and profit rates. There are series of books depending on the construction project:
- Assemblies cost data
- Building construction cost data
- Electrical cost data
- Facilities maintenance & repair costs with RSMeans data
- Green building cost data
- Heavy construction cost data
- Labor rates for the construction industry
- Mechanical cost data
- Residential cost data
- Square Foot Costs with Rsmeans Data
- How to estimate with RSMeans data (online) is a step-by-step guide to creating a complete construction estimate.
- Hanscomb's Yardsticks for Costing (in print in the Webster library) that contains cost data for the Canadian construction industry. Details constructions costs for eight major regions in Canada and includes market unit costs, composite unit rates, and gross building costs
- Job Vacancy and Wage Survey: Satistics Canada data on average wages across industries, occupations, types of work, and regions of Canada.
- Canadian Industry Statistics: Salaries and Wages are available for various manufacturing sectors.
- Québec survey on total compensation: The Institut de la statistique du Québec conducts the Québec survey on total compensation (ERG) annually (in French only). The PDF report gives costs divided by sector (public, private, unionized, etc.). Table A gives global costs across all sectors.
- U.S. National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Wages for major occupational groups (from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Newspaper, Magazine or Trade journal articles:
- Newspaper or magazine articles can be great sources of costing information. Journalists often uncover construction or service costs paid by government. Trade journals can also be a good location to find suppliers or manufacturers in an industry. Once identified, these suppliers' websites may allow you to find costing information. Note: If searching Google or news databases to find costing information in Québec, you may need to use French keywords.
- Engineering News Record Magazine: publishes biweekly construction cost data from the United States. Follow these steps to find the most recent data:
- Go to Business Source Complete
- In the first search box, enter "ENR: Engineering News-Record", and then select the "SO Publication Name" from the drop-down menu
- In the second search box, enter "construction economics", and then select the "TI Title" from the drop-down menu
Searching for other information
Preparing a bibliography
- Writing the final report will require citing your sources. Engineering students are typically required to use the IEEE Citation Style. The Engineering Form & Style Guide also has a section (p. 13) describing how to cite using the IEEE citation style.
- If you are using another citation style, please see our "Citation Guides" page for guidance.
- Unsure how to cite? Check out the Library Research Skill Tutorial "How do I get my citations / references / bibliography right?"
- Try Zotero to manage and organize your references and prepare a bibliography automatically!