ENG 3: Engineering Design

by Melinda M. Livas – September 30, 2021

Library databases & other resources for ENG 3
(Introduction to Engineering Design, 2019-2020)



Melinda M Livas

Student Services
Student Services Librarian



In this Guide:

# ENGINEERING 3: LIBRARY VIDEOS Length  (minutes:seconds)
1 Introduction: Engineering 3 Library Instruction 2:13
2 VPN: How to Install & Login:  Windows   &   Mac 2:12 (windows),  2:07 (mac)
3 Web of Science: How to Search by Topic 3:46
4 Web of Science: How to Refine Your Topic 5:30
5 Find a Online Book 1:49
6 Spec Sheets for Engineers: How to Find 2:10
7 How to Cite:  Using IEEE Format 1:19



Libraries on Campus:  

Campus Map

Peter J. Shields Library

Shields Library surrounded by trees and sustainable landscapingShields Library received LEED credits for sustainable site design strategies that are sensitive to plants, wildlife, and water and air quality (Photo courtesy of Facilities Management)

Carlson Health Sciences Library

Getting Help

Visit the Contact a Librarian page, to find a librarian with expertise in your subject area, and to set-up a research appointment.

UC Library Search: UCD Library Catalog setting

UC Library Search, the new Library catalog includes all of the UC library collections.  This setting is specific for the UC Davis libraries including (for the first time) the holdings of the Law Library. If you Sign in (on the top right corner) using your UCD login and Kerberos passphrase, you are prompted with your loan period, can renew books online, and request items that have been checked out to another borrower, or are in storage.

Journal articles present original research.

Review articles are slightly different type of journal article.  Instead of presenting new research, they typically provide an overview and synthesis of a research area.  They are typical longer, and provide more references than articles that present original research.


1.  Find an article database that indexes research in your area.

Subject Guides  list library resources, including article databases, by discipline.  From the Subject Guides page click on the broad area that covers your subject (e.g., Engineering or Physical Sciences)  or scroll down to see the list of subjects (departments).


The best databases for this assignment are:


Web of Science                                        Covers all disciplines

Use Web of Science to find scholarly articles in all disciplines, including chemical engineering and materials science.  This database can also be used to identify articles that cite an author or article that you specify. Coverage: 1900 – present.  Cited Reference Searching:  1900 – present.   Web of Science Help

How to Find Review Articles in Web of Science:
-After conducting your search:
—Use the REFINE RESULTS bar on the left


PubMed                                                      Main database for medicine

PubMed is the primary article index for medicine and clinical research.
Coverage: 1946 – present.

PubMed Tutorial & Online Training


TO CITE Journal Articles in IEEE Format:   See  How To Cite or use Endnote Online

Additional databases you might use:


BIOSIS                                                       Main database for biology

Contains citations to items in over 6,000 journals, books, conference proceedings, and technical reports, in all areas of the life sciences and biology, including bioengineering and biotechnology.   Coverage: 1969 – present.   BIOSIS Help


Agricola                                                    Main database for agriculture

Worldwide coverage of the agricultural literature.  Also available via  NAL.     Coverage: 1970 – present.


Compendex:                                             Main Database for Engineering

Compendex is the most comprehensive database for engineering research.  Includes articles and conference proceedings.  Coverage: 1884-present.



2.  Search for articles

To search a database, you will choose keywords that express your topic. You will need to refine your keywords during the search process as you find relevant articles. If you are getting lots of results, your keywords may be too general; if you are finding none at all, they are probably too specific.

Here are some basic tips:

  • Phrase searching — to search words only as a phrase put quotation marks around them, e.g. “world of warcraft” (searches for the phrase rather than “world” and “warcraft” separately)
  • Truncation — to search for variations of a word use an asterisk, for instance “comput*” will get you “computer”, “computing”, “computes”, etc.
  • Synonyms — be sure to think of synonyms for the words you are using. For instance, rather than just “computerized” you might try searching for:
    • computational
    • digital
    • digitized
    • electronic
  • Abstracts — be sure to read the abstracts of the articles you find; this will give you a summary of the research and some ideas for additional terms to search on.

Scholarly vs Non-Scholarly Information:

Scholarly Information:

  • written by experts, for other experts
  • best search options: library databases
  • usually a subscription (payment) is required to access, but not always
  • most information available through an academic library is scholarly


Non-Scholarly Information:

  • written for a wide variety of audiences, often by non-experts
  • best search options: it depends!  some freely available on the web, some for purchase, some not at all (proprietary)
    • FOR THIS CLASS:  use the databases or methods described below
  • often NOT well-indexed in library databases
  • some is freely available (free on the web), some available for payment (newspapers, magazine, books)

Advanced Google Search Techniques:


Limiter What Is Searched Example
quotation marks Forces an exact-match search.  Words have to appear as given, same order Example: “Fender Guitar Owner’s Manuals”
Site Limit your search to a single site. (See below for limiting to a type of site (i.e., all sites ending in .edu)) Example: STEM site:ucdavis.edu
Filetype tells Google to return only results for a specific type of file, such as PDF Example: seo filetype:pdf
Source Allows you to choose a specific source in Google News. apple source:nytimes
term1 around(5) term2 Proximity search:
term1 within 5 words of term2
(electric car) around(5) environment
For more on Advanced Google Searches, see:

Google:  https://www.google.com/advanced_search


Google Search of LIMITED DOMAINS:

  • This search technique lets you limit where Google searches to find more robust results.

