Library Resources for Technical Writing (WR227)

Contents for Technical Writing Resources

Checking Out Materials

To check out books you need a student I.D. card or a CCRLS public library card. Please contact the Bookstore in Building 1 for a student I.D. card. You can return our books to any public library in Marion, Polk, or Yamhill counties. If the book you want is at another library, it can be sent here for you.

  • Reference books -- these do not check out.
  • Circulating books -- these check out for three weeks.
  • Magazines and Pamphlets -- these check out for one week.

Topic Sources

If you are trying to find a topic that is currently being discussed or debated, browsing in magazines or journals is a good way to find one. You can look in journals published in a particular area of endeavor, such as publications of professional organizations or industries, or you can look in general sources that specialize in topics of current debate. For example, CQ Weekly is a magazine that reports news of what is happening in the U.S. Congress. Legislative proposals usually involve debates over a number of points of view. CQ Weekly is indexed in Gale databases such as General OneFile and Academic OneFile.

For suggestions on other general publications that deal with current debates, see Pro & Con: Finding Materials That Support a Position.

Professional Associations, Trade Publications, Etc.

Sources for Names of Professional Organizations and Titles of Periodicals

  • Encyclopedia of Associations (Reference 060 En1)
  • Electronic Journals Portal
  • Subject List of Periodicals at CCC (Index Table and at the Reference Desk, also online)
  • Professional Careers Sourcebook (Reference 331.702 P94)
  • Gateway to Associations Online -- http://www.asaecenter.org/Directories/AssociationSearch.cfm?navItemNumber=16581
  • Associations on the Net - http://www.ipl.org/IPLBrowse/GetSubject?vid=13&cid=7&tid=0&parent=0

Electronic Journals Portal

The portal lets you search by key words; change "Title begins with" to "Title contains all words" and put in a key word relating to your field.

You can also browse by subject, by selecting subject categories from the list. You'll find the portal linked from the library's database page.

Types of Information Sources Available

General and Subject Encyclopedias
These provide both concise overviews as well as in-depth analysis on a variety of topics. Good sources for identifying key events and key people. Also helpful in narrowing a research topic. See instructions below to find.
Books
Good for an overview of your topic or for in-depth information. Use the library's online catalog to find books on your subject.
Magazines and Journals
Good for current information and for recent developments in controversial topics. Use periodical indexes to find articles. See Periodical Indexes below.
Newspapers
Best for local and state information; good for current statistics. Use LexisNexis or Newspaper Source See Periodical Indexes below.
Pamphlets
Good for local and state information. Look under Elections in the Oregon file to find recent voter's pamphlets.
Government Documents and Technical Reports
See below

How To Find Specialized Dictionaries & Encyclopedias



picture of books

How To Find Specialized Dictionaries & Encyclopedias In the Library Catalog



  1. Use the default Keyword search in the catalog.
  2. Type a word that describes your subject with "AND dictionar*" or "AND encyclopedi*."

Picture of catalog search screen

The asterisk (*) is a truncation character that tells the computer to find any word that begins with "dictionar" or "encycloped," that is dictionary, dictionaries, encyclopedia, encyclopedias.

If the library does not have a subject dictionary or encyclopedia on the specialized subject, try a slightly broader search. For example, if your topic is emeralds, you will find that Chemeketa has encyclopedias of gemstones, but no dictionaries of gemstones. You might try a keyword search for "mineral* AND dictionar*."

symbol for electronic

How To Find Electronic Encyclopedias And Dictionaries

You can either browse encyclopedias by subject, or do a search:

Browse encyclopedias

Browse dictionaries

To search, try one of these collections of online reference books. If you are off campus, you'll need your My Chemeketa user name and password.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Browse by broad subject areas or search. You can make your search more specific than the catalog search, because you can search in the full text of the encyclopedias.
Picture of Gale Virtual Reference search screen

Oxford Reference Online: Premium Collection
Pick a subject category from the list to find encyclopedias and dictionaries. (Books with "Oxford Companion" in the title are one-volume encyclopedias.)

Periodical Indexes

Periodical (magazine, newspaper, journal) indexes are found on the Reference Index computers, on the index table, and on the reference bookshelves.

To access databases such as the Gale databases listed below, go to the Library's Online Databases (http://library.chemeketa.edu/information/database.php). If using databases from off campus, you will need your My Chemeketa user name and password.

