Senior Design

Engineering Librarian

  • Kai Smith

    Kai Smith


  • Office Location: 149 Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering University of Notre Dame
  • Contact Info:
    574 631-5070

About this Guide

The engineering literature is diverse and extensive. The follow is an overview of the major categories of literature as well as examples of each category which are available at Notre Dame or through the web.

Engineering Books and Ebooks


Searching the catalog for books on engineering:
Try a keyword search:

design process

control systems engineering

Try a subject search: Engineering Design
Communication in Engineering
Include the type of book you are looking for: materials AND handbook
engineering AND encyclopedia
Use truncation for more results: chemi* retrieves…
chemistry, chemist, chemical, chemically, etc.
Or, browse ebook collections: ENGnetBASE: CRC Engineering Handbooks Online
Knovel: Engineering & Scientific Online References


SPIE Digital Library Calling all electrical and computer engineers! Finally the preeminent digital library for optical science and engineering is now available! From nanotechnology to facial recognition, to data mining…check the SPIE Digital Library out!
SPIE Ebooks  include:

IEEE Wiley Ebook Collection Includes access to all IEEE-Wiley e-Book titles from 1974-2013. Collection spans numerous content areas, including Bioengineering, Power & Energy and Communication technologies, among other growing areas of research.

Knovel e-Books Search for scientific and engineering information via an extensive collection of engineering and scientific e-books from dozens of technical publishers and professional societies. Includes interactive tables & graphs. Subject areas include chemistry and chemical engineering, plastics and rubbers, semiconductors, advance materials, and safety, health and hygiene.

Safari technology books are an e-book collection on computers and information technology by key publishers such as O'Reilly, Wesley-Addison, Peachpit Press, Microsoft.

 Springer e-book collection

Architecture and Design | Business and economics | Chemistry and materials science
Computer science | Engineering | Physics and astronomy

Engineering Articles

Articles- Find articles in databases devoted to the scientific literature

ND's QuickSearch- Engineering allows you to search across multiple databases simultaneously.  If you don't know where to begin, this is a good place to start.  Once you find a database that is providing results that really seem on target, it is best to use that database by itself, rather than through QuickSearch.

Google Scholar use this proxied link on or off campus to get full text access to any articles licensed for ND users.

Here is a list of scholarly academic databases that you can search individually.


Engineering Citations

RefWorks is a citation manager that you can use to collect and manage citations.

Citation Tools list of citation tools from Hesburgh Libraries.

Technical Writing A-Z: A Commensense Guide to Engineering Reports and Theses ASME Press Engineering Library Reference (T 11. Y69 2005).

ASCE Citation Reference

ASME Citation Reference

ASTM Stanards Citation Reference

IEEE Computer Society Style Guide

IEEE Editorial Style Manual


Writing Center 


BibTeX is an open source tool and file format that works in conjunction with LaTeX documents (used in math and science). BibTeX was created for use with LateX software, but now compatabile with other software.  Widely used in math, science and engineering.  More help can be found at the MIT Libguide RefWorks with LaTeX and BibTex.


Technical Reports

Technical Report Information on the Web:  All Engineers, Aerospace, Civil, Computer Science, Energy, and Nuclear.

Technical Reports- All Engineers E-Print Archive
Formerly known as the Los Alamos (LANL) e-Print archive. E-prints/pre-prints in the fields of Physics, Mathematics, Nonlinear Sciences, and Computer Science. Provides for rapid dissemination of results through direct submission of e-prints by authors.

Contrails Aerospace History- Illinois Institute of Technology This collection consists of rare, declassified technical reports that chronicle their work and reference resources that discuss the history of flight.

EPA Publications Online
Environmental Protection Agency's publications online. Current contains scanned images of over 6000 EPA reports.

GreyNet International Grey Literature is a field in library and information science that deals with the production, distribution, and access to multiple document types produced on all levesl of government, academics, business, and organizations in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.

NSCEP/NEPIS - EPA's Gateway to Free Digital & Paper Publications This site is EPA's premier site for accessing EPA publications, with more than 7,000 in stock and 31,000 digital titles, free of charge.

