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These databases are the major indexing tools for engineering

– Use these to locate articles, something to start with. The key word here is indexing. These databases link out to the full text from the respective associations, publishers, etc.

Compendex – all areas of engineering -
aerospace, agricultural, architectural and biosystems, chemical, civil, electrical and computer, environmental, fire protection, industrial, mechanical
Indexes: a percentage of IEL and SPIE Digital Library and much more

Inspec – electrical engr, computer science and physics.
  • IEEE/IEE (100% indexed)
    (IEEE/IEE publications link from Inspec – if not, search IEL directly) Note: Inspec is about 8 times larger than IEEE/IEE Electronic Library
  • SPIE Digitial Library - % indexed?
SPIN – heavier emphasis on physics than Inspec, electrical engr, and computer science
SciFinder Scholar – medical, biomedical, chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials
Indexes: Chemical Abstracts, Medline
Requires program download to your computer prior to using. Also available on the public computers in the Library.

NTIS – (National Technical Information Service)
Government sponsored research, abstracts free, full-text has a fee. NTIS is missing a large number of publications.

Also, use for literature review in engineering/science:

Web of Knowledge (includes the following databases):

Common questions apart from the indexes above:

ASM Handbooks Print – call number: 669.02 A512m 1990
Electronic – Locate from the Library homepage. Indexes and databases Page

ASTM Standards. Index and full text in print – call number: 620.112 A512bs
For the electronic for index only – no full text subscription.

Knovel – (Handbook database) Provides how to, equations, diagrams, figures from most engineering disciplines and other applied sciences.
600 Handbooks. Locate from the Library homepage. Indexes and databases Page

Locating articles and standards:

journal article: search with the first 4 words in the article title beginning with Compendex above and work thru the other indexes

conference article: search with the first 4 words in the conference article title beginning with Compendex and other indexes as above, then, if that fails search with the first 4 words in the conference title in the Library Catalog, Compendex and other indexes, and if needed confirm the conference and article title in Google Scholar.


Search the Library Catalog (Advanced Search) for a standard such as using the prefix (such as ASHRAE) and the standard number or the standard number by itself without prefix – this may indicate that the Library owns the item.


ASTM standards are found by checking the index (volume 1) of the ASTM standards, which the Library receives in print full-text – General Reference, 1st Floor (Non-circulating) call number 620.112 A512bs - Or, you may indentify the existence of a standard and its location in the multi-volume set by searching - the ASTM website provides the title and abstract for the standard. The OSU Library does not provide electronic full-text for ASTM standards. Searching the Library catalog for ASTM standards by prefix and standard number is not recommended because the -standards are not entered individually into the catalog in a comprehensive manner on an annual basis.

IEEE standards can be found full text in IEEE Explore.

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Last Updated: 25 March 2008