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*Construction Management / Civil Engineering Technology Research

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Research Databases

How do I get a copy of an Engineering Standard from the Library?

Find standards using IEEE Xplore. Select "Standards" under Content Types to limit your search. 

The Library of Congress standards collection contains publications that have been deposited at the Library of Congress to meet copyright registration requirements.

Additional Information about accessing Standards:

  • AASHTO - Standards from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials can be downloaded from ASTM Compass.
  • ACI - American Concrete Institute standards are published in the ACI Manual of Concrete Practice, available online.
  • AISC - Selected standards from the American Institute of Steel Construction are available online at the AISC website, including ANSI/AISC 360-16, Specification for Structural Steel Buildings.
  • AWS - Standards from the American Welding Society can be downloaded from ASTM Compass.
  • AWWA - Standards from the American Water Works Association can be downloaded from ASTM Compass.
  • ANSI - The American National Standards Institute compiles a record of standards that are referenced in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). 

ANSI Incorporated by Reference (IBR) standards - selected standards from ISO, IEC, AHAM, AWS, IAPMO, IES, NEMA, and other societies - are hosted in a read-only format (no downloading or printing options) and available at no cost here.

  • IEEE - Standards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are accessible via IEEE Xplore.
  • SAE - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) publishes standards on mobility engineering, including ground vehicle, aerospace, and aerospace materials standards. SAE standards are available online in SAE Mobilus
  • NFPA - National Fire Protection Association codes are available free online (Read-Only format) at the NFPA website.
  • HIPAA - The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 outlines national standards for electronic health care transactions and code sets, unique health identifiers, and security. Find an overview of HIPAA regulations at the Health and Human Services department website.
  • OSHA - Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards are available online at the OSHA website.
  • Military Specifications - The Department of Defense has made many military standards available for free (registration and approval is required for access). Please see DoD's ASSIST (at website for coverage and to register for access. Users may also gain access to DoD's ASSIST in person at the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library. Some Military Specifications may also be available via the SAI Global Standards Database (UM-Ann Arbor affiliated users only).
  • Municipal Codes - Online access to municipal codes and ordinances of over 1,000 local governments in the United States is available through

Video: Why Standards are important, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology 

Most of the results you will encounter in Google Scholar are not freely accessible. They require a subscription. The University Library subscribes to hundreds of databases, allowing faculty and students to access articles at no additional cost. By linking your search in Google Scholar to the CSU Pueblo Library, you can find articles that the library has already paid for you to access. Prior to searching on Google Scholar, follow the steps listed below:

  • Go to Google Scholar
  • Click on "Settings" from the pop-up menu (you do NOT need to be signed in with a Google account)
  • Click on "Library Links"
  • In the search bar, type "colorado state university - pueblo" (note: CSU-Pueblo yields no results)
  • Select the following options:

  • Click SAVE
  • Your search results will now show you when an item is available through the University Library by indicating "Find it as CSU-Pueblo" next to the title of a source.

How to request a book or article through interlibrary loan?

If CSU Pueblo does not own a book or have access to a full-text version of the article you need, then you can request that item through a process called "interlibrary loan". WorldCat and Prospector allow students and faculty to submit a request to borrow books and articles from other libraries around the country. If you need assistance with this process, reach out to a Librarian!

Interlibrary Loan
Request books, print and electronic articles, and more from libraries across the nation and throughout the world.

Request items via WorldCat, a global catalog containing books, video recordings, serials, and online materials from thousands of libraries worldwide.

Prospector Regional Catalog contains 20 million+ items from libraries in and around Colorado. Materials can be requested and delivered to CSU-Pueblo library.


If the article you want is not part of the library's collection, you can request a copy by clicking Find It @CSU-Pueblo. You will be directed to the ClioWeb InterLibrary Loan form. Enter your information, and a librarian will obtain a copy of the article and deliver it to you. 

Getting The Article

When the article is ready, you will receive notification that your article has arrived through electronic delivery. Your article will be available daily after 8AM, 12PM, 4PM, and 8PM. If you would like to receive your article in a hard copy you may request to pick it up at the Circulation Desk.

