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Library Help: ENGE 1215/1216/1414: Searching

This guide is designed to provide helpful resources to help you succeed in the research components of ENGE 1215/1216. Check out the pages of the guide for information on searching library resources, evaluating information, citing references, and getting help from the University Libraries and your librarian. 

Basic search

To search across all of Virginia Tech's books and ebooks and about 80% of our articles, enter your search terms in the main search box on the library homepage (also called Discovery Search, circled below): 

Screenshot of search box on homepage with circle around text entry area

For more tips on searching with this resource, check out our Discovery Search guide here

Background Resources

Using the search box above can bring back a lot of results. To search in a more narrow context, try these online collections of ebooks and encyclopedias. 

Recommended Periodicals

Browse or search within these journals for articles that will give you an overview or introduction to different topics. 

Not all of these are scholarly journals, so if you find articles that you like in these particular journals, think about where the information is coming from. Ask yourself questions like: Is the article summarizing research that was published elsewhere?  Who completed the research, and where can you read more about it? Oftentimes it's helpful to find the original article discussed in the popular source.  

Recommended Engineering Databases

Virginia Tech Libraries has over 700 scholarly databases that you can search. Whenever you start a research project, you can begin by browsing our subject guides, which will point you to the best 4-5 databases for a particular research topic.  

Here are three engineering-specific databases, listed below. Each of these databases contains information related to science and engineering, and should give you plenty of options to choose from as you search for articles.

Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

While it's easy to search, Google Scholar will usually bring back far more results than you could ever look through. However, it can be a helpful supplement to the library resources described on this page. To learn how to connect Google Scholar to VT Libraries using a free browser extension called LibKey Nomad and increase your chances of finding the full text of items, check out this guide

Engineering Education Librarian

Choosing a Database

With so many search tools to choose from, how do you know where to start? Sometimes you have to try looking in a couple of places before you land on the best option for your need. Knowing some basic features of the available search tools can help. Check out the guide below for an overview of some of the search tools available at Virginia Tech.