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Engineering Undergraduate Library Skills

General or Specific?

In Engineering terms...

General:

  • Encyclopedias OR Handbooks: Essential sources of technical data on all sorts of topics. They are also useful sources of background information and descriptions of theories and their applications.
  • Textbooks: Usually on general topics and will help with introductory and background research.

Middle Ground:

  • Books: Can be on general or specific topics - chapters/portions of books are very useful, you do not have to read the whole thing for the information you need!

Specific:

  • Review Articles: A summary of citations/articles found on a specific topic - a great source to find primary articles.
  • Primary Articles: Describe an original experiment or analysis that adds to current knowledge a particular topic. These articles will include background information, the methods used, a description of the results, and an analysis of what the results mean in the context of current knowledge.
  • Technical Reports: Describe the progress or results of scientific or technical research. They are usually issued by government agencies, university departments, or corporations.
  • Conference Proceedings: Collections of papers presented at conferences. They are a great source of up-to-date information on research in a particular field.
  • Patents: A protection granted by a national government for an invention. It excludes others from making, using or selling an invention for a period of up to 20 years.
  • Standards: Documents that describe the important features of a product, service or system.
  • Codes: Collections of laws and rules which provide procedures to maintain uniformity and safety. 

Where to Find Engineering Resources

To begin searching for scholarly resources, your first stop should be http://engineering.library.utoronto.ca/

Each part of the website provide useful links for you to begin your research process:

Looking for information on renewing your items, contacting the library, or our hours? Try one of these links for more details!

  • The most important button here is Research Help, giving you links to course-specific library guides (like APS111 & 112)!

Looking for research guides specific to your field of study?

  • These are links to subject-specific library guides, helping you to find books, databases, patents, etc. depending on your area of focus.
  • For help with searching for Standards & Codes and Patents, use these guides.
    • Please see TechStreet below for more information on standards!

Looking for books, e-books, handbooks, and other materials offered online and in the physical ECSL collection?

Looking for peer-reviewed journal articles?

  • Compendex: Comprehensive coverage of all fields of engineering, ranging from 1884-Present.
  • Scopus: Multidisciplinary database (subjects inside and outside of engineering), containing peer-reviewed articles, trade publications, and conference papers from 1966-Present.
  • Web of Science: Peer-reviewed articles for subjects such as astronomy, biochemistry, biology, pharmacology, biotechnology, physics, chemistry, computer science, materials science, mathematics, and medicine, ranging fromk 1900-Present.
  • Proquest: Covers all subject areas, including engineering, with peer-reviewed articles as well as being the premier database for international thesis literature, ranging from 1997-Present.
  • IEEE Explore: Full-text access to IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) transactions, journals, magazines, conference proceedings, and all current IEEE Standards, from 1988-Present with select content back to 1950.
  • ACM Digital Library: Major resource for computer science research, being the premier database for ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) publications as well as journals, transactions, magazines, proceedings, and newsletters, with varying years covered.
  • SciFinder: Comprehensive coverage of world literature on chemical information. Includes multiple databases: Chemical Abstracts, CASREACT, CHEMCATS, CHEMLIST, Registry, Medline, ranging from 1907-Present.

Looking for Standards?

  • TechStreet: Provides links to standards and codes from around the world, covering fields like construction, electronics, medicine, telecommunications, and more.
  • IEEE Explore: Contains IEEE standards in biomedical engineering and healthcare, information assurance, information technology, nanotechnology, power and energy, telecommunications, and transportation.

What is Peer Review?

However, not everything in a scholarly journal is peer-reviewed - there may be news items, book reviews, editorials, opinion pieces - so you need to know what a peer-reviewed article looks like. Check out the internal clues here:

You can also check your journal in Ulrichs Periodical Directory (Ulrichsweb), to see if it's peer-reviewed.