The NTIS website allows you to search and order technical reports online. Items available include technical reports, CD-ROMs, datafiles, videotapes, and audiocassettes. The National Technical Information Service is the official source for U.S. scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information.

Online Technical Reports at MIT provides links to technical reports produced by MIT departments and labs.

RAND Abstracts
RAND is a non-profit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. It publishes the results of research on issues relating to the national security and public involving most of the major disciplines of the physica, social, and biological sciences.

Science Accelerator Developed by the Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), in collaboration with DOD/DTIC, NASA, and EPA, the GrayLIT Network is a portal for technical report information generated through federally funded research and development projects. Searches over 40 databases and 2,000 websites, offering millions of pages of authoritative U.S. government science information, including research and development results. Includes specific databases such as:
* DOE Energy Citations Database
* DOE Information Bridge
* DTIC - Defense Technical Information
* NASA Technical Reports Server
* National Service for Environmental Publications (EPA)

ScienceDirect Search all Elsevier journal articles and book chapters from nearly 2,500 journals and 26,000 books

TRAIL (Technical Report Archive and Image Library) Searchable database of U.S. government technical reports issued primarily prior to 1975.

University of Washington Statistics Technical Reports
University of Washington Statistics department's browsable list of technical reports sorted by publication date.

Virtual Technical Reports Center – University of Maryland  Institutions listed here provide either full-text reports, or searchable extended abstracts of their technical reports on the World Wide Web. This site contains links to technical reports, preprints, reprints, dissertations, theses, and research reports of all kinds.





NACA Digital Library
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was the predecessor to NASA. Bibliographic citations to all NACA reports from 1921 to 1958, plus full-text access to a growing number of items can be searched at the NTRS. (see next entry)

NASA Spinoff Database
A service of the Technology Transfer Office, this database will help you find products and services that incorporate NASA technology in such areas as environment, public safety, transportation, computer technology, and industrial productivity. Citations refer to the date of the publication, page number, the center responsible for the technology, and the original NASA program in which the technology was developed.

NTRS: NASA Technical Reports Server
The NASA Technical Reports Server provides researchers access to the documents in NASA's Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program. These include research reports, journal articles, conference and meeting papers, technical videos, mission-related operational documents, and preliminary data. NTRS also collects scientific and technical information from sites external to NASA to broaden the scope of information available to users. NTRS's Simple Search searches for NASA information only and its Advanced Search can search for NASA and non-NASA information.

Civil Engineering

 ASCE Civil Engineering Database  Search this database to find information in all areas of Civil Engineering in journals, conference proceedings, books, standards, manuals, magazines, and newsletters that are published by the ASCE.

DIESELNET Online information service for clean diesel engines and diesel emissions. 

Earthquake Engineering Online Archive - NISEE An e-library of significant, publically-funded, full-text literature, images, data, and software in structural and geotechnical earthquake engineering.

Transportation Research Board's Research in Progress (RiP) Database
The RiP database contains over 8400 current or recently completed transportation research projects. Most of the RiP records are projects funded by Federal and State Departments of Transportation. University transportation research is also included. The RiP Database now serves as a clearinghouse of University Transportation Centers ongoing research.

TRID Online
TRID is a newly integrated database that combines the records from TRB's Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) Database and the OECD's Joint Transport Research Centre’s International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD) Database. TRID provides access to over 900,000 records of transportation research worldwide. 



 Computer Science and Engineering

The Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies
This is a collection of bibliographies of scientific literature in computer science from various sources, covering most aspects of computer science. The about 1200 bibliographies are updated monthly from their original locations such that you'll always find the most recent versions here.

Computer Science Technical Reports Archive Sites
Rik Harris's comprehensive list of sites that appear to distribute technical reports.

Computing Research Repository- Online repository of papers sponsored by ACM, the e-Print archive, NCSTRL (Networked Computer Science Technical Reference Library), and AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence).

Computing Research Repository (CoRR)
An online repository for computing research and reports. This repository is a cooperative venture of the ACM, the Los Alamos e-Print archive, and NCSTRL.

