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Your guide to Engineering information resources at the U of C.

Getting started with Library Research in Engineering

Where do I find Engineering books?

Most of the engineering books are in the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL). Some of the petroleum engineering collection is in the Gallagher Library. Older books may be in the High-Density Library, our off-site storage facility. If you need one from there, just place a hold and it will be brought over for you. Increasingly, we are purchasing e-books. You can search our print and e-books here. For more details, see the Find Books section of this guide.

Where do I find Engineering articles, conferences papers and technical reports?

We subscribe to several databases of this literature - see the Find Journal Articles and Technical Papers section of this Guide. In this class, we will focus on two of the big ones: Compendex and IEEE Xplore.

Where do I go for help?

You can ask for help with library research at the service desks in either the Gallagher Library (main floor, Earth Sciences) or the TFDL.

What else does the Library offer? 

The TFDL has a Digital Media Commons where you can access 3D printing and scanning, A/V edit suites, high-tech gaming tools, and more.

Finding Resources for Drawing Machines


Search the U of C Library or Google Books for books on drawing, engineering drawing, geometric drawing, mathematical drawing, biomechanics of the hand, etc.


Besides YouTube, you may want to search Vimeo for videos. Remember, just as with any other source, you must cite videos if you are referencing them in an assignment. TIP: If using, choose Web Site and not Online Image or Video as your reference type. For some reason, they don't include the link in the reference if Online Image or Video is chosen.

Patents and Web Sites

If you want to see how other inventors have conceptualized drawing machines, search Google Patents or general Google. Some keywords that might help you out: pantograph; harmonograph; "drawing robot"; "pendulum drawing machine"; "Rube Goldberg Machine"; "line drawing machine;" "curve drawing machine"; "turntable drawing machine." Remember to put quotation marks around phrases to keep all the words together as a phrase, especially in Google Patent Search.



In this assignment, you will search a topic in a common Engineering literature database, then search the same topic in Google Scholar, and reflect on the differences between the two. You will also choose one article, either from the database or from Google Scholar, and properly cite it using

Choose one of the following topics/databases and perform the search in that database.

Option 1:  In IEEE Xplore, search for articles that discuss incorporating privacy protection into the design of electronic medical record systems. NOTE: you can either search it "Google Style" in the big search box, or click the Advanced Search links for the three-box option that allows you to input one concept per box for more focused searching. TIP: If entering synonyms, make sure you type OR in all-caps, or the search engine won't work. Example: "driverless car" OR "self-driving car".

Option 2: In Compendex, search for articles on how to incorporate climate change considerations into flood prevention planning for urban rivers.

Print off the first page of your search results, with your search strategy displayed (Print to PDF if you're in the lab, then print it later).  Compendex's print display is ugly; you may find it better to take a screen shot (ALT+PrtScrn) and paste it into Word instead.

Leaving your database search open, open a new window and search the same topic in Google Scholar (this link includes the U of C proxy server, which will display links to our full text). 

Summarize in a couple of paragraphs the differences between the database and Google Scholar. Which was easier to search? What differences do you see between the results you get in the database, versus what you get in Google Scholar? Which results did you find more relevant?

Choose one article from either your database or Google Scholar, and go to  Choose IEEE as your style. Input your article information, and generate a reference (hint: if you pick a newer article, it will likely have a DOI number listed in the record - you can just enter that and your whole reference will be generated for you). Print out and paste your formatted reference below the paragraphs you wrote comparing the databases and Google Scholar. For further details on citing sources, including IEEE style rules, see the citing sources section of this guide, including custom examples of citations to hard-to-cite sources (software, unpublished material, etc.).

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