    • Example:  Open source info (on any topic) – is likely to be on the web, but where?
      • commercial web sites (probably not)
      • government websites (maybe?)
      • non-profits (probably?)
      • university/college websites (likely)
    • Use the search statements below to limit where Google searches –> this can give you better results


Limiter What Is Searched Example
(search terms) site:*.gov only government web sites (“open source” and (farm* or agric*)) site:*.gov
(search terms) site:*.edu university & college web sites (“open source” and (farm* or agric*)) site:*.edu
(search terms) site:*.org domains that end in .org (“open source” and (farm* or agric*)) site:*.org
(search terms) site:*.com commercial sites
(search terms) site:*.mil Military sites (mainly US?)
term1 around(5) term2 Proximity search:
term1 within 5 words of term2
(electric car) around(5) environment
This isn’t foolproof, other domains exist, more info: Generic Top-Level Domain



Technical information and Spec Sheets for electronic components sold by vendors:

  • This is usually best obtained via the web site of the vendor
  • see below for additional property information resources


Best options for searching:

  • Use google or another search engine
    • Example:  “AM2320 Digital Temperature and Humidity Sensor”
  • Enter the name of the component in quotes
    • Check site for “technical details” or “data sheet”
    • afafruit:  >>  technical details  >> detailed guide for wiring diagrams, code, datasheet
  • Try to identify a vendor in the results  (URL usually ends in *.com)


How To Read A Data Sheet (Sparkfun)


TO CITE Tech Info in IEEE Format:

No automated way to do this, use the  IEEE Citation Style Guide   (5 pg PDF)  to manually create the right format.

Locating Trade/Practitioner/Non-Scholarly Articles:


Aging in the Digital World topics– try this database

Academic Search Complete                A good option for Aging in the Digital World topics  (but not great for University Farm topics)

Indexes articles (many full-text) from popular magazines and scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, business and sciences.
BE SURE TO USE the Tool Bar on the left to eliminate ACADEMIC JOURNALS  (check all other relevant SOURCE TYPES)


University Farm topics– Use the web:

  • Requires you to PAY ATTENTION your results to ensure the meet assignment criteria
    • Example: Google     Pest control systems for chicken coops
    • From your results: review not just the page titles, but the actual URLs.
    • Good options:  university resources including agricultural extension offices, online hobby/practitioner publications/sites, etc.

TO CITE Trade/Practioner articles in IEEE Format:

No automated way to do this, use the  IEEE Citation Style Guide   (5 pg PDF)  to manually create the right format.


Searching for Patents:

Is fairly straight-forward, so won’t be covered in class.  Use the tools and info below to find a patent.


Google Patents

is the easiest way to search for patents.


TO CITE Patents in IEEE Format:

No automated way to do this, use the  IEEE Citation Style Guide   (5 pg PDF)  to manually create the right format.

And enter the author, title, patent #, and date as shown.

IEEE Patent/Standard format:
[9] K. Kimura and A. Lipeles, “Fuzzy controller component,” U. S. Patent 14, 860,040, 14 Dec., 2006.



Introduction to Patents

More Patent Search Tools


In academic work, it is important to cite your sources anytime you quote or summarize any work that is not created by you. This includes: text, charts, photos, graphs, diagrams, ideas, or anything else that you did not create.

To cite your sources correctly, you need to understand:

  1. Parts of a Citation
  2. In-text and full citations: how they work together in a paper
  3. What Citation Style to Use

1. Parts Of A Citation:

Below, I use a citation from the journal Science, to specify the information given in each part of the citation.

C. B. . Thompson. (1995).  Apoptosis in the pathogenesis and treatment of disease. Science. 267(5203), pp. 1456-1462.

Author C. B. Thompson
Year Published 1995
Title of Article Apoptosis in the pathogenesis and treatment of disease
Title of Journal: Science
Volume: 267
Issue: 5203
Pages: 1456-1462



To cite your sources, use “in-text” citations within your paper and “full citations” at the end, using an the appropriate citation style.
The format of both will depend on the Citation Style you use.

3.1) Place in-text citations within your paper

Example: In-Text Citations
number format, superscript:


number format, italics:

what-you-summarized-or-quoted (1).

author-name and date format:

what-you-summarized-or-quoted (Thompson, 1995).

