Course Guides
Writing in Engineering (UWP 102E)


Guide for UWP 102E, "Writing in Engineering."

Librarian Subject Specialist

Phoebe Ayers

Topic Ideas & Background Information

Use a database to find articles. Compendex is the major database for all fields of engineering. Web of Science is general for all sciences but is a good place to start for background information.

For ideas, try browsing general engineering magazines such as "Civil Engineering" (PSE TA1 .C5) or ACM Queue (online in ACM digital library).

A guide to writing as an engineer
Author: David Beer and David McMurrey
Standard guide to technical writing for engineers.
Location: PSE Library Phy Sci Engr Library T11 .B396 2005


Use a database to find articles. The databases listed below are possible places to start, depending on your field. Compendex is the major database for all fields of engineering. Use a subject guide for your field to find other possibilities.
Compendex [via Engineering Village 2] ( [Restricted] VPN
Most comprehensive bibliographic database of engineering research literature, containing references to over 5000 engineering journals and conferences. About half the citations (from 2600 journals and conferences) include abstracts and indexing in the records.
Coverage: 1884-present
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INSPEC [via Web of Science] ( [Restricted] VPN
Citations from scholarly journals, conference proceedings, books, reports, and dissertations in physics, electrical engineering and electronics, computers and control, and information technology.
Coverage: 1898-present
Web of Science Core Collection [via Web of Science] ( [Restricted] VPN

Provides access to the content from SEVEN CITATIONS INDEXES and two chemical indexes. Web of Science Core Collection -- Citation Indexes and years of coverage: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED) --1900-present; Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) --1900-present; Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) --1975-present; Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Science (CPCI-S) --1990-present; Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Social Science & Humanities (CPCI-SSH) --1990-present; Book Citation Index– Science (BKCI-S) --2005-present; Book Citation Index– Social Sciences & Humanities (BKCI-SSH) --2005-present

Web of Science Core Collection -- Chemical Indexes and their coverage: Current Chemical Reactions (CCR-EXPANDED) --1985-present; (Includes Institut National de la Propriete Industrielle structure data back to 1840) Index Chemicus (IC) --1993-present

Coverage: See above description (varies between 9 indexes)
PubMed ( [Restricted] VPN
More than 26 million citations and abstracts for articles published in approximately 8,400 journals in medicine, life sciences, health administration, veterinary medicine, nursing, molecular biology and genetics. PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine on the NCBI platform.
Coverage: 1946-present
METADEX [via CSA Illumina] - Note: This database has been canceled due to budget reductions, low use, and duplicative content. For similar information please use INSPEC or SciFinder Scholar.
Search the most comprehensive source for information on metals and alloys: their properties, manufacturing, applications, and development. Information from over 2,000 journals, plus patents, dissertations, government reports, conference proceedings, and books
Coverage: 1966-present
Access to TRANSPORT has been discontinued as of January 2010. Please use the freely available database TRID for transportation related searching.

Library Catalogs

Harvest UC Davis Catalog (
Harvest is the UCD library online catalog of the collections of all five UC Davis General Libraries. It does not include the holdings of the Law Library. If you log in (My Account) using your library card number and PIN, you can renew books online, and request items that have been checked out to another borrower, or are in storage.
Melvyl: The Catalog of the University of California Libraries (
The Melvyl catalog contains records for materials held by the libraries of the ten UC campuses, the California State Library, Hastings College of the Law, the California Academy of Sciences, the California Historical Society, the Center for Research Libraries, the Graduate Theological Union, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. All publication dates are included. The database contains over 23,000,000 records, and most campuses update their holdings on a weekly basis.

Connect From Off-Campus

VPN (virtual private network) (
Use the VPN to connect to library databases and online journal subscriptions from off campus.
  • VPN video (