American Society of Civil Engineers


Civil Engineering Database (CEDB)

ASCE's Electronic Information Retrieval Service to All Its Publications



SEARCH TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
  1. The CEDB is searchable by individual words, titles, authors, and/or subject headings.
     
  2. The Document Type Field enables a searcher to limit their search to a specific type of document such as a journal paper or a conference proceeding. A drop-down list of the document types is provided on the search page.
     
  3. The Serial Title Field allows users to select a particular journal title including The Civil Engineering Magazine.
     
  4. The All Text Fields consist of individual words from the title, abstract, author, and subject heading fields. Example: pavements, the computer would find all records with this word in any of those fields.
     
  5. The Title Field consists of the main titles and subtitles of the publications. To search, type in a word (or words) that appear in the title of the publication. Example: pavements, the computer would find all records with this word in the title or subtitle only.
     
  6. The Author Field consists of the names of authors, editors, and committees. To search, type in last name and/or first name, or the committee name, in no particular order. Be careful about the middle names, since some of them are initials. The best way is not to include the middle names, or to truncate them after the first letter using the wildcard (*).
     
  7. The Subject Heading Field consists of authorized subject terms for this field. To locate authorized keyword terms, browse the Subject Heading List. Do not include commas or hyphens when typing in the Subject Headings.
     
  8. Year Ranging: Year range refers to publication year range, not copyright year or conference year. You may search a range of years by typing in the beginning and end year you wish to search. If you input only one year in either the "Start Year" or "End Year" box, only that year will be searched.

  9. Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT can be used to combine concepts. Please enclose Boolean Operators in quotes ("or").
    • AND is the default boolean for all fields. Steel bridges -- searches for 'steel AND bridges' in one document.
    • "OR" tells the computer to search for 'steel OR bridges' in one document.
    • NOT tells the computer to search for 'steel NOT bridges' in one document.
    • When using Multiple Word Terms with the "OR" or NOT Boolean Operators, enclose operator within quotes and the terms within parentheses ( ) otherwise the default AND Operator will be used. Example: (finite "AND" element "AND" methods) "OR" FEM

  10. Right Truncation: allows the computer to search for a root term that might have different endings. Such as: structur* will search for structure, structuring, or structures. You can also use it to search an author's name when you aren't sure of the spelling.

  11. Stop Words are common words that are not searchable. They are: AN, AND, AS, AT, BY, FOR, FROM, IN, NOT, OF, ON, OR, THE, TO, and WITH.

  12. Search Results will be displayed on the screen. If the search results in more than 100 records, only the first one hundred will be displayed. It is suggested that you revise your search to improve the results by adding other terms or keywords, or limiting the date range. If you prefer to return to your previous search, press the Reset button.

  13. Conference Proceedings Papers published prior to 1990 are not hotlinked to the full abstract record of the actual Conference Proceedings. To bring up the book's complete record, paste the book title and editor's name in the Title Field and Author Field, respectively - remember to remove all Stop words and punctuation.