NCSTRL - Networked Computer Science Technical Reports Library
NCSTRL (pronounced "ancestral") is an international collection of computer science technical reports from CS departments and industrial and government research laboratories. The NCSTRL collection is distributed among a set of interoperating servers operated by participating institutions. You may search for and access documents from the distributed collection.

Science:Computer Science:Technical Reports - Yahoo
Yahoo's collection of technical report sites.

University of Washington CS&E Technical Reports
University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering department's browsable list of technical reports sorted by publication date, author or title.




DOE Energy Citations Database contains energy and energy?related scientific and technical information collected by the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies, the Energy Research & Development Administration (ERDA) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) primarily from 1943 forward.

DOE Green Energy portal to information about various forms of green energy, including solar, wind, bioenergy, and others.

DOE Information Bridge
The Department of Energy database containing full text for Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored scientific and technical reports back to 1995.


Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) The mission of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is to advance science and sustain technological creativity by making R&D findings available and useful to Department of Energy (DOE) researchers and the public


Science Accelerator Developed by the Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), in collaboration with DOD/DTIC, NASA, and EPA, the GrayLIT Network is a portal for technical report information generated through federally funded research and development projects.



 Nuclear Engineering

The International Nuclear Information System database contains over 3 million bibliographic records and almost 200,000 full-text nonconventional documents, consisting of scientific and technical reports and other non-copyrighted information on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. It is a product of the International Atomic Energy Agency 

Los Alamos Technical Reports site -- In 2002, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) terminated public access to thousands of unclassified reports on nuclear science and technology. Fortunately, almost all of the withdrawn reports were acquired and preserved so that the public has access to them.


Standards and Codes

What is a Standard?

A standard is a document that establishes a rule or measure (either minimum or optimum) for quality or level of performance. A standard can be produced and/or adopted by national standards organizations, professional associations or societies, international standards organizations, or private companies. Most standards owned by Hesburgh Libraries are in the Engineering Library. Ask at the Engineering Library reference desk for assistance in finding a particular standard. The standards in the Engineering Library collection and the web resources listed are primarily engineering related.

Where do I search to find out if there is a standard on my topic?

ASTM Standards Electronic edition of nearly every ASTM book, paper, or chapter from nearly every piece of work published by ASTM. The new ASTM Digital Library provides over 30,000 papers and chapters and more than 400,000 pages of information in a self-service environment."--ASTM home page. Access info: Select "Standards and Engineering Digital Library" then click "Yes, I agree with the License".The ASTM 2009 Annual Book Standards is available in the Engineering Library Reference  (TA 401 .Am35sb). Older editions of the ASTM Annual Book of Standards are available for check out.

ACI Manuel of Concrete Practice- American Concrete Institute. Engineering Library Reference (TA 439 .A3 2010)

ASAE standards -Documents adopted by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers to meet standardization needs for agricultural field equipment, farmstead equipment, structures, soil and water resource management, turf and landscape equipment, forest engineering, food and process engineering, electric power applications, plant and animal environment, and waste management. Available only from public access computers in Hesburgh Library or any ND branch library. Path: Start/Library and Information Resources/All Titles A-Z/ASAE Standards 1999.

ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code - American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Engineering Library Reference (TJ 290. A52 1998).

Department of Energy Techincal Standards - "The DOE Technical Strandards Program promotes the use of voluntary consensus standards at DOE, manages and facilitates DOE's efforts to develop and maintain necessary technical standards, and communicates information on technical standards activities to people who develop or use technical standards in DOE."

DOD ASSIST  contains full-text Department of Defense and federal specifications and standards.

Engineering guide to LEED-new construction : sustainable construction for engineers  
by Liv Haselbach, McGraw-Hill, 2010 (TH 880.H37 2010).

IEEE-Standards and Draft Standards Association and standards developed in conjunction with or dually approved by other standards organizations are available through IEEE and includes ANSI/IEEE standards, ANSI standards,  AIEE standards and IEEE Draft Standards.

IETF Internet Engineering Task Force is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned ... [more]

ITU-T recommendations  "International Telecommunications Union Recommendations are standards that define how telecommunication networks operate and interwork."

