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Engineering Village: Research in engineering and physics

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Engineering Village is the
major database platform VCU Libraries provides for locating research papers in engineering. Something for nearly every conceivable engineering research topic, no matter how obscure, can be found there.

At VCU, Engineering Village has three science and engineering databases with less memorable names:

Ei Compendex

  • Broad and deep indexing of engineering
  • International scope, including papers in languages other than English
  • Includes conference presentations, not just journal articles
  • Built from the Engineering Index, with content going back to the 1874,  Ei Compendex is useful for locating primary sources in the history of technology
  • About 25,000 records added to it per week or 1.25 million per year

Inspec

  • Physics plus engineering and computer science sources
  • Deep indexing

NTIS

  • Reports from federally-funded research submitted to the National Technical Information Service
  • Saves the extra step of going to the NTIS site to search for them
  • Engineering Village gives a full-text link that connects to the NTIS site to order the reports there. Once a report is found in Engineering Village, it usually is less expensive to type in the title of a report into a search engine and access a free copy of the report on the agency’s site or to use interlibrary loan to get a copy via VCU Libraries.

By default, Engineering Village searches all three of these databases, but the databases can be searched individually by changing the check marks on the search screen.

The search box in Engineering Village uses the “controlled terms” from Ei Compendex to offer suggestions for what terminology to use. For exampling, if “fracking” is typed into the search box, it will suggest searching for “hydraulic fracturing.” By using this suggestion, Ei Compendex will retrieve all of the results it has tagged as being about hydraulic fracturing, regardless of whether the authors used that phrase or just the word “fracking.” Engineering Village also displays these controlled terms on the left side of the results screen. This is a valuable shortcut for narrowing results to a precise topic and a way to discover the vocabulary of a subject area.

Because the three databases in Engineering Village are indexing only databases, Engineering Village does not include complete articles. The easiest way to get to full-text papers is to use the Get it @ VCU button to connect back to VCU Libraries. For the articles, conference papers and reports that VCU Libraries doesn’t have, the library can still get them for VCU students, faculty and staff via Interlibrary Loan.

Find It

By Julie Arendt, science and engineering research librarian 

Image: Zero Engineering Type 5, Thesupermat, Wikimedia Commons

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