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Engineering Subject Guide: Online library support

Help and guidance on finding resources in your subject area

Welcome to the Engineering Subject Guide

Use this guide to help you make the most of the library and information resources and services.

New to the University?  Explore the Getting Started with the Library guide to learn all about the Library basics. 

Your Librarian at Exeter

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Nicola Nye

Online tutorials

Study skills books for engineers

Where to start your search

Library Search

Search across the print and online collections for books, chapters, articles, journals and lots more. 

For more in depth research in databases and archives, use the A-Z Databases List.

Key databases

These are the key Engineering collections for Engineering. They contain journal articles, books, conference proceedings and reports. 

To explore other databases of relevance to Engineering research, take a look at the Engineering listing in the A-Z Databases list. 

Theses are academic sources of information and the result of substantial primary research into specialised topics. They provide very detailed data and analysis, and can provide information that is unavailable elsewhere. Their bibliographies can be a useful source of wider reading on a topic. They are extremely valuable sources of information.

Search for University of Exeter, UK and international theses here: Theses LibGuide.

This is a powerful interactive engineering platform that allow you to access:

  •  the latest editions of renowned engineering handbooks such as Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook, Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, and the Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers, as well as and hundreds of other expert references
  • upper-level engineering textbooks, including Golnaraghi’s Automatic Control Systems, Vanek’s Energy Systems Engineering, and Davis’ Water and Wastewater Engineering
  • the interactive data visualization tool DataVis
  • downloadable Excel spreadsheets
  • hundreds of faculty-created videos
  • thousands of interactive graphs and downloadable tables

This video tutorial shows how to get started with AccessEngineering’s DataVis—the interactive data visualization tool that looks at material properties.

This webinar provides an overview of content available on AccessEngineering and highlights product features that support distance learning.

British Standards Online (BSOL) is the online standards database that makes using standards easier and more cost-effective. You can access a comprehensive library of over internationally recognised standards. It’s available 24/7 and revised every single day so you’ll always be up to date on the latest industry best practice.

You can find out more about Standards in general from the Standards LibGuide.

BSI has been gradually implementing Digital Rights Management across its documents.
To view documents, click on Quick View

To download and print documents you are required to download the FileOpen plug-in.
To download the plugin: click here

If you encounter any issues opening the standard, please try opening from your Downloads folder, by right-clicking (or using Command key on iOS) and selecting "Open with Adobe Acrobat Reader".


In addition to British Standards, you can also access a limited range of  ASTM, ISO, CEN, CENELEC and IEC standards on BSOL.

Help can be found in the BSOL user guide and other guidance material online via the BSI website. 

Find out more about standards in this short video.

This short video shows you how to get started.

Scientific and technical content published by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and its publishing partners.

Access to more than five million full-text documents from some of the world's most highly-cited publications in electrical engineering, computer science, and electronics. 

  • 200+ journals
  • 3+ million conference papers
  • 10,000+ technical standards
  • 5,000+ books
  • Hundreds of course hours

Get tips on using Basic Search on IEEE Xplore.

Learn how to search more efficiently with IEEE Xplore Advanced Search.

Learn how to browse Journals, Magazines, and Conference Proceedings in IEEE Xplore.

The full range of IEEE Xplore training videos can be accessed here

Knovel is a technical information database for engineers and scientists. 
It provides handbooks, technical and general reference works, and data books as well as best practice guidance, process and design applications, interactive graphs and tables of material and substance properties data, and equations for engineering disciplines.
This short video provides an excellent introduction to using Knovo: Video tutorial: Knovel Overview

This new video shows how you can use Knovel to design a bike

For more detailed tutorials and webinars, visit the Knovel LibGuide

Web of Science is a large bibliographic database. It's content is multidisciplinary and covers all subject areas, not just engineering, so can be useful for investigating subjects that span engineering and related areas.

Use the Web of Science LibGuide for comprehensive support and training.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is an extensive archive of free-to-air TV programmes and radio shows

  • Search the archive to find programmes relating to your subject
  • Record programmes from over 65 free-to-air channels and add to the archive for others to view
  • Create your own clips and playlists

Your lecturers may have embedded clips in ELE or created playlists for you to watch as part of your course. 

Click here to find videos on hoe to use BoB

There is a range of professional literature that can be accessed outside of the library collections. Some publications offer limited open-access content, while others offers full access if you become a student member of the organisation. 

Click here to find out how to become a member for free and fully access this publication and others

Click here to become a member. Membership is free to full-time students.

Use the A-Z Database List to access the full list of databases the library subscribes to.  

You can browse by subject e.g. Engineering or by type (e.g.maps, news, images etc.) or search to find your required resources.

Explore the full A to Z Database list:

Explore research materials available elsewhere

  • Library Hub Discover - Search the catalogues of over 100 major UK and Irish national, academic and specialist libraries to find books, journals and other materials

  • WorldCAT - Search the collections of over 10,000 worldwide libraries  

  • The European Library - Access to the collections of the 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries.

  • The Library of Congress -  Catalogue records of the print and digital resources held in the Library of Congress collections (USA)

  • LibWeb - Find online library catalogues worldwide

  • CORE - Search the world's largest collection of open access research papers

Effective Searching & Referencing

It is important to plan your search strategy, and manage your search results so that you get the most from your online searching.

Keep a record of all the material you need to cite in your assignments, papers, projects etc. 

Use the Search Techniques and Referencing guidance to assist you.

  • It is  easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information available to you.  
  • Invest time in planning an effective online search strategy so that you can quickly and easily discover relevant and high quality information. 


As you search you need to keep track of all the material you will be using in your academic work so that you can cite and reference it appropriately.

Top Tip

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

For more guidance take a look at:

Build your skills and get help from the friendly academic skills teams.

Study Skills Support @ Exeter

Study Zone offers drop-ins, workshops and online guides on a range of study skills topics, including academic writing, referencing, time management, exams and revision, and digital skills.

ASK @ Cornwall

Find out all about academic skills support at the Cornwall campus. Take advantage of the online support materials available through the Study Hub.

Linking the University of Exeter Library to Google Scholar 

Google Scholar is an online, freely accessible search engine for locating scholarly literature  from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. But not all full text content is free to access.

However, it is possible to link the University of Exeter online library to  Google Scholar, making it quick to identify and access library full text content.

Just follow these instructions:


Click on Check for this @ Exeter or Access this @ Exeter options to view full text article:

Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a great resource to use when you are planning and conducting your research. 

It is targeted at social science researchers but is useful across all subject areas as it covers key research methodology topics that are applicable across the research spectrum.

Sage have produced a comprehensive LibGuide to help you get the best from the resource.

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