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.
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):
For more tips on searching with this resource, check out our Discovery Search guide here.
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.
- Gale EbooksGale Ebooks is a collection of searchable ebook reference works. You can search within a particular work or across the entire collection. Individual articles from these sources are presented in HTML and PDF. Illustrations, photos, maps, and multimedia content is often included.
- Knovel LibraryKnovel provides a large collection of ebooks on engineering and related subjects. Each chapter is presented as a separate PDF. The entire collection is full-text searchable, and many results include interactive tables. Includes tables of properties for over 13,000 chemical compounds. Knovel is also searchable through the Engineering Village interface.
Browse or search within these journals for articles that will give you an overview or introduction to different topics.
- Discover Magazine
- Scientific American
- Popular Science
- New Scientist
- National Geographic
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.
- Engineering VillageEngineering Village is the search interface to three engineering databases: Compendex, Inspec, and Knovel. Compendex (1884-present) indexes citations and abstracts from over 5,000 engineering journals, conference papers, books, patents, dissertations, and technical reports. Inspec (1898-present) indexes citations and abstracts from journal articles, conference proceedings, books, and dissertations in engineering and physical sciences. Knovel provides ebooks on engineering and related subjects.
- IEEE XploreIEEE Xplore contains full text documents from IEEE and IEE journals, transactions, magazines, ebooks, letters, conference proceedings, standards, and IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) publications. Full text content is provided as PDFs.Full-text journals back to 1884, conference proceedings back to 1951.
- Web of Science from Clarivate AnalyticsThe three Web of Science databases index citations from journal articles and conference proceedings in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. You can perform cited reference searches, analyze trends and patterns, and create visual representations of citation relationships. 1900-present
Search Google Scholar
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.
- Where to Look - Accessible VersionA screen reader-friendly version of the chart above.