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Approach #1: Citation Searching (example below is the from the IEEE database)

Approach #2: Set up Alerts (example below is from the Compendex database)

Major engineering databases will have the option to save searches and set up alerts. Once you have crafted a search with any limits/filters that retrieve papers you want, look for "Create Alert", and when new papers are published you will receive an email.

Approach #3: Use Discovery Maps (example below is from the Web of Science database)

Web of Science provides maps as a visual way to discover papers:




Setting up a Search

TOPIC: "Energy harvesting for self-powered devices"

STEP 1: Break this topic into concepts and think about synonyms for your key words

STEP 2: Concept A

  • Energy harvesting
    • Tip #1: ask yourself: what kind of energy harvesting?
  • ​"energy harvest*" OR triboelectric* OR piezoelectric*
    • Tip #2 use quotation marks around multi-word phrases
    • Tip #3 use truncation (*) to search for suffix variances

STEP 3: Concept B on the second line of an advanced search form

  • "AND"
  • "self power*" OR "implant* OR "body-area network*"

STEP 4: Use the drop down menu  on each line to restrict search terms to "all fields" or more specific such as "abstract"