ENSC 105W: Library research guide


If you need help, please contact Holly Hendrigan, Liaison Librarian, Faculty of Applied Sciences at 778.782.8023 or holly_hendrigan@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.

This page is intended to help you with your ENSC 105 assignments. You can also refer to the research guides for Engineering Programs  and Computing Science for general information. 

Slides from Sept 28 library research workshop

Sources for Technical Analysis

The assignment asks students to demonstrate they understand the technical underpinnings of their topic. The sources listed below provide factual information and use scientific methods to collect and analyze data. 

E-books and encyclopedias

Knovel : Collection of technical handbooks, including chemicals and formulae.

AccessScience :Technical and scientific encyclopedia.

Access Engineering : Engineering reference and teaching platform

Encyclopedia of environmental management. A comprehensive overview of environmental problems, their sources, their assessment, and their solutions.

Encyclopedia of Sustainable Technologies: An authoritative assessment of the sustainable technologies that are currently available or in development.

Encyclopedia of Renewable and Sustainable Materials: Research and development on all aspects of renewable, recyclable and sustainable materials.


Publisher platforms and databases

ScienceDirect: Technical articles and book chapters published by Elsevier

Springer LINK Search: Highly technical books that include energy, engineering, and computing science

Ei Compendex: Multidisciplinary index to journal articles and trade publications in engineering. 

IEEE Xplore: Publications from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Prime source for the topic of electricity  (electric power, electric vehicles, electric grid...)

Applied Science and Technology Index Technical journal articles

Web of Science Articles and conference papers from scholarly journals in many disciplines

Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computing Science Hybrid of encyclopedia and book! Provides in-depth overviews of technical topics. 

Safari Tech Books Online: Includes titles from publishers such as  O'Reilly, Pearson, and CRC. Some titles assume very little technical knowledge (eg also includes the "For Dummies" series.)  Requires separate login. 

Statistics and data 

Official sources 

Statistics database

  • Statista: statistics aggregator that includes both official and unofficial sources

Government agencies

Provide policy documents, plans, and reports

Electricity & Alternative Energy (Province of British Columbia)
Clean Transportation Policies & Programs
Renewable & Low Carbon Fuels
Green Vancouver

Sources for Persuasive Paper

The library catalogue provides some journal articles, but to conduct more comprehensive and focused searches, you will need to consult databases.

Subject-specific databases

Environment Complete
Provides articles on all aspects of the environment: from renewable energy and pollution to environmental technology and urban planning. 

Business Source Complete 
Indexes journals which examine commodities from economic and financial perspectives

Multidisciplinary databases

 Multidisciplinary databases provide resources from a wide range of disciplines

Academic Search Premier
Covers several different subject areas, including science and technology as well as social sciences. Some of the articles included are not from scholarly journals, and not all articles have the full text. 

CBCA Complete
Includes articles from academic journals and popular magazines. Covers a broad range of topics. Articles from Canadian sources, including some scholarly journals, business magazines, and popular news magazines and newspapers. Good for learning about the 'Canadian' angle to any question.

Canadian Points of View Reference Centre
Provides students with a series of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia collection for social science topics

Sometimes a database only provides a citation for a journal article and not the full text of the article itself. If this happens, it is likely that SFU Library still has access to the full-text article, usually through a different database; just look for the Get@SFU icon. 

Organization websites

This includes both non-profit and industry organizations. Their websites often contain documents, reports, and statistics that support their cause:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
David Suzuki Foundation 
Pembina Institute
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Fraser Institute Research: Environment

News sources

Canadian Newsstream
Full text access to major Canadian daily newspapers (such as the Globe and Mail, National Post, The Gazette (Montreal), and Vancouver Sun) as well as small market newspapers and weeklies published in Canada.

Wide range of information from newspapers, newswires, industry publications, websites, and company reports.

Nexis Uni (formerly Lexis Nexis)
International news coverage, business news, legal cases and law reports from early 1970's to present.



Canadian Points of View database

The conversation.ca

New Yorker, Salon, The Atlantic, Slate


Writing your paper

The Student Learning Commons (SLC) provides help with writing and formatting your paper, including a WriteAway service that promises a 48 hour turnaround for feedback on a paper. 

There are also several books at the library on writing technical reports and different types of essays.


Citing sources

When citing sources, you will need to use a citation style. For your informative paper, you will be using IEEE style, and for your persuasive paper, you will be using APA style. 

It is always important to cite your sources. Citing your sources allows you to give credit to the original researchers, to point your reader(s) to where you found information, and to show that you know how to correctly cite sources.

Questions about what constitutes plagiarism? Try the SFU Library's Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism tutorial. If you have questions about citing or doing research, please ask a librarian.

IEEE style guides:

APA style guide