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Engineering Library Guide

Literature Searching

Once you have a topic that you feel ready to start researching, you will need to know how to effectively navigate through research databases. On this page we will go over how to use the tools available in research databases to find the resources you need to learn more about your topic. 

Research Databases vs. Google

Google is a very easy to use, familiar search engine and a good place to get started searching to find background information on your topic. Your professors expect that your research includes academic and peer reviewed papers. These papers can be found through Google, but the library provides you with access to research databases that place these papers right at your finger tips. 

Navigating Research Databases

Research databases are a great place to dive deeper into your research and they contain the academically rigorous sources that your professors expect to see. These databases function differently than Google, but offer you results that are generally more suitable for a research paper.

The video below will take you on a quick tour through Web of Science, a STEM focused research database.

Recommended Databases

Because there are so many library databases, it may feel overwhelming when you are trying to decide where to start. Some databases can have broad coverage and include sources from a number of different disciplines. Other databases might be more narrow in scope, focusing on a particular subject area. Usually it's better to start with a broader database and then later move on to one with a narrower scope as you gather more information. The following databases are a good place to start to find scholarly articles, research data, and more. This list isn't exhaustive and there are many more available through the Library. If you'd like more help selecting a database, you can contact the UH Teaching & Learning Librarians