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Environmental Technology & Environmental Technician: Looking for Case Studies or Technical Reports?

Where to Start

The library has case studies and technical reports on public projects and from academic scientific research. Finding case studies and technical reports can be a challenge.

Depending on your topic, it may be that there is not a lot freely-published or freely-available material (this is of particular note in the case of private engineering firms working on projects and writing reports for the sole use of their clients).

Here are the best databases to start with:

Search Tip 1: Don't just search the database for "case study"

Don't rely on searching just for "case studies" or "technical reports." While some writers and researchers will include the actual phrase "case study" or "technical report" in the title of their report, many don't!

Search for your topic and read the abstracts (summaries) to see what each document is really about.

Search Tip 2: Combine different articles

If you're looking for something really niche or specific, you may have to read several articles then take what you learn from each and merge them together.

For example, look for articles on construction generally in your specific type of soil, then find separate articles on the broad category of your product (e.g. if the product brand was a type of geomembrane or geosynthetic, search those words).

Search Tip 3: Try different databases

When searching our databases, you must limit to "Full Text" in many databases (look for the check-box) in order to get results that allow you to read the full text of documents right on-screen.

And always search more than one database. Different databases have different content from different magazines, journals, etc., so don't spin your wheels in just one of them.

Search Tip 4: Sources outside Seneca Libraries

Consider searching the websites of companies that have been involved in actual projects, or that make or use certain products, for free case studies, technical reports, or product information.

It may be confidential or proprietary information between the firm and the client, but you could contact them to see if they would be willing to share some of their information with students.

Actual projects that have been done for a given city or municipality, and their supporting documentation, might be freely-available on city websites, through city planning or engineering departments, or through the provincial or federal governments (e.g. Ontario Ministry of Transportation).

Free Technical Reports Online

Construction Case Studies & Reports

If your topic has anything to do with construction, construction processes, construction materials, etc., you should also use the business databases we have, as construction trade publications that report on both major and minor projects are found in them:

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