If you are not able to access your article electronically, please call the Interlibrary Loan Office at 549-2362.

Database Search Tips

Getting started with your search:

  • Use these common search techniques that can be applied to almost any database, as well as SuperSearch and even commercial search engines. 
  • The techniques recommended under the other tabs will enable you to quickly retrieve relevant information from the thousands of records in a database. 
  • If you need further assistance with searching in university databases, please call the telephone reference line (719) 549-2333 during normal library hours. You can also email the library at

A keyword search looks for one or more complete words that are contained anywhere in a record, including: titles, people, places, notes, abstracts, summaries, descriptions, and subjects. This type of search is a good substitute for a subject search when you don't know the authorized subject heading form. You can enter words in upper or lower case, and if you use multiple words you can enter them in any order.

Your search results can contain a range of items related to your keyword(s) search:

  • Words that appear in the title
  • Words that describe the subject matter
  • Author's name
  • Format or language
  • Year of publication
  • Name(s) or publishers and/or distributors of the item
  • If the item is an article, then you can search for the name of the magazine or journal in which the article appears
  • For recorded music and movies: artist, actor, or director name

Subject headings describe the content of each item in a database. Use these headings to find relevant items on the same topic. Searching by subject headings (a.k.a descriptors) is the most precise way to search databases.

What you need to know about subject headings, also commonly referred to as subheadings:

  • Pre-defined "controlled vocabulary" words used to describe the content of each item (book, journal article) in a database. 
  • Less flexible when conducting a search. You need to know the exact controlled vocabulary term. Results will very based on the topic.
  • A database will look for subjects only in the subject heading or descriptor field, where the most relevant words appear.
  • If your search produces too many results, then consider using subheadings to focus on one aspect of the broader subject. A subheading is a division subordinate to a main heading or top level subject.

phrase search uses quotation marks to allow an exact match to the phrase searched. This can be a title or keyword search, and can include two or more words. For example:

  • "consumer reports"
  • "criminal justice"
  • "regional history"
  • "george washington"

Boolean operators allow you to group, include, or exclude certain terms in your search. You can use these operators:

Operator Description A search like the following... Will return these results...
AND (uppercase), or the plus sign +

This is the default search operator. The database will search using the word "AND" or the plus sign to find all of the words typed in the search box.

Note: Any search for terms without an operator will return items with all the words.

guns AND germs AND steel

guns + germs + steel

with all of the words entered in the search box: guns, germs, steel
OR (uppercase), or the | symbol The use of the word "OR", or the | symbol, will search for either of the words listed in the search box.

costume OR fashion

costume | fashion

for any of the words entered in the search box with results that will include either terms, but not necessarily both:

costume OR fashion

NOT (uppercase), or the minus sign - The word "NOT" or the minus sign will exclude terms from your search.

Paris NOT fashion

Paris - fashion

for Paris, but not fashion
quotation marks " "
To search for an exact phrase, the search terms should be enclosed in quotation marks. "The Grapes of Wrath" where all words are located directly next to each other in the search results


( )

Use parentheses to create more precise searches. dog (walking OR feeding OR grooming)

dog walking

dog feeding

dog grooming


Truncation allows you to search for a term and its variations by entering a minimum of the first three letters of the term followed by a question mark symbol (?) or an asterisk (*). 


This search... Returns items whose record contains the following:











Wildcards are special characters used to represent additional characters in a search term. They are useful when you are unsure of spelling, when there are alternate spellings, or when you only know part of a term. You can use these two wildcards:

Pound sign (#): The pound sign, also called a number sign or hash mark, represents a single character.


  • A search for the term wom#n will return items whose record contains the terms woman or women.
  • A search for the term adverti#e will return items whose record contains the terms advertise or advertize.

Question mark (?): The question mark represents any number of additional characters. Include a number if you know the maximum number of characters the wildcard will replace. 


  • A search for the term anders?n will return items whose record contains the terms anderson or andersen.
  • A search for the term bu?2er will return items whose record contains the terms burner or butler.

Stop words are frequently occurring, insignificant words that appear in a database record, article or web page.

Common stop words include: a, an, the, in, of , on, are, be, if, into, which

Why stop words matter?