General

Academic OneFile [Gale]
For agazines and scholarly journals on a variety of topics.
General OneFile [Gale]
Includes popular magazines, including current events and sports.
Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature [Index table]
Index to over 190 magazines covering a wide range of topics.

Agriculture

Agricola
The journal article database of the National Agricultural Library, with over 2.5 million citations on agriculture-related subjects.
Infotrac Agriculture Collection
"With a strong emphasis on titles covered in the Agricola database, this collection of more than 400 titles is focused on agriculture and its related fields: from practical aspects of farming to cutting edge scientific research in horticulture. In addition, over 20 Delmar reference titles provide in-depth coverage on a variety of agricultural related topics."
ScienceDirect
Chemeketa has access to full text for nearly a thousand journals in the life sciences, including agricultural science. Journals and articles that are available in full text are shown with a green icon (picture of subscribed icon with text You are entitled to access the full text of this document).

Business

Business Insights: Essentials [Gale]
Index to thousands of journals covering business, management, economics, finance, banking, accounting, and many trade and professional publications, often in full text.
Infotrac Business Economics and Theory Collection
Collection covers academic journals and magazines in economics. Contains over 450 full-text journals and has video from Forbes.
LexisNexis Academic
Has the full text of over 1,000 business and trade publications from the U.S. and around the world. Click the Sources button, then look under "Industries & Markets" to find "Industry Trade Press." You may also use the "Find Sources" feature to search for publications of interest.

College Scholarships, Grants and Loans

Education Full Text
Includes indexing and abstracts of more than 600 education periodicals (400 peer-reviewed). Full text of articles from over 350 journals as far back as 1996.
This general database has both scientific journal articles and news articles relating to biology, earth science, and environmental issues
Education Index [Index table]
Index to over 450 periodicals in education.
ERIC (Education Information Resource Center)
The largest education index in the world. Covers over 1,000 periodicals and over 440,000 documents within the field of education.
Educator's Reference Complete [Gale]
Indexes over 430 periodicals related to the field of education.

Education

Education Full Text
Includes indexing and abstracts of more than 600 education periodicals (400 peer-reviewed). Full text of articles from over 350 journals as far back as 1996.
This general database has both scientific journal articles and news articles relating to biology, earth science, and environmental issues
Education Index [Index table]
Index to over 450 periodicals in education.
ERIC (Education Information Resource Center)
The largest education index in the world. Covers over 1,000 periodicals and over 440,000 documents within the field of education.
Educator's Reference Complete [Gale]
Indexes over 430 periodicals related to the field of education.

Environment

Academic OneFile [Gale]
This general database has both scientific journal articles and news articles relating to biology, earth science, and environmental issues.
GREENR
A variety of content types "ocuses on the physical, social, and economic aspects of environmental issues. "
LexisNexis Academic [Gale]
Indexes legal journals in full text. Click the "Legal" tab to search.
ScienceDirect
Chemeketa has access to full text for nearly a thousand journals in the life sciences, including environmental science. Journals and articles that are available in full text are shown with a green icon (picture of subscribed icon with text You are entitled to access the full text of this document).
See also Animals, Marine biology, Oceanography, and Energy-related Topics on the Supplementary Database page
(See below for information.)

News

Infotrac Newsstand
Full text of many newspapers from the United States and other countries. Also includes newswire articles
LexisNexis Academic
Has the full text of over 350 newspapers from the U.S. and around the world, including The Oregonian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post; hundreds of other news publications; broadcast transcripts from the major television and radio networks. Click the News button to search.
New York Times Index [Index table]
Indexes only the New York Times. Under a topic, each article is listed in chronological order with a brief description, and the section, date, and page number where the article appeared. Also indexed, with full text, in LexisNexis Academic
Oregon Index [Reference Index computers or http://www.osl.state.or.us/home/orind/]
Indexes the Statesman Journal 1987-2003. Not full-text -- indexing only.

Nursing, Medical and Health Topics

CINAHL [EBSCOhost]
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature - Indexes periodicals in nursing, emergency medicine, dental assisting, etc.
Health & Wellness Resource Center [Gale]
Indexes many periodicals covering topics in medicine, health, and wellness. Also has reference books, video, and other resources.
Health Reference Center Academic [Gale]
Index to approximately 300 periodicals. Also includes full text to 23 reference books and full text of over 1,000 health related pamphlets. Intended for the general public.
MEDLINE
The largest medical and biomedical research database.
ScienceDirect
Chemeketa has access to full text for nearly a thousand journals in the health and life sciences. Journals and articles that are available in full text are shown with a green icon (picture of subscribed icon with text You are entitled to access the full text of this document).

