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Databases for Engineering and Technology Literature

EI Village for all engineering and technology disciplines.

Although less specific to engineering than EI Village, Web of Science covers a broad spectrum of pure and applied sciences research.

Finding Articles with Engineering Databases

Databases.  Why?

Engineering-specific databases can help you connect to quality, peer reviewed research that may be buried or inaccessible in a Google or other search engine set of results.

Most databases provide numerous ways to refine search results, and even allow you to limit your results to a specific document type, such as peer reviewed journal articles, the gold standard in scholarly communication in the engineering disciplines.  This can save you, the researcher, time that may have been spent wading through literature that does not meet your criteria.

Search strategies: Most databases perform well with natural language keyword searching, wherein you construct a phrase with several keywords that narrowly targets your research interest.  However, if you are working to pull together all of the relevant literature on a given topic, it can be challenging to come up with every single keyword that could be used to describe your topic.  To this end, databases leverage subject terms that enable you to search by concept.  These subject terms place related keywords (e.g. car, automobile, Toyota Prius) in one location.  For comprehensive searching, begin with one or two general keywords, then add subject terms (one at a time is often best) to refine your search.  Subject terms appear in the left hand facets column of the search results and within each article's detailed record.

While databases such as Ei Village and Web of Science feature unique coverage in certain areas of research, we do recommend consulting more than one database for comprehensive search results.  And while database coverages do overlap in some areas (for example, articles published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics are discoverable in either database), it's important to recognize that databases retrieve, rank, and display results differently, so seemingly identical searches can produce very different experiences from one database to another.