  • Boolean operators are not recognized as stop words when capitalized. They are search commands.
  • Many databases ignore common words from your search statement. If included, the database might return too many results.
  • Know which words to include or exclude from your search.
  • Databases can recognize common stop words when they are part of the controlled vocabulary of subject headings and descriptors. In this case, consider using quotation marks. For example, a search conducted in title keyword for out "of" africa, retrieves the title: Out of Africa
  • Check the Help screen on your database for a complete list of stop words.
  • Search for your terms in specific fields: author, title, subject/descriptor.

"Open Access" describes all information (books, articles, journals, databases, and datasets) made freely available online, with few copyright restrictions. Open Access resources do not require users to log in or subscribe. They are marked with an orange padlock symbol wherever they appear in CSU-Pueblo's research guides. 

Maintaining a record of your search is is a good way to ensure the completeness of your research. A systematic strategy of recording searches helps you to assess the changes to your searches as your research progresses, and it helps others replicate your searches for their own systematic reviews of the subject.

Many databases, including SuperSearch, provide features to help you document your searches when logged in. It is worthwhile to create an account in databases to save your searches and set up search alerts.

Saved searches retain the information from searches you've already done. Some databases allow you to export the information from saved searches easily. However, not all databases retain static records of the searches. That is, the results from a search you do today will not be available in a year; the database will perform the same search again, with the most recent available results.

Search alerts notify you when new content is available within your search parameters. This feature can be useful to keep you informed about your research topic while saving you the time of redoing searches every few weeks or months.

In your documentation of the various searches, you'll need to register the following:

  • databases and platforms (e.g., ERIC via EBSCO, ERIC via Proquest, or ERIC via U.S. Department of Education): This will help you recall where you conducted the searches.
  • date for each search: Matching research to your dated notes will help organize your information.
  • subject and keyword: Include here which terms you explored during the search, and which terms you truncated and expanded.
  • combinations of terms: Record what variations of term combinations you used in the search.
  • number of results: The total number of results, regardless of their relevance to your research, will help you identify changes since your last search.

In hand-searching (looking through journal contents by hand), take note of the source and the year.

Types of Resources

This source is intended for use by researchers or students in the discipline and supports conducting in-depth research. Often contains industry specific vocabulary, extensive citations, original research or a new discovery, and are peer-reviewed. The author usually has academic credentials and the article is published by a reputable and respected publication. Scholarly sources or typically organized into formal categories, including: abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.

Shorter articles intended for a general audience of readers since the information is usually easier to understand. This type of resource is helpful for finding information about current events or issues. Popular sources range from neutral research-oriented (without complete citations) to special interest, agenda-driven publications. They are not peer-reviewed, but there may be a fact-checking process. It is not as easy to judge the quality and accuracy of information you find in popular sources compared to scholarly sources.

Trade Publications (or Trade Magazine Articles) are an essential source intended to share general news, trends and opinions among professionals within a specific industry or trade. Although generally written by experts, this type of source is not considered scholarly. They are not peer-reviewed and do not focus on advancing new discoveries or reporting research results.  

Original research refers to scholarship written to expand a field of knowledge. It usually involves experiments and observation, answering a question not addressed in the field. Sometimes referred to as primary resources, original research is the first place the study has been discussed.

Review Articles are discussions of the state of the field at the time the review was written and are secondary sources. For example, climate change scientists in 2017 want to know about studies of sea ice in the past twenty years, so they can avoid duplicating studies, and so they can position their own work to make a meaningful contribution to climate science. Review articles discuss many different studies, explaining how the field has changed, what areas the field has addressed thoroughly, and what areas of study are still missing.

Grey literature are materials and research produced by organizations outside of traditional commercial or academic publishing. They can include reports, policy literature, working papers (pre-publication versions of academic articles, book chapters, or reviews), newsletters, government documents, speeches, conference proceedings, theses and dissertations, maps, white papers (in-depth report or guide about a specific topic), urban plans, etc. Grey literature is a good source of recent research in different disciplines. This type of resource is produced by industry or government agencies, private companies, or academia. Grey literature is not peer reviewed, but may provide reliable information.