This guide provides research resources and citation assistance for Engineering courses

Library and Web Search Tools for Engineering


Keyword searching is a good way to build a search for a specific topic. (Click on the images below to enlarge.)

  • Example: graphene and its use in air filtration masks
    • Search: graphene AND masks
    • Database searching: Select Full text if you only want results with the full article attached (You can read it right away!)
    • Select Peer Review to see results from peer reviewed scholarly journals

screenshot showing a ProQuest search screen for the keywords 'graphene' and 'masks' with full text and peer review selected

Once you do an initial search

Use limiters such as Subject or Date to narrow your results to relevant sources:

  • Example: Narrowing a search for 'graphene AND masks' by COVID-19, coronavirus, contamination subject limiters to see results about air filtration: 

a screenshot of a database search with limitersscreenshot of database search results from ProQuest

Other search tips to try: 

  • Try broader terms, narrower terms, and keywords that are related to your topic as part of a search.
    • Example: nanotechnology
      • Broad: nanotechnanoscience. Narrower: material names like carbon nanotubes, graphene. Related: applications like masks, microchips, cancer treatment, etc.
  • If you have a known article (for example, you find a news story that mentions published research) - Use the Holman Library One Search tool to find full-text access at GRC:

screenshot of an article search in OneSearch showing a full-text link

No results found in the library One Search or you find an article in a database with no full-text access? 😕 

  • The library can request it for you from another library for FREE with Interlibrary Loan:

Holman Library logo

So you've looked up a book in the library's catalog, but now what? How do you find it? 

Here's what you need to know. After searching in the library's catalog, you will see a results page like the one in the image below. Under the title of the book, you'll see more information.

More specifically...

  • You'll see a location and call number like this: Available at Holman Library Main Collection 363.738 C639 2011
  • ​Just write down this location and number. It's the Call number or address for the book on the shelves


  • If the book is an online, or ebook, you'll see a link to "view online"
    • Just click the link and sign in with your student info, if prompted, and you'll be taken to the ebook in a database

(click on image to enlarge)

screenshot of the catalog search, showing where to look for the call number to locate print books

Each shelf in the library has a set of call numbers so you can take the number you wrote down from the catalog and use it to locate the print book. Stop by the reference desk and get help from a librarian; we're happy to help you find books in the library! 

Need to find information on a topic from an authoritative publication? Try these sources to locate journal articles, papers, and other reports.

Peer-reviewed research on the web

Google Scholar is a great web search tool to find peer-reviewed articles on a topic, or to search for a known article to see if you can access the full-text, or get more details to request an Interlibrary Loan through Holman Library:

Find related research with Google Scholar results

In addition to searching Google Scholar generally, you can use a search result to find related items -- this can be a great way to discover research that might not appear with your original search terms!

(click on the image to expand)

a screenshot of Google Scholar showing related results for an article search

Other Web Search Engines useful for Engineering

Reference, Encyclopedias, and eBooks

Online Reference

Encyclopedias (Overviews)