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CS 7300: Introduction to Research in Computer Science: Finding Top Papers

A guide to library resources to support CS 7300 with Dr. Ngu.

Google Scholar

If you would prefer to use Google Scholar, be sure to customize your Google account so you can access materials at the library.

  1. Choose Settings from the Top-Left Menu.
  2. Click "Library Links", and search for "Texas State University"
  3. Check the boxes next to Texas State University. Now your results will include links to articles in many of our library databases.

Keep in mind that Google Scholar does not search the same set of materials that are available in the library.

  1.  There are (a GREAT many) journals in Google Scholar that are not academic or authoritative. Interrogate their credibility more vigorously. 
  2. There are journals at the library that are not in Google Scholar. Not finding much? Go check the library itself.

Google with many grains of salt

Databases to search

Top databases of choice for Computer Science:

Also recommended by your textbook:

Indicators of Authority

To find the "Top Papers" on your topic, start with what does "Top" mean? What are the indicators of authority on your topic? It is a constructed and contextual phenomenon, but there are some places you can start:

  1. What is the citation count of this paper? 
    • If others have found it worthy of building upon or repeating, perhaps it's a top paper.
    • Check the citations out, though. Perhaps people are citing it to refute it! Perhaps the author is engaging in "self-citation", and really no one else other than the author is building upon the work.
    • Older works can have more citations than newer works. So a 2015 article with 90 citations might sound more impressive than a 2017 article with 10 citations, but the fact that in less than a year 10 people have already cited a work *is* really impressive!
  2. Is this a well-recognized publication or conference?
    • What *type* of publication is this, and how does it affect the credibility?
      • Example: The most recent result in a search might be an ACM Newsletter that simply gives a preview of some research that is not complete. The newsletter is simply "news", not peer-reviewed research. It's important that you know what's going on in the world, but this is not the basis for an academic research paper.
  3. Who is the author?
    • Where do they work and what do they teach?
    • Are they not a researcher, but in fact a business person trying to sell a product? Interrogate motive as well as authority.
  4. Is this a pinnacle of this line of research?
    • ‚ÄčFollow the references backward, then follow the citations forward. 
    • Was the next work after this one far more highly cited? Did it have research that was more mature and developed? 

Not at Texas State?

We don't have it? You have three more options:

1. TexShare Cards: Go get the item in person from another Texas library.

Come get your TexShare Card in-person at the Alkek Library first, then drive to almost any other library in Texas to check out your needed materials. We recommend calling the other library to make sure the item is there before you go, and ask to make sure what your privileges are as a TexShare cardholder. 

2. InterLibrary Loan: Let us get it for you!

Mailing a physical book from another library may take a couple of weeks, of course. But if it's an article another library could scan, you may see it in your email in just a couple of days. You'll use your NetID in the InterLibrary Loan system.

3. Ask us to buy it.

Try any one or all three of the options here to get what you need if Texas State doesn't have it.