Review Articles try to summarize the current state of research on a particular topic. Theoretically, the author(s) searches for everything relevant to the topic, and then sorts it all out into a coherent view of the “state of the art” as it stands at the time the article was written. Review Articles will teach you about::
The Main researchers working in a field
Major advances and discoveries
Gaps in the research
Where research might go next
These articles are a great place to start as they contain the basic information and core articles on a given topic.
Find Review Articles:
Most article indexes and databases allow you to limit your search to include only review articles. This feature might be called "Review", "literature review", "State of the Art Review" or "Review Article". Set up your search like usual, then look for menu options that help you "Limit to", "Filter", or "Refine" your search to review articles, select it, and run your search.
If you open up PubMed, you can search for review articles on the drug Paxil by putting “Paxil” in the search bar, then clicking the "search" button. Look at the list of filters on the left-hand side of the page of search results. Under “Article Type” you’ll see a link labeled “Review”.
Annual Reviews of Scientific Literature Annual Reviews - Annual Analysis of Scientific Literature is a database of publications that focus on reviews of specific topical areas in a range of disciplines. These Annual Reviews are indexed in article databases, but you can also search this source directly. Search by topic. No need to add the word "review" to your search as that is the focus on this set of resources
Find Comprehensive Reviews
Depending on depth your research will entail into a topic, you may want to search for book-length reviews. Go the the Library's website, Select Books, Videos and More (WorldCat Discovery), then search topics with the word Comprehensive. For example:
Comprehensive and Biomaterials
Comprehensive and Nuclear Materials
Comprehensive and Superconductor
Comprehensive and Nanomaterials
What are Technical Reports? How Do I Find Them?
Many engineering and science article databases include technical reports from professional associations. So for example, if you need a IEEE technical report, start with the IEEE Xplore database. The resources here cover Government sponsored or grant-funded research.
Typically, government sponsored or grant-funded research requires written reports of research findings. These technical reports often have a lot of detail including methodology, equipment used, and tables, charts and/or graphs of the results that may not be reported elsewhere. The sources here are good places to look for technical reports that originate out of federally funded research:
U.S. government agency databases and websites; covers topics such as agriculture & food safety, biotechnology, electronics, engineering, transportation, astronomy and space science, ecology, genetics, earth and ocean sciences, energy and energy conservation, environmental quality. For a complete list of the resources searched go to the Science.gov "Selected Science Information" list.
Use Left Navigation "Clusters": to refine your search by Department, Topic, Scientific and Technical reports.
Incudes: Bioscience (mass spectrometry, cell imaging), Buildings and Construction (building and insulating materials, refrigerants), Chemistry, Materials (properties and characteristics of materials techniques to determine surface properties of solids), Mathematics and Statistics, Physics (atomic, molecular, optical and nuclear physics, fundamental constants)
Covers all modes of transportation across disciplines. Material covered includes technical reports, magazine and journal articles, conference papers, and books. Collaboratively produced by the U.S. Transportation Research Board's (TRB) Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) and the OECD’s Joint Transport Research Centre’s International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD) Database
Search multiple scientific sources from around the world with a single query. Multilingual translations capabilities exist for ten languages; Find the most current findings in fields such as energy, medicine, agriculture, environmental sciences, and engineering. Maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) in partnership with the International Council of Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI)
Historical Technical Reports
Looking for historical technical reports issued by the U.S. government? Try the following resources:
Pre-1975 reports federal technical reports issued prior to 1975. Reports from agencies such as the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the National Bureau of Standards, and the U.S. Bureau of Mines. A complete list of the included series is available at http://www.crl.edu/grn/trail/current-activities/series-list.
Online resources to locate technical reports and standards. Dates covered by each source are noted. Full text may not be available, but once you have the citation for the report you need, see if it's in Albertsons Library, or request it via InterLibrary Loan
Find Conference Papers
Conference proceedings and papers can be tricky. Sometimes the Find It button works well, other times not. Conferences can also be called symposiums, meetings, congresses or conventions. Use the following strategies to find Conference papers:
STRATEGY 1 - What professional association or society hosted the conference? If the Library has a database that covers that group's publications, search there. For example:
Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers - Search IEEE Xplore
American Chemical Society - Search ACS Publications
STRATEGY 2 - Do a Journals search (Library's main page). Search by the conference name