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Construction & Operations Management Research Guide: Finding Articles

Guide to sources for research in construction and operations management.

Steps to searching for articles

  1. Analyze your assignment
    1. Make sure that you know what you need (peer reviewed articles, multiple types of sources, how many sources)
    2. Determine your topic
  2. Choose a database(s)
    1. Use the subject guide for your subject to find the best databases to search
    2. For more in-depth literature reviews, use multiple databases
  3. Determine keywords and subject headings
    1. Brainstorm as many terms for each of your concepts as you can
    2. Use a subject heading list or database thesaurus to find the subject headings most relevant to your concepts
  4. Search your database(s)
    1. Multiple concepts can be searched using Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)
    2. For more in-depth literature reviews, use multiple searches with different combinations of keywords and subject headings
  5. Refine your results
    1. Use limiters that are usually shown on the side of the results list
    2. Find only recent results by limiting by date
    3. Look at the source types available and limit to only those you need
    4. Use the subject headings limiter to see what the most common subject headings in the results 
  6. Get your articles
    1. Most databases will show you what formats you can get the results in
      1. HTML means the text is available right in the database record - often you can listen to an article and have it translated into other languages
      2. PDF means you get the article just as it appears in a print publication - this is easier to cite because you know what page your passage is on
  7. Get help when you need it
    1. Contact the librarians to get help with any of these steps!

Finding Full Text

PDF full text available

PDF Full text Image from databases

This image indicates that there is a PDF of the article available. Just click the image and you should get the full text of the article just as it was published in a print publication. If you don't get the pdf of the article, contact the librarians.

HTML Full text available

Image of HTML version of an article is available

This image indicates that the text of the article is available in the article record. In many cases, HTML articles can be read using a reader in the database and can be translated into many different languages. Articles in this format do not have original formatting so they are harder to cite.

Linked Full Text available

Image indicating linked full text is available

This image indicates that you will be taken out of the database you are in to get to the full text of the article. Because you are being taken to another system, these links are sometimes broken. If you don't get the pdf of the article, contact the librarians.

Find it @ SDSU

Image indicating that full text is not available in this system but you can search SDSU's journals to see if we have it.

When you see this image, the database does not have access to it. However, Briggs Library may still have it for you. Click this button to go to our Journals List to see if we have it in print or in another online system.

By setting Google Scholar up to interact with SDSU's resources, you can find whether SDSU has access to journal articles without leaving Google Scholar.

  • Go to
  • Click the Menu icon at the top left of the Google Scholar screen

Image of the upper left corner of the Google Scholar screen highlighting the menu icon.

  • Choose the Settings item in the menu.
  • Choose Library Links from the categories on the left.

Settings categories highlighting the library links setting to choose

  • Type in South Dakota State University and search.
  • Click the box next to South Dakota State University - Get it @ SDSU

List of libraries from South Dakota State University search with South Dakota State University - Get it @ SDSU chosen

  • Click Save.

Video tutorials

Search Strategies

Keywords are words or phrases that describe your research topic. They are used to search for information in the catalog or in databases. When searching for information, you want to employ a variety of search terms because there are multiple ways of describing the same topic.

Start with a question that summarizes and focuses your research topic and identify key concepts associated with the question. Then, generate a list of synonyms and related terms. 

Example: "How does Copland use rhythm to suggest speech even in instrumental music?"

Identify synonyms for key concepts.

Copland    rhythm     speech      instrumental music  
Aaron rhythmics prose piano
  beat poetry orchestral music
  punctuated    lyrics chamber music
  syncopation   words  


Identify related concepts: (to rhythm) lyrical, flowing, weak/strong; (to instrumental music) duo, Appalacian Spring...

Most databases add the Boolean operator AND between each word you type. In order to search for a phrase, put quotation marks around it.

"instrumental music" = phrase instrumental music

instrumental music = instrumental AND music (the two words are not necessarily related).


Using a truncation symbol allows you to search for alternative word endings.

For example, rhythm* searches rhythmrhythmic, and rhythmical at the same time.

The truncation symbol is often the asterisk. However, some databases use other symbols. Use the help option in the database or ask a librarian to check on which symbol to use.


Using a wildcard symbol allows you to search for alternative spellings within a word.

Wildcards can replace one character.  For example, wom?n searches women and woman.

A different symbol may be used to replace more than one letter or to accommodate spellings where a character may or may not be present. For example, colo#r searches color or colour.

ESCOhost databases use the wildcard symbols above. Other databases may use different symbols. Use the help option in the database or ask a librarian to check on which symbol to use.

Boolean operators or connectors are tools that allow you to narrow or broaden your search.


Using AND between your search terms will narrow your search.  For example, searching Copland AND rhythm will find resources with both terms, giving you more specific results. You can keep adding terms with AND to conduct more narrow searches: Coplan AND rhythm AND instrumental music AND speech.


Using OR between your search terms will broaden your search.  The OR operator is useful when a term has a frequently used synonym. Examples: Instrumental music OR chamber music; rhythm OR pulse, speech OR lyrics. Conducting a search using the OR operator will find resources with either term, giving more results.


Using NOT between your search terms will narrow your search. NOT allows you to exclude a word or phrase from your search. For example, instrumental music NOT orchestral will find resources on instrumental music but exclude information about orchestral music (or any other record that even mentions orchestral).

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