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This guide provides resources and information to assist with Engineering research.

Information Sources for Engineering

Here is an overview of the different information sources you might use as an Engineering student and faculty. Use the tabs in this library guide to find where to search for engineering sources. 

  • Reference sources: Refers to sources that provide a general overview of a topic, thing, or person. Reference sources can be helpful if you want to explore a topic before you research further. 
  • Book/ebook: A written text that usually covers a topic in great detail. This could include a manual, handbook, and research literature related to electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering. 
  • Scholarly/academic article: Refers to research articles written by academics and experts in the field. Articles go through a rigorous review process (called ‘refereed’ or ‘peer-reviewed’) by experts in the field before they are selected for publication. The article will usually have these elements:
    • Author(s) credentials or academic affiliation
    • A lengthy abstract
    • Report on the research methodology
    • Conclusion or results of the research
    • Footnotes or in-text references
    • A lengthy bibliography
  • Trade journal article: A trade or professional magazine (or journal) is published for a specific group of professionals in a particular profession or industry. Trade magazines primarily have the latest news about that industry, information on specific companies, job vacancies, products, and recently awarded contracts.
  • Popular magazine article: Magazines, such as Popular Mechanics, are intended to inform interested general readers about recent science topics and scientific research.
  • Patent: An intellectual property right granted by the government to an inventor for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.
    • Utility patents - may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter.
    • Design patents - may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
    • Plant patents - may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.
  • Technical report: Technical report describes the progress or results of technical or scientific research.
  • Standards: "technical definitions and guidelines - 'how to' instructions for designers, manufacturers and users" (ASME definition). Standards are voluntary guidelines but using them is highly recommended because they promote safety and are widely used across industry.