Frequently Asked Questions - Top Research Help Questions

Suggested Answer:

We advise that you perform an Anywhere search in the library catalogue for “polyethylene glycol” using the quotation marks for phrase searching.  The book Poly(ethylene oxide) by Bailey reveals that polyethylene glycol is a commonly used name for the polymer Poly(ethylene oxide) and is usually applied for those formulations with a lower molecular weight.  It also contains a table of the melting points of common polyethylene glycols.

Another resource for polymer melting points is the Polymer Handbook by Brandrup.  Section 6 contains a range of melting points for Polyethylene oxides of various molecular rates.

Full Question:

How many automobiles have been manufactured by the automobile industry in Canada since the year 2000? I am also looking for trends (Innis)

Suggested Answer:

A good place to look for Canadian manufacturing information is Statistics Canada via CANSIM.

We suggest you choose the Statistics Canada version of CANSIM by selecting from a list of our databases and then picking "Manufacturing" from the list of topics.  The next step would be to choose "Transportation Equipment" and select the table to see stats for 2010. Use the "Add/Remove Data" tab to add years back to 2000.

Suggested Answer:

Please ask Staff at the Service Desk on the first floor of Mills.  We keep these CDs in the back room but would be glad to retrieve them for you so you may check out the CD with the case.

Full Question: Where can I find a report on the “mashup” industry?  I’ve searched the industry reports in Business Source Complete but haven’t found anything. (Innis)

Full Question:

Where can I find a report on the “mashup” industry?  I’ve searched the industry reports in Business Source Complete but haven’t found anything. (Innis)

Suggested Answer:

If you try this question on your own, you will find that you can’t locate reports for the "mashup" industry. This illustrates how important the correct terminology is when looking for industry information. Industry reports are consulted at Innis Library. Each resource used for industry information uses different terminology.  Perhaps, a search may be too specific to uncover any reports and a broader search will be required. In our example, a “mashup” can refer to using two pieces of software to create a new service or product. A search for "software industry" may be more appropriate.

A special business database such as Business Source Complete will have computer software industry reports but you will need to refine and modify your initial search to get closer to your goal.  For example, search "software" and there will be over 500,000 results:  search "software industry" and the result is 34,000.  Refine those 34,000 results with "Source Types" (in the left hand menu) and select Industry Reports.  Within this list of 700 reports, “Software Publishing Industry” is most relevant and there are reports on U.S. and worldwide software.

Suggested Answer:

We discovered a great short video that explains peer-reviewed articles:  Peer Review in Five Minutes (Credit: NC State University Libraries)

Suggested Answer:

The McMaster department of Facility Services; Construction and Technical Services keeps blueprints and specifications on all McMaster buildings and areas, both in print and electronic format. For non-McMaster buildings, a  Land Registry Office may be used to get information about title and/or ownership.  In Hamilton, this office is located at 119 King St W.

Did you know that blueprints belong to the individual or corporation who had them created, but, a Surveyors Real Property Report (a dimensioned plan of a property indicating lot size, right-of-ways, possible easements, buildings, garages, as well as any other property improvements) actually belongs to the surveyor who did the work in Ontario – not the individual or corporation who commissioned it.

Suggested Answer:

Our advice is that you return materials back to the library it was checked out from.  However, if you do drop off a book that belongs to another library, the item would be returned to its home library (on campus or to several libraries off campus).

Suggested Answer:

We advise that you perform a search in the library catalogue using the terminology Escherichia coli, first in Subject, then if all items are checked out - in Anywhere.  Again, if all items are in use – broaden the search. Try to be less specific:  a Subject search of Microbiology (for e-coli) or a Subject search of Molecular Biology (for x-gal testing).  Use the index of the book(s) to find your terms.  We found x-gal testing and e-coli bacterium information in Basic Methods in Molecular Biology by Davis.

Full Question:

I’m researching Saudi Arabia for my fourth year international business class. Where can I find information on business practices or customs in Saudi Arabia?

Suggested Answer:

Another special library database used in business is Passport GMID. A search of Saudi Arabia and (Culture, Customs or Business Practices) retrieves the report Consumer Lifestyles in Saudi Arabia. This report describes Saudi attitudes on many aspects of their society.

Full Question:

Where can I find CSA (Canadian Standards Association) standard? Is it available online or do I need to come into the library to take a look at it? (Thode)

Suggested Answer:

CSA standards are available electronically.  Please note that Internet Explorer is currently required to view standards, and that a separate plugin, FileOpen, must be installed.

These standards may be browsed by category, or searched by number, title or keyword.  To access standards covered only by McMaster’s subscription, use the My Subscription tab.