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Energy & Nuclear Engineering First Year Survival Guide

Why Does an Engineer or Health Physicist Need to Find Information?

There are tons of reasons an Engineer or a Health Physicist would need to find information, including:

  • writing a technical report or paper
  • learning how something works
  • finding a formula, the property of a material or chemical, or a method
  • researching products and components
  • researching a company to write a prospecting letter for employment
  • completing a design course


If you learn to become a strong researcher now, it will benefit you greatly during your undergrad and for the rest of your life, since you'll be responsible for finding technical, reputable, and reliable information as a professional.


The research process can be daunting, but if you're prepared and give yourself lots of time, it shouldn't be. Read each of the pages below (in order) to understand how the research process works.

  1. Generating a Topic
  2. Determining the Source Type
  3. Using the Search Tools
  4. Evaluating the Sources
  5. Citing the Information

What Can the Library Help Me With?

All sorts of things, really! Don't hesitate to come talk to us when you run into issues or even when you just need a bit of extra guidance. It's our job to meet and work with students and we love doing it! We want to see you succeed.

Library staff can help you with:

  • Generating a topic for your assignment
  • Finding resources (such as books, articles, websites, data, and standards) for your assignment
  • Evaluating resources

Library staff cannot help you with:

  • Writing your thesis
  • Interpreting your assignment
  • Correcting or proofreading your assignments (including citations)
  • Retrieving articles from a list of citations

Basically, the library staff is there to help you with your assignment, not to do it for you.

But What About Google?

Google is great (especially Google Scholar), but you shouldn't rely on only using it.

  • many authoritative sources you'll need for your projects and assignments are either not freely available online or are not indexed by Google
  • the newest, cutting edge research is often published in scholarly journals or conference publications (which are available through the library)
  • library databases and catalogues have filters and tools to make searching easier
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