Resources for: Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering

This guide covers search tools for introductory research in topics related to civil, environmental, and geo-engineering. It is aimed at undergraduate researchers.

Off-campus access to library resources

Current University students, staff and faculty should be able to get full text and online access to the University Libraries from anywhere. Here are three ways to access the library full text from off campus.

  1. Search the University of Minnesota library website. Log in with your UMN Internet ID and password to access resources.
  2. Log in using the U of M Virtual Private Network (VPN). You will need to download it VPN software to your computer from campus OIT (Office of Information Technology).
  3. Install the Libraries' Proxy Bookmarklet to your browser and click it to reload the page with your U of M login to get access to full text. Watch a proxy bookmarklet video (3 min) to learn more. 

View examples and learn more on our How to get to full text from on and off campus Guide.

Creating a search query

For most databases and even Google you can combine search terms to write a search query that databases understand. A good search query will give you a good selection of highly relevant results. Below are a few examples of how to build a search string using climate change as a topic:

  • Use quotation marks to search words as a phrase, e.g., "climate change"
  • Use an asterisk with a word stem to search for variations on a term, e.g., sustain* for sustain, sustainability, sustaining
  • Use the word AND to link together concepts, e.g., "climate change" AND sustain*
  • Use the word OR to search for synonyms, e.g., "climate change" OR "global warming"
  • Use parentheses to group terms, e.g., "climate change" AND (policy OR law)

Remember that searching is an iterative process—as you search and learn more about a topic, you will be able to refine your strategy.

Start with:

Then try any of the following:

Also check out:

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2023 12:36 PM