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CIE 100: Introduction to Civil & Environmental Engineering

Searching URSUS (Books, Gov. Publications) Searching Indexes and Databases for Articles Searching for Technical Reports and Data  Searching Newspapers Sustainable Engineering on the Web

Searching URSIS - Fogler's Online Catalog

URSUS is a good tool for finding books, ebooks, and government publications related to your project. It's best to search by subject or keyword, unless you already know the title or author of a work that you want to find. Subjects are controlled terms used within the catalog to group like items together, keywords are any words found in the record for an item, including subject terms. If you attempt a subject search, but that subject doesn't exist in the catalog, URSUS will identify possible alternate subject headings. Also try searching for alternate spellings, acronyms and synonyms.

Tip 1: When Searching URSUS, you can use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard symbol in your search term. The wildcard symbol is used to search for multiple alternate endings of root words. For example: searching for sustainab* will find both sustainable and sustainability.

Tip 2: Use the URSUS Advanced Keyword search to combine search  terms and to search in multiple fields.

Tip 3: Use Boolean operators, such as AND, OR and NOT, to combine search terms within the same search field.

Tip 4: Use of synonyms and alternate spellings of words will help retrieve more search results.

Tip 5: If you find a relevant book or government publication in the search results, review that item's subject headings and perform a new search in URSUS using some of those subject headings. You may find important related materials that did not appear in your first search attempt.

Example 1: In this example we will find books, ebooks, and government publications on the topic of Sustainable Engineering that are located at Fogler Library.

  1. Start at
  2. Click on the Advanced Search link.
  3. Leave the first drop down menu set to Any Field and in that search box enter Sustain*
  4. Leave the next drop down menu set to Any Field and in that search box enter Engineer*
  5. Set the Limit to: drop down menu to University of Maine Catalog. Leave all other settings as they are. (screenshot)
  6. Click the Submit button. You should get about 530 results.

Example 2: Using the search results above, we will narrow our results and identify only items related to wastewater.

  1. In the current search results, find the title Green technologies for wastewater treatment.  (In my search it was result #79.)
  2. Once you find this title, click on the title to open the record.
  3. Review the record, particularly the subject headings.
  4. At the top of the page, click the button labeled Modify Search.
  5. Leave the first search field as-is.
  6. In the second search field enter Sewage -- Purification.
  7. Change the second drop down menu to Subject. (screenshot)
  8. Leave everything else as it is. Click the Search button. You should get 2 results.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find using URSUS. Can you think of other ways to combine search strings and fields for more precise search results? Take a few minutes to experiment.

Remember! These examples are only a few ways to find information for your projects. Many other resources are available for students' use at the Science & Engineering Center on the 2nd floor of Fogler Library, and additional electronic journals and databases are accessible from the library's website.

If you need help finding resources, don't hesitate to contact us - that's what we're here for! There are many ways you can reach us:

Created by: Martin Wallace | Revised: 04/29/2014
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University of Maine
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