Introduction to research skills for Applied Science

The Library has a range of print and electronic resources that you will find useful.

Learning how to use these resources effectively will save you a great deal of time and effort.

The subject guide handouts available at the Information Desk and by emailing the relevant subject Librarian at the end of this document are a good starting point.

There are also useful guides to resources Opens in a new window .

Finding books and journals in the library catalogue

The catalogue Opens in a new window gives you online access to details of books and journals held by the Monash University Library.

The best way to find a journal is to use the Advanced Search and journal title option.

A guide to using the catalogue is available at the information desk.

Finding academic/refereed journal articles

For your studies/research, you will need to find quality articles from academic/professional/refereed journals. These are available in print (check our holdings in the library catalogue) and online via our databases Opens in a new window page.

What is a refereed/academic article?

In general terms, such articles:

  • have an abstract and reference list or bibliography of material cited that may exceed half a page
  • have an author/authors with academic qualifications and affiliations
  • are substantial, usually more than 8-10 pages long
  • have academic or scholarly content and are written using technical language
  • are divided into sections such as Introduction, Methodology, Results, Conclusion, Reference list
  • appear in a publication that is published by a reputable academic or professional institution or a commercial publisher of high standard.

The definition 'refereed' relates to the process of selection of the articles submitted for publication. Articles are sent to a panel of experts who advise the editor on their standard and suitability for publication.

For more details check our Library online tutorial

How to identify academic resources Opens in a new window.

Using electronic journals

The Library has many suitable journals available via the web both on and off campus. Access is via your authcate user name and password.

Using databases

The Library databases Opens in a new window page.

This is a comprehensive page of links to databases that are an excellent source of quality journal articles as well as newspaper and magazine articles. As a starting point, look at the key databases listed on the subject guides and on the list on the next page.

Some of the key databases for Applied Science are

Biological Abstracts – foremost source of references to the life science journal literature.

Current contents connect – current awareness research database.

EBSCOhost research databases – index journals and other periodical sources in the fields of science, technology, economics and business.

Environmental sciences and pollution management – this bibliographic database indexes and abstracts literature in the field of environmental sciences.

Informit Online – collection of online bibliographic databases, includes summaries/abstracts of journal articles on Australia on various topics.

Journal citation reports, Science edition – this database is a resource for journal evaluation, using citation data drawn from approximately 5,000 journals in the areas of science and technology worldwide.

ProQuest science journals – bibliographic database containing citations and abstracts for articles from more than 350 science and technology journals.

ScienceDirect – online access to over 1800 journals from Elsevier Science.

Web of knowledge

Web of science

To use databases effectively, refer to the 'How to use' database guides available from the Information Desk and on request. These guides give useful hints on effective search strategies, printing and emailing articles.

See the tutorial on developing a search strategy Opens in a new window in the Library online tutorials Opens in a new window.

Citing and referencing

It is crucial that you make appropriate acknowledgement of the work you refer to; if not, you may be accused of plagiarism. Guidelines for different Schools and Departments vary. The most common referencing style used in the School of Applied Science and Engineering is the Author- Date or Harvard system. The Library has a Citing and referencing page Opens in a new window which explain this style and provides examples.

Getting assistance in the Library

If you need help using the services offered by the Library, please come to the Information Desk. See details for this service for off-campus learners Opens in a new window

Useful ibrary web sites

The Gippsland Library Subject Librarians are available for consultation. A good way to make contact is by email.

Business and Economics: kay.steel@lib.monash.edu.au

Education, Applied Sciences and Art & Design: malcolm.home@lib.monash.edu.au

HUMCASS and Psychology: jane.purton@lib.monash.edu.au

Information Technology and Nursing: myles.strous@lib.monash.edu.au