3.2) Place full citations at the end

Example: Full Citations At End


3. IEEE FORMAT:  What Citation Style Should I Use?

Many different Citation Styles exist, print manuals or online sites should be available to explain how to use them.  Use the citation style your professor or TA indicates.  Many citation styles are used in engineering, a safe bet for engineering is the IEEE citation style.   If your professor or TA did not specify a particular Citation Style or Citation Manual, ask them which one to use, or use the library’s “Citation Styles web page”  to select one.

IEEE Citation Format is outlined here:  How to Cite References: IEEE Documentation Style   (5 pg PDF).

From these we can see:

in-text citations should have this format:  what-you-summarized-or-quoted  [1]

full citations for online journal articles should have this format:

Thompson, C. B.  (1995, March). “Apoptosis in the pathogenesis and treatment of disease.” Science. [On-line]. 267(5203): pp. 1456-1462. Available: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/2886538.pdf?acceptTC=true [Sept. 23, 2011].

Additional information on citing using the IEEE format is given in the: IEEE Reference Guide   (43 pg PDF)


Can’t My Computer Do this for me??

Yes. Go to Endnote Online in 6 Easy Steps  section of this page.

Follow the instructions for setting up a Endnote Online account, and exporting citations from Web of Science or PubMed.

Then have Endnote Web put them in IEEE format for you.


Use “Endnote Online”  to put your citations in IEEE Format:


1. Register for an Endnote Online account

Use the link above, or,
From the Web of Science database: click on the “Endnote” link  (in tool bar at top screen)


2.  Getting References INTO Endnote


From Web of Science:

Log on to Endnote Online
Search Web of Science.  Then from the Web of Science results screen:

Select citations to export,

click on the Save to EndNote online link
choose  Save to EndNote online


Use Numbers of Records to identify which citations to send, then for Record Content  choose:   (Author, Title, Source, and Abstract)
click SEND

Export will happen automatically


From PubMed: 

Select citations to export (use checkboxes)
Click dropdown arrow to the right of SEND TO link (upper right part of screen)

Select FILE
Select: FORMAT: MEDLINE (drop down option)
Select: SORT BY: any option is fine

Choose:  SAVE FILE  (the default name is: pubmed_result.txt)

Log on to Endnote Online
Select COLLECT tab

File:  Enter name of file  (e.g., citations.nbib)
Import option:  PubMed (NLM)
To:  Select group (library) where citations should be imported



3.  Create Libraries (two methods)



New Group



Select references for new library
ADD TO GROUP –> New Group


4.  Getting BOOK citations into Endnote from the Library catalog  (two steps)

1)  In the Library Catalog:

From your results screen, click on the book title.
This gets you to the record for the book.



Save file, note where you save it


2) In Endnote Web: 


You need to give Endnote 3 pieces of info:

FILE: NAME of File you just saved


TO: Endnote Group where you want the citation saved

Go to MY REFERENCES and click on the name of the group (choose UNFILED or NEW GROUP if you don’t have any groups set up yet).




5.  Getting References OUT of Endnote

To create List of References:

Select  FORMAT tab
Select BIBLIOGRAPHY.  You will need to provide 3 pieces of information.

1. References: choose library
2. Bibliographic Style: choose citation style

If IEEE does not appear when you click the drop down arrow under Bibliographic Style
Click SELECT FAVORITES (to the right); in the ALL window, scroll down until you find IEEE (in the middle of many IEEE journals);
then click the COPY TO FAVORITES button, and HIDE that window.
Now when you click the drop down arrow under Bibliographic Style, the IEEE format style you just added will be an option.

3. File Format: choose RTF

Choose:  SAVE, EMAIL or Preview & Print

Cite While You Write

Let’s you embed citations in your Word document, while using Endnote Online to format them



6.  Sharing References

Allows you to share references with others

Manage My Groups
Manage Sharing:   Add email(s)



Google IMAGE SEARCH:  Use images to find PATENTS & IDEAS:

  • This search technique lets you use images to identify patent and commercial designs.



  • Do a Google search for an idea,  patent topic,  or commercial design of interest.

    • LIMIT to IMAGES    (Click “Images” under the search box)
    • For Patents – limit image type to line drawings.  On the IMAGES screen,
      • select TOOLS  (under the search box)
      • if useful: LIMIT to TIME period of interest
  • Example search statements below:

PATENT, search for:   patent laser assisted precision agriculture     [to find a patent, include the word PATENT]

IDEA , search for:  sensing technology (farm or agriculture)

Commercial Design, search for:  lincoln agritech irrigation sensor

  • Following the directions above, gives these results:

PATENT, search for:   patent laser assisted precision agriculture

IDEA , search for:  sensing technology (farm or agriculture)

Commercial Design, search for:  lincoln agritech irrigation sensor



Guide Background:

2017-2020: developed, updated, used by C. Craig to teach Engineering 3