Knovel Standards includes a collection of standards on a variety of topics.

National green building standard : ICC 700-2008.  National Association of Home Builders, Washington, DC : 2009. (TH 880.N38 2009)

NISO Standards provides access to downloadable texts of current and draft standards for information coding and exchange, as well as links to standards maintenance organizations and related resources.

What if the Hesburgh Libraries do not have a standard that I need?
If you are a current Notre Dame faculty, staff, student or affiliate, the Hesburgh Libraries will order newer standards as needed. Contact: Engineering Librarian, Carol Brach, (631-5070) 

How do I order a standard if I am not affiliated with the university?

Contact the organization that developed the standard or IHS Standards Store to purchase standards.


NSSN Search standards from more than 600 developers worldwide. Inlcudes Industry and U.S. Government standards which are approved or under development

Patent Resources

Patent Databases

Patent Books 

Filing Patents Online A Professional Guide Sarfaraz K. Niazi CRC Press 2003

Patent Fundamentals for Scientists and Engineers Third Edition Thomas T . Gordon and Arthur S . Cookfair CRC Press 2012

Patent Laws for Scientists and Engineers Edited by Avery N . Goldstein CRC Press 2005

Not so obvious : an introduction to patent law and strategy. Jeffrey Schox Seattle, Wa. : Createspace c2011, Engineering Library General Collection (KF 3114 .S36 2011 )

Fundamentals of Patent Licensing for Scientists and Engineers M. Y. Ma [Matthew Y.] ebrary, Inc. Hackensack, NJ : World Scientific c2009.

Intellectual Property Rights for Engineers Vivien Irish 1942- Institution of Engineering and Technology. Knovel [Firm] London : Institution of Engineering and Technology 2008.

Guides and Tutorials

  • Patently-O  is the industry professional’s choice patent blog.


Engineering Tutorials

Learn more about engineering databases from these training sessions and video tutorials

Engineering Literature



Especially Useful for…



Literature Database




Consists of citations of journal articles and other literature.


Often organized by a subject taxonomy or indexing scheme.

Obtaining an overview of the literature available on a specific topic and identifying key sources.

Some indexing databases enable hyperlinking among articles based on their citations and references. (FINDTEXT@ND)


Includes abstracts or summaries of the contents of an article or report.

Determining whether the full-text of an article is worth reading; getting ideas on source and issues.

Full-text Databases

Contains direct links to full text in HTML or Acrobat PDF format.

Reading the text of a document; looking for data not highlighted in titles, abstracts, or subject keywords.

Electronic Journal Collections

Searchable collections of journals and related literature from a single publisher.

Easily accessing full text of works from a common source.

Highly specialized content.  May or may not include conference proceedings, newsletters, and other society publications.


Note: Many literature databases are hybrids of the three above types, providing combinations of indexing, abstracting, and full text.

Scholarly & Research Oriented Sources

Journal Articles

In scholarly publications, descriptions of new research.

Obtaining current developments in your field.

Peer-reviewed (aka refereed, research, scientific, or scholarly) journals require that manuscripts undergo a rigorous review process by peer experts in order to be accepted for publication.


Previews of an article before it is published in its final version.

Viewing fresh research on a timely basis.

Often available from an author’s own web site.

Conference Proceedings



Summaries or actual text of papers presented at a conference.

Learning about new developments and ideas.

Historically, as a form of gray literature, not well cataloged, indexed, or easily located online.



Large format presentations which use graphics and text to present research.

Learning about new developments and ideas.

Usually presented at conferences, providing an opportunity for discussion with the authors.  Rarely available online.

Theses & Dissertations

Lengthy research papers usually written for fulfillment of an academic degree requirement.

Accessing fresh research and extensive bibliographies.

Increasingly available online although many authors and institutions vary in releasing full text.


Technical Standards

An established requirement or norm for manufacturing, performance, or other criteria.

Guidance on the design and management of technological processes; embedded research.

Related document types include codes, specifications, definitions, and regulations.

Technical Reports

Reports on research or studies.  Often issued by government agencies and educational institutes.

Information on current research unavailable in journal or conference proceedings.

