A reference or citation is a written description of a bibliographic work and has two distinct purposes:
Helps the reader distinguish what the work is without having to actually see it, and if they decide they do want to see it ...
Gives the reader enough information to be able to find it.
Although many references in the online environment have links to the full text, sometimes the links are missing or do not function, or you may be given a written list of citations without the URL addresses. In these cases, you'll need to know how to find an item using its citation.
The instructions below show examples of citations for the different types of documents in which engineering information appears; the citations are in the IEEE citation style. Following the citations are instructions for finding the document including what databases to use and what part of the citation to search in those databases. There will usually be two or more recommended databases for each document type; if you do not find the document in the first database, try the second one, etc., before using the Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery services.
Example of a citation for a chapter within an edited book ...
J. H. Choy, J. M. Oh and D. H. Park, "Biomedical Applications of Layered Double Hydroxides in Bruce," in Low Dimensional Solids, W. Duncan, D. O'Hare, and R. I. Walton, Eds. New York: Wiley, 2010, pp. 163-187.
If the words are not too generic, search just the main title and leave out the subtitle
Search just the first 5 or 6 words of the title
For the catalog, when copying and pasting a title in the search box, make sure the last word(s) is not cut off - if the title is too long to fit in the box, eliminate any partial word from the end of the title.
Example of a citation to a conference proceedings that has a unique title ...
Y.M. Chun, et al., Eds, Sustainable construction materials and technologies: International Conference on Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies, 11-13 June 2007, Coventry, UK. London, Taylor and Francis, 2007.
Conference proceedings can be difficult to find - if you're not sure you have adequately searched the Library One Search database and the Catalog, before you submit an Interlibrary Loan request, send your citation to "Ask a Librarian" and ask us to check.
Not all conferences publish their proceedings; it's very common for conferences to either provide no documentation at all or to just provide abstracts of presentations. If the citation does not contain a publisher or the page numbers for a specific paper/presentation within the proceedings, it's highly likely the proceedings were not published. In these cases, the only source of full documentation may be the author(s).
Dissertations or Theses
Example of a dissertation or thesis citation ...
R.L.Daugherty, Thin film transistor control circuitry for MEMS acoustic transducers. M.S. Thesis, Electrical Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, 2012.
NIOSH, Occupational Exposure to Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers (Current Intelligence Bulletin 65), Cincinnati, OH: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2013.
ASU Library's Journal Title Search
Search NEWSPAPER TITLE
Note: Use the first search box to see if the newspaper is available online, use the second search box to see if the ASU Library has the newspaper in print or on microfilm.
Example: Tulsa World
Example of a patent citation ...
H. Shimizu, et al., "Reciprocation type linear driving actuator and power toothbrush using the same,"U.S. Patent 7474018, January 6, 2009.
Note: technical reports are seldom published and therefore can be hard to find. If the report did not show up in either Library One Search or Google, send the citation to Ask a Librarian and ask us if we can identify report and see if it's available.
The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.