Sports & Fitness

Academic OneFile [Gale]
This general database has both scientific journal articles and news articles, including over twenty full text publications devoted to sports.
ScienceDirect
Chemeketa has access to full text for nearly a thousand journals in the life sciences, including sports medicine, sports science, and psychology of sport. Journals and articles that are available in full text are shown with a green icon (picture of subscribed icon).
See also Athletics on the Supplementary Database page
 
(See below.)
See also Nursing and Medical databases
(See above.)

Social Services

Academic OneFile [Gale]
This general database has both scientific journal articles and news articles.
See also Social Sciences, Crime & Criminal Justice, Child Welfare, and other related topics on the Supplementary Database page (See below.)
 
 

Technology

Academic OneFile [Gale]
This general database has both scientific journal articles and news articles.
Business Insights: Essentials [Gale]
Index to thousands of journals covering business, management, economics, finance, banking, accounting, and many trade and professional publications, often in full text.
ScienceDirect
Chemeketa has access to full text for nearly a thousand journals in the life sciences, including agricultural science. Journals and articles that are available in full text are shown with a green icon (picture of subscribed icon with text You are entitled to access the full text of this document).

See also Science, Biotechnology, Energy-related topics, Computer-related topics, and other appropriate subjects on the Supplementary Database page, below.
 

Supplementary Databases

Additional databases are found on Chemeketa's databases page under Supplementary Online Databases - http://library.chemeketa.edu/information/supplement.php.

Examples of some full-text databases with publications in a particular discipline:

  • ADS - NASA Astrophysics Data System Abstracts
  • AgEcon
  • Cogprints (cognition)
  • Computing Research Repository (CoRR)
  • EconPapers
  • ETDEweb (Energy)
  • Energy Citations Database
  • ESRI GIS Virtual Library
  • FS INFO (forestry)
  • HCIbib (human-computer interaction)
  • Labordoc
  • Mathematics Archive (arXiv)
  • NCJRS (criminal justice)
  • Physics Archives (arXiv)
  • TRID Online (transportation)

Other Sources of Technical Information

For information of a technical nature, there is a large amount of information available on the Internet. Here are some good sources to try.

Government Documents

Oregon documents can be found at the Oregon.gov Web site. There is a search engine. It can be a bit difficult to find what you are looking for.

U.S. and state documents can be found on USA.gov. The latter search engine is the official U.S. portal and search engine. It searches only in government documents, including military sites like the Army Corps of Engineers, and in state documents.

Search or browse Science.gov for science information provided by U.S. Government agencies.

Links to government sites for occupational information can be found on the Careers pathfinder.

Technical Reports and Web Sites

There are a number of technical report servers you can try. Some are listed in the table below. The Supplementary Databases also include some resources with a large number of technical reports.

CERN Documents ServerReports on high-energy physics
National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)NSCEP is an EPA site for technical documents.
NTIS: National Technical Information ServiceNTIS is a government service. Most of the reports listed are for purchase, but you can look for them in libraries. Some reports are available free in electronic form.
NTRS: NASA Technical Reports ServerTechnical literature from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration
OSTI E-print NetworkDepartment of Energy site that includes "scientific or technical documents circulated electronically to facilitate peer exchange and scientific advancement. Included are pre-publication drafts of journal articles (preprints), scholarly papers, technical communications, or similar documents relaying research results among peer groups."
RAND reportsOnline publications from RAND's policy research
TechXtra in Engineering, Mathematics, and ComputingIn addition to technical reports, you can also meta-search sites for dissertations, books, etc. TechXtra was developed by a team from Heriot Watt University in Edinbugh.
University of Maryland Technical Reports Search TRAIL is an archive of old technical reports. Click the Find Technical Reports tab.


Finding Internships

Here are some good sources for finding internships in a particular field. Some of the career/job sites require free registration.


To comment or request help, please e-mail Reference or call 503.399.5231.

Address of this page: http://library.chemeketa.edu/instruction/handouts/WR227.php

Updated: 19 August 2013