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APSC 176 - Engineering Communication

Tips for Searching Summon

Summon is a general search engine for articles and books available through UBC Library.

It is quite useful in locating university level sources on topics of broad interest, such as safe cycling and the other proposed topics for the research report.

With a topic like safe cycling, instead of just typing those words into the search box, try typing safe AND bicycle AND transportation. Use the limiters on the left to select Scholarly & Peer Review articles, limit to the last 5 years, then select resources that are relevant to your engineering perspective.


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Finding Articles

To find peer-reviewed, university level articles, the best places to search are:

  1. Summon
  2. Scopus
  3. Compendex Engineering Village

*Note: You will need to login with your CWL to access these databases if you are off-campus.

Research Expectations
Research expectations vary by professor; please read your syllabus and assignments closely.

Tips for Searching Summon

Searching Summon will retrieve a wide range of types of sources, all available through UBC Library.

Steps to effective research in Summon:

  1. Choose keywords carefully
  2. Create a search using AND to join words together. Ex. biomimicry AND honeycomb
    • Use quotation marks around phrases. Ex. "wind turbine"
    • Use the word OR to expand your search to include synonyms or related ideas. Ex. biomimicry OR biomimetic
  3. Use filters to select different types of sources: Peer-reviewed journal articles, newspaper articles, or ebooks
  4. Use filters to select a date range; read your assignment guidelines carefully for details on appropriate date ranges
  5. Use the citation feature as a starting point to crafting an accurate APA citation

Tips for Searching Compendex Engineering Village

Make sure that only the Compendex Database is selected screenshot with only Compendex selected


Limit your search by Date to the past 5 years

screenshot of Compendex date limiter


Limit your search by Document Type to Journal Article screenshot of document type limtier: journal article


Choose your keywords carefully. Use the Controlled Vocabulary to help identify subtopics and narrow your search screenshot of controlled vocabulary limiter