A fundamental research skill is searching the literature for relevant papers.
The following are starting points for finding more recent literature on the
The library can give you a more complete introduction to their research
facilities; see "How-to & Help" on the library website.
All descriptions of search results are from August 2013 and may well have
changed by now.
The Queen's Library has electronic subscriptions to many journals in many
fields, and a portal for accessing many search engines and article databases.
Some journals allow you to retrieve
files for entire
articles -- as long as you are acccessing their sites via a computer on the
The two main starting points for your search are
- Google Scholar, which is easy
to use but lacks the query mechanisms of the academic databases.
Queen's Library website.
There will be a demonstration on the first day of class on how to find the first reading, through one or more article databases.
These databases usually provide sophisticated queries, including and/or
combinations and search within specific fields, such as author, title,
Google Scholar gives results based on full-text search of article contents;
its "advanced search" (available after you make an initial query with the
basic search) has a few features for limiting the search but lacks the full
boolean query features of most of the databases accessible through the library
From on campus you can use
the "Get It @ Queen's" feature for retrieving full text .pdfs from journals
for which Queen's has a subscription.
The first reading assignment is to locate the paper "On the Criteria to be Used in Decomposing Systems into Modules" by David L. Parnas, read it, and answer a set of questions.
I selected the readings for this course to cover fundamental concepts in
software design methodology, which typically means that papers are old (1972
in the case of the Parnas paper, for example). One way to find more recent
material is to use a citation list
, which is the inverse of a
reference list. This is one reason why going through a search engine is better than just retrieving the paper; most databases have forward and backward links to related papers.
Questions? Contact the
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