Often lengthier and more detailed than journal articles and proceedings.

Research Protocols

Documents detailing the design, methodology, plans, criteria for analysis, and budget for a research study.

Provides models for studies and information on successful study methods.

Related resources include clinical trials.


Reference Books


Concise reference books providing information about a subject, often for practical applications.

Locating facts and standards pertaining to an application; viewing statistics and measurements in a broader context than a journal article.


Compendium of lengthy articles on a topic.  Usually includes a bibliography.

Obtaining an introductory or broader perspective on a subject and references to more in-depth sources.

Specialty encyclopedias are highly represented in engineering.

Dictionaries & Thesauruses

Definitions of terms. Thesauruses group synonyms and show relationships among terms.

Clarifying the meaning(s) of a term; distinguishing among words with similar or multiple meanings.

A subset of dictionaries focuses on acronyms.

Business / Manufacturing Related


Concise listings of people, places, organizations. Often supplemented by cross referencing indices.

Obtaining basic information on sources, such as fabricators and suppliers; developing short lists of contacts.


Legal documents which grant exclusive rights for an invention for a limited timeframe.

Obtaining background information on inventions. Learning about the activities of competitors.

White Papers

Authoritative paper or guide on a topic, often used to make a case for a viewpoint.

Getting a summary of a current hot topic in business, technology, or related industry.

Often used as a marketing tool by businesses and may not reflect objective research.


Product Literature / Data Sheets (PDS)

Information from a manufacturer about a product or service; may include technical specifications, usage instructions, and images.

Getting information on existing products; ideas for prototypes.

Usually available from a manufacturer’s web site. Also can include product manuals.

Sample sources:

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Information on the properties of a particular substance, usually with a view to highlighting risks for users. Often issued by manufacturers of a product.

Getting information on chemical or other properties of substances, tracking toxicity.

Often available from a manufacturer’s web site.

Cost Information

Historical data often focused on construction, which tracks costs of products and assemblies. May include cost indexes for different geographical regions.

Preliminary budgeting and comparative pricing for different construction options.

Must be adjusted for recent trends in inflation, supply factors, and geographic locations.

Trade Journals

News and articles directed to members of a particular profession or industry.  Includes current developments, meetings, product information.

Learning about the major players, developments, and processes that shape an industry.

Many are published by professional associations for subscribing members only.

Sample Sources:

Consumer Reviews and Usability Studies

Reviews and analysis of products and services, with a focus on safety, efficacy, and compliance.

Obtaining information on how products work reasons for success or failure.

News & Magazine Articles

Stories, usually published by journalists, on current events.

New developments in an industry or product line; current events that may affect research & inventions.

Along with patents, one of the few was to track research being done by businesses.

Corporate Documents

Publications authored by businesses, sometime to comply with federal regulations. Includes annual reports, 10-Ks, and press releases.

Tracking activities of a company and its industry. Getting ideas for products and management techniques.

Due to federal requirements, information on publically-traded companies is more extensive than for private companies.


Other Sources

Government Documents

Includes many of the literature types listed above. Much is freely available.

Obtaining results of government-funded research, grant and funding opportunities, legislation and regulatory standards.

Despite efforts to centralize online resources, information is spread among many different agencies.

Data Sets

Collections of data, usually in tabular form, that can be analyzed in databases, spreadsheets, and statistical software.

Understanding and testing the conclusions presented in articles and reports.



Maps, Graphs, & Diagrams

Visual tools which show spatial relations among different variables.

Obtaining concise visual summaries of extensive data; exploring new relationships among entities and concepts.

Web Portals or Gateways

A web-enabled collection of resources with a particular focus

Exploration of a particular topic, drawing on many literature types and sources.

Quality and authority may vary; publishers' credentials should be reviewed.


Gray Literature

Blanket term for conference proceedings, technical reports, and other literature types as described above which are not produced via conventional publishing channels.

All nature of engineering applications

Traditionally has not been systematically cataloged, archived, or digitalized by publishers and requires diligence to locate, particularly for documents published prior to the late 1990s.Includes some of the most detailed and valuable sources for engineers.

Related Subject Guides

Related Course Guides

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